A How-To Guide for Achieving Threat Protection in Your Business

A How-To Guide for Achieving Threat Protection in Your Business

Threats to businesses today are more pervasive than ever. Cybercriminals are more sophisticated in their attack methods and the huge shift to remote work poses a major threat to organizations. In the first half of 2021 alone, the frequency of ransomware attacks grew by 93% in comparison to the first half of 2020. Additionally, big data breaches for some of the world’s largest organizations are becoming more common. If companies aren’t proactive when it comes to threat protection, cyber crime can be destructive to the organization.

To remain secure in today’s threat landscape, organizations must achieve threat protection within their business.

What is Threat Protection and Why Is it Important?

Threat protection is a set of practices and solutions used as a defense against threats. Organizations set out to achieve threat protection to enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect their business from cyber threats. Cyber threats can include malicious code, bot attacks, phishing, and more. The intent of one of these malicious acts is usually to damage or steal data, or to disrupt the operations of an organization in general.

Threat protection is important because of the frequency of cyberattacks in today’s threat landscape. According to PurpleSec, cybercrime is up 600% due to the pandemic and there is a lack of preparedness across all industries when it comes to cybercrime. Threat protection can combat this uptick in cybercrime and improve your security maturity as an organization.

3 Simple Tips for Achieving Threat Protection

Achieving threat protection may seem like an involved process, but you can break it down into three simple categories: implementing policies, educating the workforce, and investing in right solutions.

1. Implement cybersecurity policies and solutions

Every cybersecurity team should implement specific policies for the organization to address safety concerns. At the same time, businesses should have actionable policies that are understandable and do not limit their ability to operate. If policies are too rigid, people will look for ways to circumvent them creating more challenges. Therefore, solid collaboration between security teams and the business is so important.

While every company is different in the level of security they are looking to achieve, here are a few policies and solutions every business should implement:
  • Password policy - Make sure you implement password policies across the organization. No two passwords should ever be the same and they should always be complex. Use a password manager such as Dashlane to manage and secure your credentials.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) - MFA is an electronic authentication method in which a user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence. MFA can be easily implemented and improves your overall security posture.
  • Bring your own device - All organizations should have policies that outline how mobile devices should be operated and proper ways to connect them. This prevents unwanted sharing and data exfiltration.
  • Internet browsing. As an organization, decide which websites can and cannot be accessed while connected to the company network.
  • Incident response. Having an incident response plan is critical so that you proactively  respond to a cyberattack and not wait until a cyber breach has occurred.
  • Data confidentiality (zero-trust). No one should have access to data they do not use for their job, even your most trusted employee. Zero trust should be implemented for   every user, at every endpoint, and on all devices as an important cybersecurity measure.
  • Business continuity. Business continuity is about advance planning and preparation undertaken to ensure your business can continue with operations in the event of a breach or other disaster. Components of this plan should include how often users are required to backup data, how data is classified within the org, and a plan for how to deal with disaster scenarios (processes, procedures, and activities that help your business continue functioning).
  • Keep up with updates and patching. There should also be policies regarding how your organization plans to keep up with updates and system patching. Furthermore, how your systems operate can change at any time and an update may be needed that you weren’t prepared for. Make sure the cybersecurity team knows how to quickly respond to and update all systems.
  • Vulnerability management. A key policy you should implement within your organization to achieve threat protection is vulnerability management. This is the process of identifying, evaluating, treating, and reporting on security vulnerabilities in systems and the software that runs on them. Regularly reporting on, managing, and remediating security vulnerabilities helps security teams to continuously improve security and reduce organizational risk.
These policies aren’t the end all be all. If you see fit for other cybersecurity policies that will improve enhance your threat protection, don’t hesitate to implement them.

2. Provide cybersecurity education and training to employees

If you aren’t providing education to your employees on how to identify a cyber-attack, you are underprepared. All the best software, solutions, and policies in the world cannot stop an end user from clicking on an unsecure link or falling for a phishing attempt. It’s crucial that organizations make employees who are their last line of defense vigilant and aware of the ramifications on the actions they take.

All employees, at the bare minimum, should understand:
  • How to recognize malicious links
  • How to identify malicious attachments in emails
  • How to identify impersonation attempts
  • How to be browse smartly and avoid infected areas on the web
  • How to handle their responsibilities regarding data confidentiality

Cybersecurity education can take many forms. You can regularly test employees on their knowledge with quizzes or fake phishing attempts. You can also offer training and courses on different cybersecurity topics. At the very least, exchange in dialogue with your employees regularly on the importance of cybersecurity.

3. Invest in the right software and solutions

Cybersecurity policies and continuing education are extremely important, but that doesn’t negate the importance of powerful software and solutions. Sure, cyberattacks can still happen even with great tools. But they decrease the likelihood of a breach occurring by filtering out a lot of the bad traffic trying to infiltrate your network.

Companies should look at what they already own that can help solve security issues and only purchase add-on products that are necessary and further value to the organization. To give an example—often, companies will own a data loss prevention (DLP) solution or some other threat protection and detection solution. On top of that, they will also purchase a 3rd party solution. Various security tools that have successfully helped organizations manage risk include DLP solutions, security information and event management (SIEM) tools, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and more. These tools, along with the right policies and education in place for your employees, can help secure your environment and keep cyber threats at bay.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud strengthens the security posture of your cloud resources. It protects workloads running in Azure, hybrid, and other cloud platforms. With so many organizations moving to the cloud, this is a great tool to implement when trying to improve your security posture and achieve threat protection.

How close is your organization to achieving threat protection? It’s hard to understand your level of security maturity if you’ve never closely evaluated it before. BDO Digital can help. To get started, sign up for a 30-minute security and compliance consultation with one of our security specialists.