Cybersecurity: A Holistic Approach in 2022

Jun 09, 2022

SHIELDS UP! The phrase that’s on every team’s mind as the government continues to crack down on cybersecurity. But from assuring employees have proper training, networks have no holes, and every possible vulnerability is exposed, how can businesses ensure there are ZERO opportunities for actors to exploit their data 24/7?

 

First, It's important to recognize cybersecurity as a holistic practice, where a single vulnerability or network hole can disrupt the entire infrastructure. (Remember just how extensive your network truly is?) And as your network evolves and gets even more complex, so are the attacks being designed.

 

So, what does this mean for businesses online? Today’s threats require organizations to form a cumulative cybersecurity approach to ensure every application, device, and employee stays safe. The problem is that most teams do not know the best steps to execute this comprehensive strategy.

 

4 Steps to Secure Your Business Network Infrastructure

 

Risky emails, weak passwords, outdated software, it seems like everywhere you look, there is an opportunity for an actor to make their way into your network. And when reports from sources like the University of Texas state that 94% of companies that suffer from catastrophic data loss never recover, 43% do not reopen, and 51% close within two years, teams should be taking every precaution necessary to avoid being breached.

 

So, where’s the best place to begin when fortifying your security posture? Easy, your first step should be to…

 

1. Educate Employees: 81% of successful hacking-related breaches used an outdated or weak password. Employees are your first line of defense; educate them on…

  • Creating stronger, more unique credentials. As hackers continue to find tools and easy ways to decipher predictable passwords, teams must look towards using applications like password managers to create stronger, harder-to-guess login information. 
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication. Did you know multi-factor authentication makes you 99% less likely to get hacked? A strong password isn’t always enough to keep your staff safe online. By implementing a second identification layer, like text confirmation, a fingerprint, or a Face ID, you help ensure that it’s, in fact, you that is logging into these sites.

     

  • Updating software/turning on automatic updates. Attackers are eager to exploit any flaw in your system, even those from outdated software. We recommend updating operating systems and leveraging automatic updates on mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, and updating applications and web browsers on all devices whenever possible.

     

  • How to spot a phishing attempt. 91% of cyber-attacks start with a single phishing attempt. Phishing schemes can easily look legitimate, and all it takes is one good actor to accidentally reveal passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information. Once that data is stolen, it can and most likely will be used on legitimate sites and used against you to run malicious software or malware.

     

  • Real-life scenarios. Once your staff is brushed up on the latest security tips, put them to the test using a Security Awareness Training (SAT) simulation. SATs put staff through life-like exercises that indicate whether teams are truly capable of identifying potential threats. 

2. Assess Your Infrastructure: The reality? Only 59% of agencies have processes in place to communicate cyber risks. Regardless of whether you run an official evaluation, knowing every far corner of your business environment is safe long-term is now essential. When assessing and designing your network during this stage of your strategy, be sure to…

  • Concentrate on business continuity. 34% of businesses take over a week to recover their data after an attack. Security and resilience investments should focus on systems supporting critical business processes.

     

  • Build a trustworthy response team. Choose a crisis-response team with main contact points for suspected cybersecurity incidents and duties within the organization, including communications, technology, legal, and business continuity.

     

  • Create a detailed response plan. Educating yourself on multiple types of attacks and how they can affect your specific network is the start of knowing how to respond if an attack were to occur.

     

  • Find ways to support IT staff and Information Security Officers. IT burnout is impacting staff everywhere. Help prevent extra stress by listening to IT teams when they seem agitated or upset and keep an eye out for any signs of IT burnout.

     

  • Anticipate the worst and hope for the best. Between the dozens of domains in your network and the countless apps used by each employee, teams right now can prepare for the worst by exposing every device’s vulnerability using a Vulnerability Assessment.

3. Test Your Connection: Did you know attackers have roughly 7 days to exploit vulnerabilities before the business knows they exist? Reduce the likelihood of damaging cyberattacks, quickly detect intrusions, ensure your organization is prepared to respond if a breach occurs, and maximize your team's resilience to a cyber incident by...

 

1. Having IT personnel implement strong controls for cloud services.

2. Ensuring cybersecurity/IT personnel are focused on identifying any unusual network behavior.

3. Conducting exercises to ensure team members understand their roles during an incident.

4. Confirming IT personnel have disabled all unnecessary ports and protocols.

5. Assessing backup procedures to ensure sensitive data can be quickly restored.

 

4. Strengthen Your Perimeter: After training your employees and analyzing and testing your network, the last major step we recommend is determining what you need to strengthen and reinforce your infrastructure. And while all networks are different, most ultimately benefit from the extra layers of security associated with…

 

  • A Virtual Private Network (VPN): VPN software protects your data by hiding your device's IP address, encrypting your information, and routing it through secure networks to servers in distant states or countries.
  • Unified threat management (UTM) capabilities: UTM protects teams by scanning network activity using antivirus, antispam, web filtering, application control, and more.
  • 24/7 network traffic monitoring: A security operation center is trained to monitor, prevent, detect, investigate, and manage cyber threats around the clock.
  • Next-generation firewall: Next-generation firewall combines traditional firewall functions with other network filtering functions, such as an application firewall using an intrusion prevention system.
  • Wireless failover: Wireless failover is an automated function where a standard hardwired connection is switched to a redundant wireless connection upon failure to ensure data is secure and quickly accessible after a crash or breach.

     

    Looking above and concerned at all about costs? Simplify and strengthen operations by combining all the above benefits, using a customized solution like Managed Perimeter Security that allows multi-location network scalability with added layers of security to provide businesses with reliable and more secure networks.

     

    The Takeaway…

     

    As business continues to increase online, so will the advances of cybercrime. The best way to defend your network and reputation long-term is to create a detailed holistic strategy that allows you to easily…

    Scaling your security posture is not a process you want to rush, but it is pressing considering our current environment. Save time by talking to a cybersecurity expert to see what resources your specific system needs to stay protected.
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    Joseph Schlegel

    Joseph Schlegel

    As a Sr. Content Specialist, Joseph focuses on creating engaging yet, educational content that helps users discover more about their technology options. Joseph's fields of expertise include security, connectivity, UCaaS, and more.

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