Cyber security in 2021 is very important. It is becoming a necessity for businesses to have strong security solutions. Today, it is not a good security approach to use just one security tool. Enterprises pay huge fines or go out of business because of simple system hacks. According to Forbes, cybersecurity is crucial to both small startups and large corporations.
Cyber security is not plug-and-play. It demands investment in various tools alongside a keen focus on training and customization of tools and integration to realize the return on investment.
Since every company is a technology company, the stakes are very high. Technology is no longer a supplement to business operations since, in most cases, digital assets are at the core of business operations.
To help curb security threats, this article highlights five different ways of preventing cyber attacks.
What is Cyber Security?
It is the protection of networked systems such as data, software, and hardware from cyber threats. Both enterprises and individuals rely on this practice to protect computer systems and data centers from unauthorized access.
A robust cybersecurity approach can withstand malicious attacks aimed at accessing, altering, deleting, destroying, or extorting a user’s or organization’s systems and valuable data. Also, cybersecurity is important in thwarting attacks designed to disrupt or disable the operations of a system.
Importance of Cyber Security
The increasing number of programs, devices, and users in modern enterprises, coupled with increased confidential and sensitive data, increases the importance of cyber security.
Also, the growing number and complexity of cyberattack techniques increase the need for robust cyber security.
Approaches to Maintaining Cyber Security
Across all enterprises, maintaining cyber security within a constantly changing threat landscape is a big challenge. Traditional reactive approaches are no longer sufficient. To acclimatize to the evolving security threats, businesses need more proactive and adaptive approaches.
Automating routine security tasks
Today, security automation relies on software-based processes to investigate, detect, and fix threats to systems and applications. It can take place with or without manual input. When used in conjunction with existing security measures, automation assists in establishing incoming cyber threats, prioritizing remediation, and offering actionable information to security teams for faster response.
Security automation is a process that connects tools and solutions for finding and fixing vulnerabilities in software. When development and security teams automate the identification, prioritization, and remediation, they can pay attention to challenging aspects of ensuring the deployed application remains secure.
Since hackers target applications more often, a manual response is usually labor-intensive and slow. However, automating application security provides an easy and repeatable process that ensures the technology environment of a business remains secure. In realizing automated security, the best application security practices recommend relying on various automated tools in each development phase.
Security Processes That can be Automated
Automation can manage the tedious and crucial aspects of a cyber security framework. Below are the five processes that can benefit from security automation.
● Monitoring and detecting threats: Businesses should be able to see all the areas of the IT environment all the time. Security monitoring tools offer such visibility at scale and can monitor any detected threats. Some automation tools are capable of monitoring open-source code in applications during production and notifying security teams when they detect vulnerabilities.
● Investigating threats: After establishing a vulnerability, security automation can discover affected nodes or machines, the level of damage, and the vulnerability exploited. Compared to security teams, security automation accomplishes this forensic task much faster than engineers or developers. For instance, in case of a denial of service (DoS) attack, security automation can establish if it was caused by misuse or an abrupt HTTP flood. The details help establish the necessary remediation or protection.
● Responding to incidents: Security automation provides a quick way of responding to incidents. It helps remove malware, deactivate a service or install upgrades or patches as safeguards against new attacks.
● Permission management: One of the key cyber security tasks involves managing users and permissions. If a system has thousands of users, it is a challenge to do it manually. However, automating the process of provisioning and deprovisioning a user saves a lot of resources and time.
● Application and business continuity: Cyber security automation can rely on IP blocking in case of a brute force attack to avoid damage while allowing other IP addresses. In addition, automation can replicate essential server instances, which helps ensure critical data is always available.
Educating and training users
For any organization serious about maintaining cyber security, employee training will be part of its DNA. Often, data breaches arise from human psychological weaknesses. So, having a good security training curriculum for employees goes a long way in maintaining cyber security and protecting assets and data.
The curriculum should include awareness training targeting employees and developers to carry out coding. Organizations should do such training regularly instead of doing it once per year. Also, conduct simulations such as phishing tests to assist employees in identifying and stopping social engineering attacks. Such training helps employees establish warning signs of a security breach, safe practices, and ways of responding to a suspected attack.
Document security policies
Have a knowledge repository that contains comprehensive software security policies. The security policies let employees such as network administrators and security staff understand the activities taking place and why. However, it is not enough to have policies. Organizations should ensure everybody reads them. Also, it should be part of onboarding new employees.
Segmenting a company network entails applying the principle of least privilege. With appropriate network segmentation, businesses can limit the movement of attackers. It starts by establishing where critical data is stored and using appropriate security controls that limit traffic in and out of such sensitive network segments.
Monitoring user activities
Although organizations trust their employees, they have to verify employees are adhering to the best security practices. Thus, monitoring helps detect suspicious operations like privilege abuse or user impersonation.
Maintaining cyber security aims to ensure an organization’s data remains safe from both external and internal bad actors. It combines the use of technologies, practices, processes, and structures to safeguard data, computers, and software from unauthorized access.
Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of Security Forward which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.