At its current rate of disruption, cyber-attacks are slated to cause $6 trillion in damage globally by the year 2021.* Businesses, employees, and customers alike—financial costs from cyber-crimes negatively affect all involuntary participants at the receiving end of an attack. And while it’s true that no organization is completely free from risk of being attacked, businesses can prepare themselves for the worst by being proactive with cyber defense.
Create Company Policies
An easy way to prepare for a cyber-attack is to create policies and procedures for employees to follow when they handle and store data. Policies and procedures should cover all areas of any data a business collects and stores as part of its normal operations. That includes customer names and addresses, credit card information, social security numbers, medical history, and any other type of personally identifiable information (PII) as appropriate. It can be helpful to partner with a cybersecurity provider to draft an enterprise-wide policy.
Layer Security Protocols
Security tools work best in layers. Using varied types of both hardware and software to protect a network is better than using just one or the other. Firewalls, data encryption and access control are just a few tools that can provide great security within a network infrastructure when implemented together. It can often help to work with a Managed Security Services Provider to pick the proper tools for a given network and to ensure they will be used correctly.
Conduct Security Risk Assessments
Full assessments provide visibility into gaps in a business’s cybersecurity practices, both policy-wise and network-wise. Identifying existing gaps allows businesses the opportunity to correctly address them prior to internal or external sources exploiting them at a later date.
Actively Monitor for Threats
While routine security assessments reveal gaps in cybersecurity, they are only as informative as the time that they are conducted. In other words, their usefulness expires as soon as they are run and addressed. Active monitoring through practices such as vulnerability scanning and advanced endpoint threat detection protects networks against cyber-attacks in real time. Real-time monitoring means active, ongoing security that can identify and intercept threats before they have the opportunity to become a full-fledged attack.
Create an Incident Response Plan
No matter how secure an organization may be, there is always a chance that it will still experience a cyber-attack. Drafting a full IRP with clear instructions on how to proceed in the event of an attack or data breach gives businesses the upper hand in the event that one does occur. This plan should contain roles, responsibilities and actions to be taken along with specific timelines and operating procedures.
Want to ensure your organization is being as proactive as possible to defend itself against cyber-attacks? Request an assessment from Dunbar Cybersecurity and get started today.