By Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, ProcessIT Global
Every individual in an organizational setup should take responsibility to protect the business from cyberattacks. An organization’s reputation, legal liability, and financial health depend on these employees who either take or ignore taking the right action to keep the attackers at bay.
It is important to note businesses continue to experience cyberattacks despite taking protection measures. This can cause disruptions in the organization’s day-to-day operations as well as the service rendered to customers. It is even more annoying to learn the majority of the threats go undetected or get delayed in detection where the damage is already done!
Many businesses fail here because they have to constantly fight to stay ahead of the fast-evolving cyber threat landscape and encounter some failures too even with a cybersecurity plan in place.
There is a need to constantly fine-tune the cybersecurity strategy rather than force-fitting new defensive components, now and then.
Defense-in-Depth Cybersecurity Strategy
Several organizations have been leveraging the Defense-in-Depth strategy for the traditional perimeter-based security model, where assets had to be protected on-premise IT infrastructure.
But in today’s digital era, these traditional security models are ineffective as applications deployed beyond the on-premise data center into the private and public clouds with the SaaS solutions being leveraged as well. So, defense-in-depth strategies are designed to protect these.
Risk assessment at the outset
To fine-tune and strengthen cyber security strategy and build a very effective defense against cyberattacks, identifying the risks is the first step. All potential targets that could impact the security of the business which include the stored data, apps, and systems should be evaluated. It is equally crucial to know the different kinds of cyber attacks the organization is already facing. Assessing the business’s cybersecurity maturity for a better understanding of the security posture has to be conducted. Ensure business goals are in alignment with the cybersecurity strategy goals.
Establish a plan to improve the cybersecurity strategy
In this process, the existing cybersecurity plan has to be modified as required to achieve the new set of goals. This also means some of the tasks can be outsourced so that the in-house manpower can take up more strategic tasks that focus on business growth.
There should be approval from senior management or the C-Suite to ensure adequate support is given, in addition to providing feedback. In case the senior management has new plans for the future, then they can be based on the new cybersecurity strategy. The modified cybersecurity plan may bring about changes in business operations too. This aspect has to be communicated to every individual in the organization and has to be done to safeguard the organization from sophisticated and evolving cyber-attacks.
Multi-layered cybersecurity is a must
Creating a multi-layered defense with an emphasis on awareness will go a long way to address the growing complexity and impact of the threats. Often it is the employee who is the weakest link in cybersecurity, hence providing ongoing training to the workforce on cybersecurity best practices is very crucial. This should include attack simulation exercises as well.
Adopt Zero-trust approach
Leverage Privileged Access Management solutions to constantly monitor as well as safeguard access to key accounts by human and non-human entities. Advanced Endpoint Privilege Manager should be used as it can address all challenges of endpoint defenses, prevent lateral movement and stop ransomware and malware attacks. It also helps to lock down all critical endpoints. Enabling adaptive multifactor authentication is another important step to be taken.
The modified strategy has to be well documented
Documenting the cybersecurity strategy is as crucial as the strategy itself. All documents related to cybersecurity plans, policies, procedures, guidelines, and other relevant notes have to be clearly kept in order for easy reference. All these documents have to be updated on a regular basis. The roles and responsibilities of each individual in the organization are to be defined and made clear.
Cybersecurity Best Practices
Having the best security software and the most comprehensive policies are just not enough. It is important to educate every individual in the organization about cybersecurity measures to protect the organization and themselves.
The following Cybersecurity best practices should be incorporated into the organization and followed by one and all.
- Establishing and updating a robust cybersecurity policy is crucial
- All user passwords should be strong, safe, and managed wisely
- Access to sensitive data should be controlled
- IoT and Perimeter connections should be secure
- Implementation of Application Control is a must
- Ransomware protection should be implemented
- Reviewing and Refreshing network security controls are important
- Monitoring of third-party controls is necessary
- All security software should be updated regularly
- Leveraging multi-factor authentication is important
- Implementation of Privilege Management Solutions is essential
- Employee awareness has to be raised
- A culture of continuing education has to be established
- Connection to a safe and secure Wi-Fi is a must
- Proactively backup data regularly – both offline and online
- The Privileged access has to be audited
- Establish a Breach or Incidence Response Plan
- Secure the breach and identify compromised data
For businesses, remaining secure all the time from cyber attacks is a challenge, especially with cybercriminals exploring new and sophisticated methods and increasing security concerns for leaders. However, constantly finetuning the cybersecurity strategy and applying best practices are key to the organization’s success as there is a significant reduction in the chances of being targeted by threat actors.