5 Ways to Strengthen Your Cyber Defenses
August 26, 2019

Due to the ever-evolving threat landscape, organizations must consistently refresh their cyber defenses in order prepare for the next threat. This leads many organizations to increase their cybersecurity investments to keep up. Global spending on cybersecurity services and products is expected to reach $103 billion this year, up 9.4 per cent from 2018 according to IDC.

Implementing security solutions that work is a good foundation for organizations to build their cyber resilience. However, organizations need to also focus on strengthening their cybersecurity defenses with their people, processes and products. Here are 5 things organizations can do right now to increase their cyber defenses.

Source: Cisco

5 Things Your Organization Can Do to Increase Security

1. Stay Updated

Staying updated in everything security related is key to building a good cyber defence. This includes knowing the latest compliance regulations and threats and breaches, as well as updating apps/systems/devices with the most recent patches.

Many states and countries around the world are starting to implement new laws regarding security, which may be relevant to your business. Knowing about compliance regulations can help you avoid large fees and incorporate best practices into your cyber defence strategy.

Learning about recent breaches and how they started can help you look at your own systems and see if there are security changes you need to start implementing. It will also help you understand the latest threats and how they’re targeting businesses so that you can take steps to avoid them.

Malicious actors are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, which is why it’s crucial to have them patched as soon as possible. Delaying updates to crucial systems give hackers more leeway into your systems.    

2. Implement Ongoing Training

Employees are an organization’s first line of defense, which is why it’s important to arm them with cyber awareness training.

Employees are constantly targeted by scams like phishing and business email compromise (BEC) emails. Research from Symantec found that organizations received an average of 5 BEC scam emails per month in the past year. It only takes one employee mistake for an organization to fall victim to a data breach.

Organizations can protect themselves against highly preventable attacks by having their employees understand cybersecurity, the threat landscape and how their actions affect your organization’s security posture.  

3. Limit Internal and External Access

Organizations should limit their access whether its internally through privilege access management or externally with separate WiFi for guests.

An organization’s data should not be open to all employees and high privileged accounts should be limited to only those who need them. That way, if one employee account is compromised, the hacker won’t be able to access all the organization’s data. This will also help prevent data leakage and make it easier to track who has access to important documents.

Business WiFi can act as a gateway to your organization’s data. Secure your WiFi so that only employees can access it. For remote employees, they can securely connect to your organization through a VPN. Having a separate WiFi access for guests will help protect them from accessing important files.

4. Remove Unused Services

Accounts, applications and products should be disabled and removed as soon as they are no longer in use. This will help reduce your attack surface and limit unauthorized access to your organization.

Employees that leave can become potential insider threats, which is why their credentials should be disabled as soon as possible. Additionally, all user accounts that are associated with old hardware or applications should also be shut down as well. If a former application gets breached and you didn’t shut down your account, your data may be vulnerable.

Organizations should also be aware of end of life support for the hardware and software they use in their infrastructure. Failing to remove or upgrade can result in security gaps that can be exploited by hackers.

5. Align Business Objectives with Security

While there are general best practices for securing organizations (such as implementing firewalls and protecting inboxes), cyber defense needs will differ between organizations depending on the size of a business and its industry. For example, an ecommerce business will need a separate level of data protection to safeguard payments and customer information.

Organizations need to develop a security strategy that focuses on their risks. They need to establish effective monitoring methods that can address their unique workloads and partner with the right team of experts to help them integrate security measures that work with their business. To find out how Jolera can help your business, contact us today.

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