Protecting Your Company in an Increasingly Threatening Landscape
In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, the security of your average company is facing a horde of challenges. With threats on the rise, it is crucial for businesses to adopt a multi-layered approach to cyber security.
This means integrating a combination of tools, technology, processes, policies, and behaviour changes to safeguard against potential cyber-attacks.
In many ways the challenge is not so different to any other type of security. Arguably, this approach was used as far back as the Middle Ages. More than one element was needed to effectively protect a castle from attackers. The same holds true for companies protecting their data from cyber criminals.
In this article, we will explore the key elements that companies should consider when fortifying their cyber security.
Digital Resilience: Digging the moat and laying the foundations
To protect your company, it is essential to establish a robust cyber resilience strategy and an effective incident response plan. Regularly reviewing security policies and procedures is vital to ensure they align with the ever-changing threat landscape.
Compliance with regulatory requirements is crucial too. It safeguards your business and enables secure working relationships with your supply chain. From the UK government’s Telecommunications (Security) Act (TSA) to the EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act, companies across sectors are facing greater scrutiny of their cyber security.
An assessment of your digital resilience will inevitably form an important part of your cyber insurance application. Insurers will ask about policies, regulations, and procedures as well as the tools that we will come onto below. This will directly impact your premium and any future pay-outs.
End Users: Fortifying the Castle Walls
Your human firewall is your first line of defence.
Recognising that employees are the first line of defence; it is important to prioritise regular and effective security awareness training and testing. You need to educate your workforce on best practices and promote good cyber hygiene. This will empower them to identify and mitigate potential threats.
It’s not enough to simply tell people they need to be careful and expect them to change their behaviour. Your workforce needs more support in the form of ongoing phishing simulations and dedicated training on the elements that catch them out. Phishing and spoofing attacks are one of the most common targets for cyber criminals. As many as 91% of successful data breaches start with a spear phishing attack. It’s clearly a common route in for cyber criminals and investing here is a sure fire way to reduce your risk
Advanced email protection will strengthen this defence.
Implementing advanced email protection that flags risks directly to users in their inbox is like strengthening their armour. Your users get the benefit of simple visual cues that invite them to double check items in their email. These include:
- Has the email come from an authenticated domain?
- have you interacted with this sender before?
- what is in the email (e.g., malicious links)?
With such information your users are better informed about the risk of each email they receive.
Network Detection and Response: the watchtower alerting us to intruders
By leveraging Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), companies gain increased visibility into endpoint activities, allowing for timely threat detection and response. Detecting and removing malware and stopping attacks before they cause harm is key to preventing the downtime, lost revenue, and upset of cyber attacks and this requires effective EDR tools.
Comprehensive threat protection must encompass both EDR and Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions. NDR, focuses on monitoring network traffic, swiftly identifying potential intrusions and minimising the risk of data breaches.
A robust and context-based access mechanism like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) further complements this approach. It is a much safer alternative to traditional Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). With ZTNA in place your users have access to only what they need, when they need it.
Applications: Log ingestion becomes the medieval mystic
We may be stretching our analogy a little now but monitoring logs with an effective Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution, is vital for spotting potential security breaches. An effective SIEM solution will automatically detect threats before attacks occur, triage alerts, and provide insights to enable threat investigations. This allows businesses like yours to stay ahead of threats as they come in.
Companies must also make time for routine tasks like checking for software updates and reviewing outdated technology. By striking a balance between technical expertise and good housekeeping, businesses can minimise vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber-criminals.
In the face of escalating cyber threats, businesses must embrace a multi-layered approach to cyber security. By implementing comprehensive strategies that address governance, end-user education, network protection, application monitoring, and good housekeeping, companies can keep their data and systems as secure as any castle.