Cyber security is an information technology process for protecting networks, servers, applications, workstations and mobile devices from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks pose serious and sometimes permanent danger for global corporations down to small businesses, employees, and home users. Such attacks may be intended to steal, destroy or ransom sensitive information for illegal monetary gain. As a result of lawsuits, reputation damage and regulatory fines, many companies are not able to survive a data breach – especially small businesses.
We are often asked, “what can we do to protect our equipment and our brand?” Create a well-constructed cybersecurity defense that provides layered protection for your network, servers, applications, workstations and mobile devices. A robust cybersecurity plan does not have to cost a lot of capital. For the absolute best results, technical defenses should be married with targeted security awareness training. Training should be designated as mandatory for all members of the organization and periodically tested for reinforcement. Employees are the last line of defense.
The Challenges Associated with of Cyber Security
It does not matter the vertical that your business operates within or the size of the organization. Bad actors are not excluding private sector, non-profit or government agencies. This list of cybersecurity challenges below were summarized and converted to plain English to give you a better understanding of what the adversary will target.
- Network Security
Network, IoT, firewall, switch, denial of service, Website and email security make up this category. These are foundational elements for a robust perimeter security defense strategy.
- Application Security
Security code review, security SDLC, application patching and vulnerability scans the essentials for application security. Due care and attention to detail must be observed when employing controls to protect this category.
- Computer Security
Windows operating system (OS) patches, MAC OS patches, antivirus, malware and encryption protection are the hallmarks for basic security controls. Commonly referred to as endpoints, businesses have to ensure they have a plan to keep the OS, AV and malware protection up-to-date at all times.
- Security Education
Cybersecurity training for IT staff, management and employee are other essential elements to incorporate in the cybersecurity strategy. All levels of the organization should be trained and tested regularly to halt hackers before they can circumvent security controls.
- Security Advisement
Virtual CISO, Board of Directors, venture capital and executive consultation may be necessary to guide leadership teams. Senior security know-how is in high demand. When needed, advisory services are one of the best ways to obtain it.
- Security Compliance
Security maturity, security framework, SOC preparation, policy and compliance reviews aid in the development of a healthy security plan and compliance governance. Consider these fundamental areas to consider to enhance the cybersecurity strategy.
To learn more about what you can do to protect your business from the most common cyber attacks, read the following article. Attention to detail has been given to the top 10 cybersecurity threats. Many of these attack types can be difficult to tackle if you are not savvy within the Information technology discipline. Don’t take the risk of doing it your – get professional assistance to ensure it’s don’t right the first time.
Developing a Cybersecurity Strategy
The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) leads the Nation’s strategic and unified work to strengthen the security, resilience and workforce of the cyber ecosystem to protect critical infrastructure. They offer free guidance, seminars, workshops and cybersecurity framework assistance. CISA took the SANs top 20 security controls, rebranded it and built it into a program that can be used by SMB through mid-level enterprises. The CIS security framework and other industry-standard frameworks are listed below for your consideration:
- Center for Internet Security (CIS) – Organizations around the world rely on the CIS Controls security best practices to improve their cyber defenses. CIS Controls Version 7.1 introduces new guidance to prioritize control utilization, known as CIS Implementation Groups (IGs). The IGs are a simple and accessible way to help organizations classify themselves and focus their security resources and expertise while leveraging the value of the CIS Controls.
- National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) – This publication is the result of an ongoing collaborative effort involving industry, academia, and NIST launched the project by convening private-and public-sector organizations and individuals in 2013. Published in 2014 and revised during 2017 and 2018, this Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity has relied upon eight public workshops, multiple Requests for Comment or Information, and thousands of direct interactions with stakeholders from across all sectors of the United States along with many industries from around the world.
- National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) 800-53 – This publication provides a catalog of security and privacy controls for federal information systems, organizations and a process for selecting controls. The security controls will protect organizational, organizational assets, individuals, and the Nation from a diverse set of threats, The threats include hostile cyber-attacks, natural disasters, structural failures, and human errors (both intentional and unintentional). The security and privacy controls are customizable and implemented as part of an organization-wide process that manages information security and privacy risk.
The customer data and intellectual property you hold are considered the electronic “crown jewels.” These are the most valuable information you possess and it requires protection with a layered defense. Depending on the type of information, you may be required to comply with individual regulatory bodies. Each of them has specific security controls that must be maintained in order for the business to remain in good standing. Within the United States, the primary governance models are PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, and GLBA. In addition to the security controls, each entity will have defined cyber incidents and cyber breach notification requirements. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these requirements. Failure to do so could result in significant fines or penalties, which 60% of breached companies are unable to recover from.
Cyber Security Experts offer low-cost maturity assessments to help you quickly assess your current security posture. A security plan coupled with simple recommendations will be delivered at the end of the assessment, so that non-technical people can implement it without headache. This inexpensive process will help you avoid a data breach before it happens, while protecting your sensitive information and technology assets.