In today's day and age, one of the biggest threat to businesses is cyber attacks. In 2017, ransomware and other malware attacks led to the "worst year ever" for this digital threat.
It's a growing threat as hackers evolve their techniques. Businesses are increasing security to fend off the dangerous and often costly threats.
Many are turning to outside experts to help them put together a cyber security strategy. Should your business be doing the same?
Find out below.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is your line of defense against digital attacks. It protects you from various threats, such as ransomware, malware, and viruses. Both proactive and responsive in its design, strong cyber security prevents data and hardware from being compromised.
This isn't a process that you set up once and then ignore it. While firewalls, antivirus programs, and antimalware programs may be part of cyber security's makeup, it also requires a clear strategy. It involves implementing up-to-date security measures as well as ongoing monitoring for malicious activity.
How to Create a Cyber Security Strategy
Cyber security uses three different "pillars": people, process, and technology. The powerful trinity keeps businesses secure, even as cyber criminals adapt their approach.
Here's how it works:
Start by Hiring the Right People
Countless vendors offer cyber security options. The key is choosing the right one. You have to be careful about who you select. The use of high tech software and technology isn't enough. If under-qualified staff operates it, your business is at risk.
Always ask for information on their qualifications.
Is their staff trained and certified?
What are their professional skills?
What kind of ongoing training and education does the staff take part in?
A cyber staff that doesn't stay up-to-date on the latest threats and security measures is a danger to its clients. This industry is rapidly changing. Those who don't keep the pace are the ones who fall victim to new crimes due to outdated security methods.
Likewise, they should offer cyber defense training for your staff to help them better protect your business from internal or phishing attacks.
Most ransomware attacks start with employees accidentally "opening the door" to your data. By unwittingly downloading the malware file via a deceptive email, they let the bad guys in.
It's your cyber security service's responsibility to make you aware of all avenues of cyber threats. It helps you defend against them in-house while they do their due diligence remotely.
Make Sure There is an Established Process
Every quality cyber security strategy has a well-defined process. The process orchestrates how your defenses are set, implemented, and monitored. This includes the roles of the individuals tasked with executing it, as well as how they go about doing them.
Within this strategy, you'll be able to identify the activities involved in your cyber security services. Be aware of how they document and monitor its performance. A good team is meticulously organized and capable of executing this process as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.
If a breach arises, they should already have a plan in place on how their response team will react. This plan of action should be swift and effective.
They should also have a routine of reviewing this process. Often, necessary updates will arise, including changes in the scope of threats as well as the appropriate strategies used to defend against or remove them. These reviews help your cyber security team stay on top of the defense game.
Identify Whether the Team Uses Updated Technology and Software
In case we haven't stressed this enough: the key component of a good cyber security service is remaining up-to-date on everything that involves your security measures.
This includes the software, hardware, and activities behind your company's digital defense. A good team will:
- Update and patch the client's applications, as well as their operating systems
- Remain in compliance with whatever industry standards you may have
- Implement audits and testing for user accounts, network security, wireless networks, applications, and physical security.
Cyber Security Strategies Should Always Include 3 Steps
If the company you're hiring meets the 3 criteria listed above, then you're good to sign onboard with them. Once the agreement is made, their team will implement the three essential steps to cyber security: identification, remediation, and monitoring.
Identification defines the process of identifying potential security threats to your business. This includes both threats that come from your employees--intentionally or not--as well as your system.
Remediation is the response to a threat encountered by your business. This is often an automated process that acts like a digital immune system. As it identifies the cause of a breach, it also establishes an update to the current defense to prevent future breaches.
This is a natural and necessary evolution of your strategy, as it keeps it up-to-date with the latest threats and prevention.
Lastly, there is monitoring. This is just what it sounds like: the frequent observation of your digital security in order to identify, mediate, and respond accordingly. This includes audits and testing.
Any cyber security left unmonitored is vulnerable. Like cracks in a wall, it weakens your defenses.
Get to Know More About IT Security
Want to better understand cyber security and the practices that go along with it? You can download a free eBook on IT security, complete with information on:
- How to view and assess your network
- How to construct a secure digital perimeter
- Strategies to defend against phishing attempts through email as well as other digital threats
- Various ways to test your IT security to determine whether or not it is effective
Even if you don't manage your own cyber security, this information is important to know and understand, as it will help you ensure your cyber security vendor is doing the job properly.
Get a Cyber Security Strategy for Your Business
If your business doesn't have a cyber security strategy in place, don't wait for a digital attack to occur before implementing one. Be proactive and defend your systems, hardware, and sensitive data from these dangerous breaches.
Contact our cyber defense gurus at Paranet to discuss what kind of custom strategies we can offer that cater to your company's needs.