Cybersecurity Measures to Protect Your Business
Cyberattacks are a real concern for companies large and small. These attacks can cause data breaches, which are costly and damaging for businesses.
Using cybersecurity measures can help minimize business risks. These include: implementing the principle of least privilege, backing up data, and installing antivirus software. It is important to keep systems updated to reduce the risk of attack.
Robust network security
Network security protects client data and information, keeps shared networks secure and enables reliable access to systems. It also helps to reduce overhead expenses and safeguards businesses from costly losses that occur from cyber threats and data breaches.
Networks are connected via a variety of devices like firewalls, content filtering, and intrusion detection systems. Firewalls are essentially all-in-one devices that control incoming and outgoing traffic on networks based on predetermined security rules. Content filtering devices prevent unauthorized users from accessing unsuitable emails or web pages by screening for unacceptable content. This includes pornography, violence- and hate-oriented material.
For the best results, a robust cybersecurity strategy must include a combination of measures that protect against both known and emerging threats. The adage that “it’s not a matter of if, but when” a business is hit by a cyber attack should be a wake-up call for all businesses to be prepared and ready to respond quickly to limit financial, operational and reputational damage.
Identity and access management (IAM)
The complexity of modern enterprise IT environments, the proliferation of IoT devices, and the use of software as a service (SaaS) applications necessitate the need for robust identity and access management (IAM). IAM provides authentication through passwords, one-time personal identification numbers or biometric information. It can also be used to assign more granular permissions based on identities, which helps to limit the amount of sensitive data that users can create, change or transmit.
IAM is a cybersecurity best practice that reduces risk by giving legitimate parties only access to systems and data they need to do their jobs. It also helps meet compliance standards for identity verification, transaction monitoring, and reporting for suspicious activity. Some IAM solutions also include privileged account management (PAM), which manages privileged access for high-level accounts like admins who oversee databases, servers or systems. These are the kind of credentials hackers target to breach systems and cause damage to businesses.
File integrity monitoring
Remember that pesky sibling or cousin who constantly messed with your things, changing passwords and erasing event logs to hide their mischief? Threat actors do the same thing to your critical system files and data, and deploying file integrity monitoring helps you identify these changes in real-time.
By monitoring the latest version of each file against a trusted baseline, FIM alerts when new versions differ and helps you determine whether these changes are malicious or not. This enables you to revert back to the previous version and recover from potential damage.
Combined with a SIEM tool that’s efficient at collecting log events, FIM offers visibility into unauthorized changes to files in the context of your larger security environment. This helps your team identify the forensics information (who, what, where, when, how) of these events more quickly, enabling them to act sooner and gain better control over their systems. This enables you to meet compliance requirements set by legal mandates such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA.
An intrusion detection system (IDS)
An IDS is software that monitors network traffic to identify possible security threats. These include malware, phishing attempts, and policy violations. Once a threat is identified, the IDS will send an alert to the appropriate security team.
IDSs can be deployed as either network or host-based solutions. A network IDS (NIDS) identifies malicious activity across the entire protected network by analyzing network packets. This type of IDS is often more effective for larger businesses with multiple locations and complex networks.
A host-based IDS, on the other hand, is deployed on a single endpoint and defends against internal and external attacks. These systems have deep visibility into a host machine and can monitor network traffic to and from the device, observe running processes and inspect system logs. However, this also means they are more likely to generate false alarms and require the IT department to invest time in tuning the solution to reduce erroneous detections. Many organizations opt to integrate their HIDS into a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform to improve context analysis and limit the number of false alarms.