Cybersecurity has become a major topic of discussion in the business world. The increased frequency of cyberattacks — combined with a number of well-known breaches over the past few years — has brought attention to the impact a successful attack can have.
Despite growing awareness, many businesses still do not have basic cybersecurity policies in place, putting them at greater risk of data breaches or other types of successful attacks.
These are some of the most important considerations for enterprise cybersecurity. Considering these tips when crafting an enterprise security policy can help managers and leaders build strong cybersecurity defenses.
1. Keep device and software up to date
Outdated firmware and software can contain vulnerabilities that make devices more vulnerable. Keeping these items up-to-date will help ensure they can’t be compromised by hackers taking advantage of vulnerabilities.
This tip is especially important for businesses with multiple Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices. Each of these items is connected to the internet and provides another means of attack for hackers.
IoT security can be much more challenging than securing devices like computers and servers, but the right practices can keep them safe. When setting up a new smart device, IT staff must make sure to change any default usernames or passwords and disable features the business won’t use – like remote access.
Once operational, all devices should be checked regularly to ensure they are running the latest security patch available.
Read more on eSecurity Planet: Leading IoT Security Solutions
2. Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a popular cyber security tool for businesses that requires users to present both a password and another form of proof of their identity when attempting to log in.
Typically, this proof is a code sent to the user’s email address or phone number that they enter after providing their login information. This strategy ensures everyone is who they are – thus reducing the risk that hackers can compromise network accounts.
While MFA is not as powerful as passwordless authentication or a broader access and identity management (IAM) strategy, adding an extra layer to the sign-in process is an effective way to prevent unwanted calls. The network attack is successful if the user’s password is compromised. As a result, many password managers offer MFA as an additional cybersecurity measure.
Discover leading solutions: The best password manager for business
3. Network segment
Limiting users’ access to the corporate network can reduce the impact a compromised account can have. This is called least privileged access, a core security principle that grants employees access to the minimal systems, applications, and information they need to do their jobs.
The principle of least privileged access is at the heart of tools like Privileged Access Management (PAM) software and frameworks like trustless security and microsegmentation. These solutions seek to create visibility around which users have access to which systems and control the type of permissions they have.
This also applies to the different types of devices that may exist on the network. For example, a company might create a network segment for smart devices only, allowing them to connect to the internet but reducing their access to critical or sensitive business information. If one device is compromised, the network segment will prevent impacting other segments.
Read more on eSecurity Planet: Leading micro-segmentation software
4. Provide staff with cybersecurity training
Hackers can often gain access to an organization’s network without confronting the security software that protects the network. Social engineering attacks are a common tactic that criminals use to gain access to business networks.
Phishing attacks have caused a number of well-known breaches, including the successful attack on the COVID-19 cold supply chain in 2020. These attacks often involve persuasive emails hitting trick employees into taking action or providing information. Cybercriminals can then access secure applications or data and launch further attacks.
Training employees on how to detect attacks like phishing emails can help protect your network against these threats. After the initial training, you should run tests or simulations to see which employees are still likely to fall victim to a real phishing attack.
Read more: The rising insider threat
5. Prepare for Mobile and IT Shadows
It has become common for employees to connect their personal mobile phones and tablets to the workplace network. While many employees can be more productive when they can use their own equipment, this can make the system less secure if the right precautions are not taken.
To address IT obfuscation, businesses should implement a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) security policy that specifies what types of personal devices are allowed and how and when they can be accessed. use. This policy must also state the specific requirements for such devices, including how they are secured and how often they are updated.
Implementing and enforcing a strong policy will help reduce the risk that individual devices can pose to the wider network.
Learn more on TechRepublic: Why does your organization need a BYOD policy?
Essential components for a cybersecurity strategy
Cybersecurity is likely to become even more important as hacking becomes more profitable and businesses adopt more sophisticated network technology. Knowing the fundamentals of an effective cybersecurity plan will help business owners and IT leaders prepare for the threats that cybercriminals can pose.
These essential components include endpoint and IoT security tools, a password manager with MFA features, a trustless and micro-segmentation tool, and effective cybersecurity training for employees. and enforce strategic BYOD policy. The exact combination of these tools depends on the unique infrastructure of the organization and the respective needs. Some businesses may need to plan a significant annual investment in advanced cybersecurity tools, but some basic cybersecurity measures rely more on deliberate planning and preparation. target rather than budget.
Continue reading: 8 low-cost ways to improve cybersecurity