Cybersecurity attacks happen worldwide daily. Despite this, many organizations, including large corporations and government agencies, still regularly fall victim to these malicious online attacks.
Because hackers can potentially harm any entity in the virtual world, it pays to take a proactive approach in implementing measures to keep data safe. Rather than waiting for an attack to happen, building a solid cyber defense should be a priority for everyone.
Fortunately, information technology (IT) experts can help safeguard your organization from hacking and other online attacks. Below, you’ll find valuable tips on how to build solid cybersecurity measures.
What Is Proactive Cybersecurity?
A proactive approach to cybersecurity means taking measures to fortify your digital defenses to better prevent hackers from illegally accessing your IT infrastructure. The strategy requires an organization to study all potential threats, determine vulnerabilities, and craft a strong defense against identified and emerging risks.
A proactive approach is achieved with the help of customized IT solutions, such as Foresite’s security as a service. Often, preventative security entails additional applications and hardware built to identify and thwart attacks.
How To Implement Proactive Cybersecurity
Below are a few of the ways your organization can take a proactive stance on cybersecurity.
Identify And Assess The Risks
You can’t create a robust defense unless you know the enemy. Often, a risk assessment requires the help of IT professionals because it entails expert knowledge in performing the following tasks:
- IT asset identification and prioritization: Conduct an inventory of digital assets to know the level of protection you currently have and to know which properties require utmost security. Map out all the devices and the data types you’re handling, including the software programs protecting these devices.
- Identify threats and vulnerabilities: Detect which type of spyware, ransomware, virus, or any other cyber threat may inflict damage to the components in the entire infrastructure and network, including hardware, software, and users.
- Determine the likelihood of an attack: Consider your IT infrastructure and environment to assess your company’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
- Make a risk assessment report: The findings should be documented in a formal report and submitted to the management for further action.
Develop Security Measures Based On The Risk Assessment
Ideally, IT experts should be able to guide you in developing measures to mitigate cyberattacks. These include identifying the best security programs, applications, and IT hardware that can do the job.
Depending on the risks identified, professionals may suggest that your organization perform the following proactive measures:
- Regular penetration testing: A pen test is a simulated cyberattack done by IT professionals to measure the effectiveness of existing security measures. This is an effective way to check for vulnerabilities holistically and to mitigate the risks more efficiently.
- Threat hunting: Security experts or your in-house IT team must proactively search for emerging or potential threats to identify the appropriate preventative measures that need to be in place.
- Software updates: Developers try to prevent cyber hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities by releasing security patches and other updates. The same holds for antivirus programs.
- Web filtering: Hackers can access your system from malicious websites. Make sure you have this service to screen suspicious sites and block them.
- Encryption: Decoding or making data unreadable ensures that cybercriminals can’t use your data if they manage to steal them.
- Access controls: Utilizing multi-factor authentication and strong passwords can help ward off potential hackers.
- Virtual private networks: Discourage cyber attackers from taking your Internet use information by setting up a VPN.
This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other proactive measures that IT professionals can recommend for protection.
Organize Security Awareness Training
Your team members serve as your business’s first line of defense, so conducting cyber awareness training is a must-have for everyone in the organization. Teach your staff the basics of identifying suspicious activities and potential attacks. Considering the nature of cyber threats, always keep your employees updated on new and emerging digital risks.
As some online attacks exploit human vulnerabilities, your team must be good at avoiding online scams. They need information on effective cyber defense measures—for instance, VPN use, strong passwords, multifactor authentication, shunning public WiFi, and proper device use.
Revisit Your Cybersecurity Plan Periodically
At least once a year, review your organization’s cybersecurity plan to ensure there are no significant gaps. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to explore loopholes in programs, networks, and other IT components, coming up with menacing ways to inflict harm and hack through sensitive data. As such, your cybersecurity plan may need to be revised to cope with the risk changes.
Taking a preventative approach in cybersecurity requires an intertwined and multilayered strategy covering all components of an organization’s IT structure. This includes the network, servers, systems, devices, applications, users, and so on. Put, this strategy covers all essential measures that facilitate understanding and minimizing cyber threats across all components. Doing this puts your organization one step ahead of cybercriminals.