Is Your Organization Cyber Smart? Key Tips to Protect and Secure Your Business
By Jared Hrabak, Consulting Cybersecurity Engineer, cStor
As part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we wanted to help raise awareness of the activities you can employ to protect your business from cyber threats and scams. This year’s theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” To that point, we have provided a few key areas to help your organization own, secure and protect itself.
Cybersecurity threats are often thought of as a consumer issue – one impacting online shoppers, bankers and everyday users who click on a phishing email or unsecured link. However, today’s businesses have just as much – if not more – to do with cybersecurity awareness and protection. It’s not only your responsibility to protect your organization from cybersecurity threats, but to inform your employees about threats that may come their way.
For most organizations, creating a Cybersecurity Plan following a Framework is the first step to ensuring you are on the right course to thoroughly securing your organization. An effective cybersecurity plan will contain a series of processes and objectives that you can use to help define your policies and procedures around information security, guide your implementation of controls and drive management, measurement and monitoring of your information security program. It may sound daunting at first, but there are established frameworks, such as the NIST CSF, CIS Controls and HITRUST CSF, that will help guide you in developing your plan. For more information on these frameworks, read our blog on Cybersecurity Frameworks.
Once you have a framework chosen, you can start building out your plan. One of the best ways to do this is with a carefully conducted gap analysis using your framework as a benchmark.
|Identify – Outline all external and internal threats and vulnerabilities; conduct a gap analysis to assess your risk exposure|
Protect – Develop protection and detection measures to reduce the potential impact of a breach
Detect – Improve your ability to rapidly discover cybersecurity events
Respond – Establish contingency and response plans to reduce the impact of cybersecurity incidents
Recover – Determine how will you isolate and remediate any breaches; assess the impact of the response plan from an incident
Once you have established your Cybersecurity Framework and Plan, it is critical to train your employees on the safeguards and policies you have in place. Security policies and plans are only as effective as their implementation. If employees don’t know what’s out there and get focused solely on their daily routine, how are they going to spot something abnormal? Train employees and communicate regularly on the latest threats and how to prevent them, as well as current safeguards and best practices like password usage and encryption. Having an effective security awareness program will help increase the security team from its current size to a much greater size when everyone is on the lookout for suspicious activity. It will also give the team a pulse on threats happening in their organization.
Monitoring is another way to ensure the security of your organization. Today’s businesses must protect their assets and customers by ensuring employees are acting in a safe and effective manner. Not doing so may result in a level of risk that your organization may be uncomfortable facing. Tools and services such as DNS Sanitization, NextGen Firewalls and Cloud Access Security Brokers are just a few ways to ensure the security of your company’s people, data and assets. You can read about it more in our blog on advanced web filtering.
As threats grow daily and hackers hone their skills by creating advanced malware that can elude even the most advanced detection tools, protecting your organization before, during and after an attack is imperative. Fortunately, the security industry has developed a wealth of tools to not only protect your organization but to give your IT security team visibility into threats and the ability to quickly detect and remediate issues before damage is done.
Some key areas to consider when evaluating the needed tools and services identified within your cybersecurity plan include:
- Endpoint Protection – Close porous gaps in mobile, social media and cloud-connected devices to reduce attack and insider theft risks
- Cloud Protection – Prevent unauthorized access with advanced cloud security that can help stop high-risk traffic aimed at cloud servers
- Data Protection – Provide advanced security protocols to protect sensitive information and transactions while preventing third-party tampering
- Network Protection – Protect your network and everything that runs through it to ensure your business keeps running smoothly
Finally, an area that is often overlooked or put on the back burner due to more pressing issues is the updating and maintenance of your cybersecurity protection tools and services. In order to benefit from the latest patches and protection updates, it’s critical to keep your software updated to the latest versions available. The easiest way to do this is to ensure automatic updates are enabled. For more extensive updates, employ on-demand IT services to help if your team is overtasked. The benefit of having an effective security protocol in place risk to prevent a breach or outage will far outweigh the cost.
If you need help developing your cybersecurity plan, training your employees and employing the most effective protection to address your concerns, cStor can help. Contact us to find out more.