Cybersecurity refers to the use of network architecture, software, and other technologies to protect organizations and individuals from cyber attacks. The objective of cybersecurity is to prevent or mitigate harm to – or destruction of – computer networks, applications, devices, and data.
For cybersecurity strategy to succeed, it must continually evolve to keep pace with the shifting strategies and technologies used by hackers. More importantly it requires a multi-pronged effort that includes security management for better monitoring and visibility; cloud protections for all environments; mobile security that follows wherever the business leads; threat prevention and anti-ransomware technology; and security appliances that grow with business needs to current and future cybersecurity needs.
Required, Not Optional
Cyber criminals constantly hone their skills, advancing their tools and tactics. At the same time, the technologies and applications we rely on daily are also changing and sometimes that means ushering in new vulnerabilities. While we can apply patches and updates, use firewalls and anti-malware programs, true cybersecurity requires an evolving, holistic approach—and one that focuses on prevention, not detection.
With a secure infrastructure, you’re not only able to keep your organization out of harm’s way. You’re able to unlock innovation and accelerate business value.
- Boost innovation by ensuring safer collaboration across all environments, including cloud and mobile
- Scale intelligently and securely
- Avoid data breaches and other cyber attacks that can drive down the value or your business—eg, Verizon bought Yahoo at $350 million less than its original price because of its data breaches.
- Cybersecurity on premises does not automatically extend to the cloud or mobile—make sure you’re secure across all platforms
- Complying with regulations doesn’t provide sufficient security—compliance typically means you have only covered the basics
- Mobile cybersecurity should not be taken for granted—mobile attacks are on the rise and mobile device management (MDM) does not go deep enough in providing protection
Beyond having the right technology and infrastructure in place to secure your organization, follow these seven steps to ensure a strong cybersecurity posture.
- Assess your current landscape. Know your weaknesses, where your data and assets are located, which protections you have in place, the effectiveness of your security solutions, and the readiness of your organization to defend.
- Develop a plan. Marshall your resources to define a clear cybersecurity plan that includes policies and access levels, as well as what to do in the event of a breach. Identify the steps for containment and what it will take to address the incident and move forward.
- Simplify security management. Consolidate functions, segments, and environments in one architecture. By doing this, you’re able to build successful operations and smooth coordination of policies across network segments.
- Cover the basics. Apply patches and updates as soon as they become available.
- Use the right technologies. Look for solutions that:
• Investigate any incoming file types Have the highest catch rate
• Identify zero-day threats within and beyond the operating system
• Include deep OS- and CPU-level sandbox capabilities to detect and block malware; and threat extraction to reconstruct incoming documents
• Deliver documents safely, without malware and without delay
• Are multilayered to automatically coordinate among different protections such as advanced threat prevention, security gateway, application control, antivirus, identity awareness, intrusion prevention, and URL filtering
- Defend and train. The most successful cybersecurity strategies rely on five key protections:
• Encryption—Make sure data is only visible to authorized individuals.
• Checks and Balances—Permissions are not one size fits all. Keep access to data limited to a need-to-know basis based on pre-set permissions.
• Education—Help employees understand risky behaviors; which information needs to be safeguarded; and how to avoid falling victim to spearphishing.
• Mobile Separation—Create a barrier between sensitive work and personal data. This makes it easier and quicker to manage your mobile cybersecurity than with multiple devices and policies.
• Training—Make sure your IT team is equipped to understand and recognize emerging trends in cyber crime. Provide drills and exercises to help staff think like hackers so they know how to react and respond during an attack.
- Know how to respond. The more prepared your organization is for a cyber attack, the faster and less costly it will be to contain and clean up. Have a cybersecurity plan ready and if an attack occurs, assess the situation immediately. Take note of all of the details and share that information with all designated people in your overall security plan, including the board.