Updated: Feb 17
Do you have proper cybersecurity measures in place?
Is your organization’s sensitive data secure from cyber-attacks? No doubt, today, companies are at a higher risk of cyber-attacks seeing the rapid evolution of cloud platforms, AI, and IoT. Be it healthcare institutes, federal agencies, law firms, businesses, or educational organizations- every entity is prone to cyber-attacks. Hackers are always looking for loopholes to deploy ransomware/malware or to breach data. This is why it is a must for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard sensitive customer data and mitigate risks.
Here’s how you can turn cybersecurity risks into best security practices:
Why do you need the Best Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity challenges should be considered as a driving element to take precautionary measures to steer clear of cyber threats. In this rapidly evolving digital era, hackers and attackers are getting smarter and seeking different ways to exploit your privacy. Each day we see rising phishing cases, ransomware, data breaches, vulnerability exploits, malware, IoT-based attacks, and so on.
Today, most businesses are switching to cloud infrastructure, which makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Take Easy Jet’s example, where intruders had access to early 9 million passengers’ travel information. Another big example is the attack on a renowned law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, through REvil ransomware. The hackers have stolen sensitive information, including email IDs, phone numbers, contracts, etc., of popular celebrities.
With cyber-attacks, firms lose their brand reputation and customer loyalty and face huge monetary loss to the point they might go down permanently. SMEs might not even be able to compensate for the loss with cash in case of debt. And that’s why organizations need to invest in robust cybersecurity measures.
Best Cyber Security Measures in 2020
1. Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Prevention
Though hackers today use AI to exploit private information, organizations can use the same AI to mitigate cyber-attacks. Biometric login is a good example of the execution of AI. It ensures faster authentication, thorough employee monitoring, and secure access to company assets.
Artificial Intelligence may analyze and learn the anomalies in behavior patterns over time, which can be used to detect unusual activities. Fingerprint scans, facial recognition, gait analysis, voice recognition, palm biometrics, and behavioral biometrics are all robust solutions to identify whether the recipient is authentic or not.
Here are some of the significant behavioral biometric techniques which can be used by UEBA (User and Entity Behavior Analytics) systems:
Eye Movement Biometrics: It utilizes eye-tracking devices to record employees’ eye movement videos and learn unique patterns.
Mouse dynamics: This system will monitor and keep track of time between mouse clicks, along with style, rhythm, and speed of cursor movement.
Keystroke dynamics: This behavioral biometric will track typing speed and use the tendency of making typing mistakes in specific words to create user behavioral profiles.
A forecast report by MarketsandMarkets shows that the biometrics market is predicted to grow to $41.8 billion by the year 2023.
Seeing this, businesses must get to know various biometric security technologies and employ the one that best suits their business profile.
2. Lack of technical skill and hands-on experience:
A recent study by DCMS revealed that nearly 48% (about 6,53,000) enterprises in the UK are not skilled enough to carry out basic technical tasks such as configuring a firewall, data storage, etc. These basic procedures are standardized by the Govt. Cyber Essentials Scheme. The report also claims that around 30% (4, 08,000) organizations lag behind due to a lack of advanced cybersecurity skills such as forensics, analytics, Penetration Testing, and so on. And, this can significantly expose them to the risks of cybercrime.
Recently in a New York Times report, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by the year 2021, there might be around 3.5 million unfilled jobs in cybersecurity. This indicates that there will be a remarkable lag in skilled cybersecurity experts while there is a consistent rise in cyberattacks. To eliminate this, hands-on experience, technical skillset, and security expertise are of utmost importance today. And, there are only a few institutions that train individuals for Cyber Security practices.
In the year 2020, we’ve seen many attackers easily clone identities to exploit vulnerability, commit fraud, and it only continues to grow. This is why businesses need to invest in training their employees to prevent cyberattacks and employ secure resources to monitor, analyze, and discard threats. If not, then they’re at significant risk of monetary loss.
As per the Ponemon Institute study, on average, the expense of data breach was around $3.92 million in 2019, while the cost per lost record is around $150. For companies to employ best cybersecurity practices, they must prioritize hiring hi-tech resources, thorough cybersecurity training of existing staff, and getting hands-on experience.
3. Securing Cloud Platform
Everything is about IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud platforms, and other such latest technologies in this digital world.
Companies are rapidly migrating their data from legacy systems to cloud platforms, be it hybrid, multi-cloud, or on-premise, to reap maximum benefits from the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of these platforms. But this digital transformation certainly comes with its own bunch of risks!
Moving to the cloud solution requires you to have proper security measures in place to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks.
Cloud service providers make sure to secure their platform with robust technologies, but protecting your organizational data and infrastructure over the cloud is still your responsibility. For that, businesses need to employ modern security tools and techniques viz. Multi-factor authentication, key-based authorization, firewalls, VPN, and so on.
4. Creating hierarchical cybersecurity policy
Writing down a formal cybersecurity policy acts as a comprehensive guide to all cybersecurity measures that your company employs. It helps employees and cybersecurity experts to be on the same page. But sometimes, unnecessary cybersecurity measures disrupt the workflow of departments, as each one of them has a unique way of working.
A centralized security policy may define a company's basic security workflow. Still, to cover every department’s individual workflow, these departments must create their own security policies based on the company's central policy.
Such a hierarchical approach considers the security needs of every department and ensures no workflow is underestimated.
5. Risk-based approach
Each business niche has its unique kind of hidden risks. Thus, regulatory compliance won’t be able to secure your data. Instead of only focusing on complying with standard regulations, companies need to consider all risks they’re facing. Such an in-depth risk assessment will help you:
Identify your valuable assets
Acknowledge the current state of your company’s cybersecurity
Strategize cybersecurity accordingly
Proper risk assessment will save you from remediation costs for data breaches, heavy fines due to compliance failures, and monetary loss from workflows inefficiency.
6. Data Backup
With hefty rise in ransomware, it is only wiser to fully back up organizational data regularly. Companies must make sure their data backup systems are secure, encrypted, and upgraded frequently.
It is also preferable to divide backup tasks amongst departments to prevent insider attacks.
7. IoT Security
Attacks on vulnerable IoT devices are increasing day by day. Hackers can easily use botnets or execute DDoS and ransomware attacks on less secure IoT devices.
A solid IoT security is defined by employing below given security measures:
Carry out ‘Penetration Testing’ to detect real-time risks and strategize security measures accordingly.
Encrypt in-transit data as well as data at rest.
Execute multi-factor authentication to only allow access to trusted connections
Not use default passwords.
Set up firewalls and upgraded routers
Develop scalable security frameworks that support your product/service deployments.
Don’t have too many privileged users to prevent insider threats.
Employ the principle of ‘least privilege’; allow access to new accounts only when needed and revoke privilege when not required.
Use ‘User Activity Monitoring’ solutions to keep an eye on privileged users
Cybersecurity best practices mentioned here will help you protect your organization's data and retain business reputation in the long run. Implementing these practices definitely requires robust cybersecurity solutions consisting of response tools, efficient access control solutions, and excellent monitoring abilities.