Companies of all sizes have been forced to take cybersecurity seriously in the last couple of years. What has changed?
Career-ending data breaches have been rapidly on the rise since the pandemic began. Remote work created a major vulnerability as companies adjusted to cloud computing technologies they haven’t used before.
Since then, organizations have invested a lot of their finances in cybersecurity. They have all the latest software that protects them from likely attacks such as DDoS, phishing, and malware.
Policies and protocols have been written to govern IT teams and ensure that all the tools used for security meet compliance, such as GDPR.
Larger companies have cybersecurity experts in their IT teams to manage the tools that protect organizations from attacks.
However, even with all these tools, people, and policies in place — companies still seem to be vulnerable to attacks.
What are they missing, and how can businesses improve the security posture of their organization?
Validate Your Security Posture to Detect Flaws Early
Installing tools that protect your attack surface (everything that can be hacked and may become a weak spot in your security) may not be enough. It’s also important to make sure that all the protective software you have will defend you in case of a hacking attempt.
How can you find out if your security posture would be strong enough to deflect a cyberattack before you’re breached?
Traditionally, security has been evaluated with penetration testing. Companies would employ cybersecurity experts that would engage in ethical hacking and attack part of your network to reveal how it might hold up during a real attack.
However, annual or even biannual pen testing might not be sufficient for an attack surface that changes within minutes. With every update and login into your system, your organization might get new vulnerable spots.
Nowadays, businesses use the help of automation technology such as Breach and Attack Simulation, which simulates cyberattacks in a safe environment and tests if the tools you have work.
Other software they might use is Purple teaming, which tests people who manage the security.
Automation technology is continually updated and linked to a database of the latest cyberattacks — MITRE ATT&CK Framework – which lists all the latest techniques that cybercriminals have used to target organizations.
Manage Your Security Points Regularly
Proper management of your security posture is one way to ensure that your teams have reduced the number of flaws in your system.
For example, Extended Security Posture Management is a popular tool for security management because it:
Offers a holistic view of the security
Acts as a toolbox with different software that you need for security — with a more complex security posture, managing multiple fragmented tools can be a challenge
Runs 24/7 — discovering any possible weakness early
Allows you a bird’s-eye view of your security
Prevents your IT team from burning out — repetitive tasks are delegated to AI and your teams can focus on more complex and pressing tasks
Therefore, Extended Security Posture facilitates optimization of the security for your IT teams as they assess and close the gaps in the security of your network.
Patch Up Flaws in Your Security
While managing your security, IT teams might find several vulnerable spots in your security. Automated tools that combine machine learning and artificial intelligence might also uncover high-risk flaws in your system.
Mitigation of flaws that are likely to turn into incidents is an important part of strengthening your security. If you discover them early (before hackers do), you can patch up security before vulnerabilities result in expensive and damaging incidents.
Some weaknesses that your IT team discover can often be malware that hasn’t been removed from your system, your organization’s data that is available online (such as leaked credentials), or misconfigurations (errors) in technology such as the cloud.
Introduce Employee Training as Basic Cyber Hygiene
All behind-the-scenes work of your IT team and a multitude of security tools fall flat if the rest of your employees don’t have strong passwords, open emails from unknown senders, or download malware-infected attachments.
Cybercriminals are likely to target workers that lack important cybersecurity basics. For example, email phishing has been one of the most common and effective attacks because it targets the weakest point of the company’s security — untrained employees.
Your teams might be great at what they do, but they might not be tech-savvy or aware of the common cyber threats. Simple training that covers the basics of cyber hygiene can help you avoid damaging cyberattacks.
But how do you know if this training has been successful?
Automated tools such as Breach and Attack Simulation can test your employees by imitating email phishing attacks or other common forms of attacks that might target your teams.
Evaluation will show you if they need more training.
Work Smart, Not Hard, on Your Cybersecurity
The secret of a strong security posture is in its proper management — which has to include detection of potential weaknesses, analysis of your security posture to single out the high-risk threats, and patching up flaws.
That kind of optimization must be regularly repeated to ensure that you’re strengthening the posture based on the changes within the system.
Security is in an endless state of fluctuation, and there is not a perfect or universal system that works for all organizations. New hacking methods and changes within your networks can leave your business vulnerable to a data breach within minutes.
The most you can do for your security posture is to have tools that protect the systems you use for work and the right IT talent that can manage them.
If you’re a company that scales and adds new protection software, it’s also important to simplify the security with tools such as Extended Security Posture Management — which encompasses a variety of tools all in one place.
As your company and security get more complex, it’s important to work smart and have the tools that save your IT teams time and helps them optimize your posture more efficiently.