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Basic Cyber Security Steps

Business person stepping up a staircasePrioritizing cyber security can seem like a daunting task.  If you break the task down into several manageable steps, it becomes much easier to implement.  Here are some basic steps that any organization can follow to help strengthen their cyber security posture.

Build a risk management strategy

When building a risk management strategy for your organization, don’t forget about security.  It is important to understand the risks, prioritize them, document them and communicate them.  For instance, what would happen if the e-commerce website went down for a few hours?  Or a few days?  Once the company’s risk appetite has been determined, it is important to communicate this information to management and other important stakeholders to raise awareness about how much risk the organization is prepared to tolerate.  From here, the organization can build a sound information security program plan. 

Invest in user awareness and education

This is key, as hackers rely on human nature to get in.  A hacker may try to trick someone into clicking on a bad link by telling them they won a free trip.  Phishing is just one of many tools that hackers use to get in that involve trying to “trick” employees.  Since more than 90% of breaches are caused by phishing,  investing in phishing simulation tools to raise security awareness is an important place to start.  In addition, employees should be made aware of the organizations cyber security policies, and their responsibilities in keeping the organization’s data safe.  Once users are aware that cyber security isn’t just IT’s responsibility, they can help safeguard data.

Vulnerability management strategies to protect IT infrastructure

The best place to start by taking inventory of every network device and user application on your network.  There are many automated tools out there that can do this for you, to help save time.  Once you know what is in your network, you can begin the process of vulnerability management to help schedule maintenance of devices, run patches and updates, and fix any vulnerable applications.  If the process seems onerous, there are MSSPs that can help with vulnerability management process. 

Protect your perimeter

Protecting your perimeter includes deploying firewalls and intrusion detection protection to safeguard your internal network from untrusted external networks. Internal IP addresses and RDP logins need to be secured to prevent any direct connections to your own network. Use monitoring tools to monitor network activity and filter out unwanted content, applications and websites. Regular penetration testing can also help an organization learn where vulnerabilities exist in your network perimeter to help beef up security. 

Malware protection

Incidents of ransomware keep rising, and the ransoms being demanded are also increasing.  In addition to phishing awareness training, having up-to-date malware protection could help keep ransomware from getting to a user’s inbox in the first place.  Ensure malware and anti-virus is up to date to ensure you are protected from the latest threats.

Security policies

As alluded to earlier, policies are important to securing your network.  An informal security policy helps inform users of their responsibilities, along with rules on how the network and devices are to be used, as well as who can access data, and from where.  Policies should also contain provisions to deal with remote work, bring your own device workers, removable devices, cloud, encryption, privileged accounts, and incident reporting.

Have an incident response plan

Your organization has implemented all the above steps.  Despite these efforts, it is still possible for a breach to occur.  You need to have a plan for the worst-case scenario occurring.  Similar to preparing for a fire, you prepare for a breach in the same way.  Run drills to test your plan and escalation procedures. The incident response team must also receive specialized training to ensure they have the skills to address any incidents that may occur. Need help prepare and response plan? Uzado’s Breach Readiness as a Service (BRaas) can help.  Contact us today!

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