In an increasingly interconnected world, where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, the importance of safeguarding our digital presence has become paramount. Cybersecurity is no longer a concern solely reserved for tech experts or large corporations. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to minimise our cyber risk and protect ourselves in the digital realm.
- Vulnerability Scanning – By conducting regular vulnerability scans, you can limit cyber risk. Vulnerability scanning involves the automated process of scanning your systems, networks, and applications to identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
- Penetration testing – Also known as ethical hacking, involves authorised and controlled simulated cyber-attacks to identify and test security weaknesses in your systems that could be exploited by malicious operators.
- Data audits to establish locations of IP and PII – Data audits to establish the locations of IP (Intellectual Property) and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and play a crucial role in limiting cyber risk by providing insights into data storage, access controls, and potential vulnerabilities. They also help with GDPR compliance.
- Impact / Risk assessments – Risk assessments limit cyber risk by providing organisations with insights into potential vulnerabilities, threats, and their associated impacts, enabling organisations to take a proactive and risk-based approach to cyber security. Regularly reassess and update your security measures to adapt to evolving threats and technologies. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritise the protection of your digital assets and personal information.
- User Access Controls – Limit the use of administrative level accounts, make sure users only have access to the data and systems they need to do their job, ensure that leaver accounts are closed promptly, limit remote access, and regularly audit live accounts.
- Firewalls – Firewalls play an essential roles in limiting your cyber risk by protecting your network and devices from unauthorised access and malicious activities. By acting as a gatekeeper that monitors and controls incoming/outgoing network traffic. Your physical infrastructure should be protected by a boundary firewall. Your servers and computers should have software firewalls installed to provide an additional layer of defence especially when away from the office.
- Malware Protection – Use a reliable security solution and keep it updated. This helps protect your devices against malicious software. It’s fundamental to ensure malware protection is installed on all business devices and that users cannot remove or change settings.
- Email protection – Emails protection is a multi-layered approach.
– USE a scanning and filtering solution that helps identify and block malicious or suspicious emails before they reach recipients and by extension your IT infrastructure.
– Implement DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), SPF (SENDER POLICY FRAMEWORK) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) to help ensure the integrity and reputation of your email domains.
– Train users to exercise caution when opening email attachments and how to identify phishing emails or suspicious links.
- Network Segregation – Network segmentation, such as VLANs and Wireless segregation, ensures devices can only communicate with what they need to allows for greater network management and can improve performance. Guests and personal devices should never be allowed on the same network as your corporate devices.
- Strong Unique Passwords – Using a strong, unique password for different accounts protects against password guessing and limits your risk should one account become compromised. Using three random words, separated by special characters with a couple of numbers thrown in are considered pretty secure, as long as they are more then 12 characters long! Avoid reusing the same password and don’t include easily obtainable information such as significant places, names or dates. Where available, protect accounts and systems with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), to add an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.
- Awareness Training – Train your users to become your human firewall by making them aware of common online threats and how to identify them and implementing phishing tests to provide awareness and identify risk.
- Monitoring and Auditing – Monitoring is proactive, meaning it is constantly attempting to identify potential issues in real time before they create major challenges. Whereas, auditing is reactive, which means it searches for the ‘how’ when a major challenge occurs and helps with investigating and resolving these incidents.
- Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) – Endpoint Detection and Response provides organisations with enhanced visibility, detection, and response capabilities at the endpoint level, helping to provide a defence-in-depth strategy and enable effective incident response and remediation.
- SIEM – SIEM (security information and event management) helps you recognise possible security threats and vulnerabilities in a system before they get the chance to become a larger problem that will disrupt your business.
- Processes and Policies – Processes and policies are integral to limiting cyber risk by establishing a framework for secure and responsible practices within an organisation.
- Incident Response Planning – Incident response planning focuses on the immediate actions that you must take to address and mitigate a cyber-security incident. Sometimes it may not even be a cyber-security incident but rather someone simply emailing confidential information to the wrong person.
- Simulation Exercises – Simulation exercises are run in a controlled environment and are designed to test the preparedness, response capabilities, and resilience of organisations in dealing with cyber threats.
- ISO 27001 – ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised standard for information security management systems (ISMS). Which improves cybersecurity by promoting a systematic and risk-based approach to information security management.
- Disaster recovery (DR) planning involves the processes and procedures required to restore your critical IT systems and operations after a major disruption.
- Business continuity planning (BCP) focuses on the ability to maintain or restore all your business functions during and after a significant disruption, which can be caused by various incidents.
- Backups provide an essential layer of protection that helps mitigate against and recover from data loss, system disruptions, and various cyber threats.
- Combining DR, BCP and Backups help limit cyber risk by ensuring the resilience of your organisation’s operations and data in the face of cyber incidents or other disruptive events. Note: BCP and DR should never focus solely on information technology.
How can Matrix help reduce your cyber risk?
Our Cyber Security services proactively protect your IT network, business information and employees. We help prevent and mitigate threats and protect your systems against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Matrix IT have created three security packages to help secure your IT systems and more, email us today or call us on 01329 888444 to discuss your requirements.