5 Considerations to Improve Your Business's Cybersecurity Posture

RJ Friedman, CISO and Managed Security Services Leader, Buchanan Technologies
RJ Friedman, CISO and Managed Security Services Leader, Buchanan Technologies

RJ Friedman, CISO and Managed Security Services Leader, Buchanan Technologies

Today’s threat landscape ranges from cybercrime to natural disasters to malicious employees and everything in between. Knowing this, it can be difficult for businesses to employ a solution that safeguards every component of their IT systems; however, when taking a strategic approach to the tools, technologies, and processes that are put in place around your infrastructure, you will be much better positioned for effective security.

5 Major Security Considerations for Your Business

Cybersecurity is not typically “one-size-fits-all”. Company size, industry, and even customer base may impact how your organization approaches its cybersecurity strategy.

That said, some elements of robust IT security are non-negotiable in any data-centric environment. Continue reading to learn five things your business should consider when it comes to your cybersecurity solution.     

Secure Your Cloud Environment

In today’s technology-driven world, your business more than likely has some form of company functions, data, or applications residing in the cloud. Therefore, it is essential to have policies and processes in place that foster a secure environment for these critical assets. Failure to do so can result in technical downtime, disruption to customer service, loss of profitability, and more. 

With cyber threats more prevalent than ever, some best practices to secure your cloud environment – and avoid a potential data breach – include incorporating strong data security features, such as antivirus software, encryption controls, and firewalls. This ensures that data can move between servers with a much lower risk of being intercepted by an attacker.

It is one thing to deploy these technologies, but continuous monitoring and management are key to proactively protect your cloud environment.

Identify Potential and Existing Vulnerabilities

If you are aware of the vulnerabilities that exist within your environment, you can implement remediation tactics to prevent a cyberattack. There are many ways your business can go about identifying vulnerabilities, but one of the most common methods is conducting assessments.

There are various assessments out there that can aid in this endeavor, but the most effective is a vulnerability assessment. This is where a third-party will systematically review all the security weaknesses in an IT ecosystem. After a vulnerability is identified and analyzed, the analyst will perform a risk assessment to prioritize the vulnerabilities based on how they could impact the company if theywere to be exploited. Finally, the analyst will determine the most efficient path for remediation or mitigation of each vulnerability.

Another effective practice to identify vulnerabilities is by conducting a penetration test. While vulnerability assessments look for weaknesses within your systems, penetration tests are used to try to exploit those weaknesses and determine the degree to which an attacker can gain unauthorized access to your network.

Protect Critical Data and Assets

Every day, there are a number of things that threaten the availability of data, including natural disasters, employee mishandling, and breaches, to name a few.

Whether on-premises or in the cloud, having a well-thought-out strategy to safeguard company data and assets is an absolute necessity. In addition to deploying data security tools throughout your environment, your organization must have a solid backup and disaster recovery plan in place to ensure you have continued access to critical business data should one of these incidents occur.

With an effective BDR solution, you can have peace of mind that your data is protected and that you can reinstate it in the event of an emergency. 

Invest in End User Security Training  

End user security awareness training is a tool that has garnered much attention the past few years, and rightfully so, as human error was cited as a major contributing cause in 95% of all data breaches according to IBM’s Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report.

With a security awareness program, employees will be mindful of information security best practices as they pertain to regularly consumed applications and technologies in the workplace, including social media, email, and websites. Security awareness training educates employees to understand common types of social engineering attacks like phishing and spearphishing.

Security leaders can take this one step further by conducting phishing simulations. This is where deceptive emails that are indicative of malicious emails are sent to employees by the company’s security team. This tool can be used to gauge their awareness of attacks and how they respond when a phishing email is received, prompting further training for certain individuals if necessary.

Implement Network Infrastructure Security  

IT network infrastructure is a gigantic technology ecosystem comprised of routers, switches, cables, operating systems, intrusion detection and prevention tools, firewalls, and other tools.

All of these components are susceptible to intentional or unintentional threats, such as denial-of-service attacks, malware, data deletion, modification, or leakage, illegal activity, and more, which is why it’s crucial to implement stringent security measures around your infrastructure. While this may not completely prevent threats to your network, you have a much greater chance of reducing the risk to your organization.

It’s important to note that network infrastructure security is an ongoing effort and may require updates, patches, and new tools as the environment grows and changes and the threat landscape matures.

Consult with an Expert for Strategic Guidance

Establishing and maintaining a secure business environment is a 24/7 job and takes a significant amount of tools and resources. Oftentimes, the burden is too much to bear for organizations that do not have a dedicated IT security team, and even then, things can slip through the cracks.

By partnering with a managed IT service provider like Buchanan, you’ll receive feedback on the efficacy of your existing toolsets, understand how vulnerable your business is, and be able to make changes to improve your overall cybersecurity posture. Should your business require a team to assist with ongoing monitoring and maintenance of your network devices, we can help with that, too. Contact Buchanan for a free, no-obligation consultation.