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Combating Cyber Threats Proactive Strategies for Protection

April 9, 2024

By Robin Hau



While cyberattacks are becoming a more serious issue for all organizations, enterprises of a certain scale are particularly vulnerable. On average, enterprises are estimated to spend an average of nearly $3 million per cyber incident.

Unfortunately, it appears that many of the mid-sized businesses are unprepared for such attacks.

Why Enterprises are (Relatively) Easier Targets for Cyberattacks

The bigger picture is that industry experts are convinced that it is easier for threat actors to target multiple organizations with limited or no cybersecurity defenses, than to go after a single large one with advanced measures in place!

Experts suggest that the most common causes of data breaches include:

  • Vulnerabilities in existing applications
  • Social engineering, especially via email
  • Insider threats
  • Security misconfigurations, thus exposing sensitive customer records
  • Malware
  • Weak or stolen credentials

So, where are the biggest gaps that are leaving these organizations so vulnerable to attack?

Minding the Gap(s)

According to industry reports, most organizations understand the importance of implementing a multi-layered cybersecurity architecture.

But, how can an enterprise’s cybersecurity risk be measured?

The Risk Factors

While there is no single, fool-proof method, you can begin your journey of assessing your risk by doing the following:

  • Benchmarking your cybersecurity measures against the industry standards or your competition.
  • Assessing potential risks from third-party vendors and partners.
  • Crunch the numbers on some key metrics to measure and understand the enterprise’s current state and potential vulnerabilities. These can include Mean Time to Identify (MTTI) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), data transfer volume, statistics on user access and the total number of devices in operation.
  • Check for any potential system vulnerabilities across your entire network.
  • Audit, audit, audit! Executing regular cyber risk assessments provide a holistic picture of your digital ecosystem’s health grade.

Rising to the Cybersecurity Challenge

Email security, endpoint protection, network protection and security awareness training are the most commonly used cybersecurity measures in companies. Aside from that, experts highlight a few simple and essential cybersecurity measures that should be considered:

Simple Cybersecurity Best Practices

  • Removing or disabling redundant functionality from systems
  • Beefing up network security with defined policies and architecture
  • Implementing anti-malware tools
  • Controlling and limiting access to all removable media
  • Implementing a virtual private network (VPN) for employees working remotely
Essential Cybersecurity Measures
  • Train employees to choose their passwords wisely.
  • Keep all software and applications updated regularly.
  • Ensure antivirus protection software is able to scan specific files and directories for malware, allows network administrators to schedule scans, removes any malicious code detected and provides the device’s “complete health” status.
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication to add a layer of protection to your data and applications.
  • If required, implement a very controlled Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy, with strict outlines on how device security will be maintained to the company’s standards.
  • Deploy a next-generation firewall for added protective layers, such as application-level inspection and advanced intrusion protection system. It should also offer web filtering, malware detection, URL filtering and even anti-virus.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are a must-have in today’s cyber environment! While some can be classified as intrusion prevention systems, or those that respond to detected intrusion upon discovery, other IDS require an incident responder or analyst to investigate an issue then counter the same – choose the one that is best suited for your environment.
  • Security incident and event management (SIEM) tools combine security event management (SIEM) and security information management (SIM) capabilities. They enable proactive cybersecurity by using log data flows from multiple departments to create a vital, holistic, real-time picture of potential IT threats.
  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics tracks anomalies in a users behavior to identify potential cybersecurity risks. The user data is analyzed through a combination of machine learning, statistical analysis and advanced analytics to try to identify potentially dangerous patterns and irregularities.

A Layered Approach

Net, net, the idea is to implement a layered strategy, which will simplify the process of identifying and protecting every asset at every level of the network. A simple approach is to examine:

  • The perimeter – Are your firewalls and anti-virus software performing optimally?
  • The end-points – Are you adequately prepared for the era of remote working, bring-your-own-devices and the Internet of Things (IoT)? What about sensors or machinery?
  • The internet – Is your workforce adequately guarded against malicious websites and applications?
  • The data – Is your information and data encrypted, where it needs to be?
  • The DR Plan – Is your disaster recovery plan complete, rolled out, and tested?
  • The Employee Factor – Are your employees updated with the latest training and aware of the applicable regulations related to cybersecurity?

Supercharge Your Cybersecurity Strategy!

Cybersecurity is a multi-faceted, seemingly complex maze, wherein, sometimes,it is hard to know if you have really done enough to prepare for the very real risks that exist. At Quatrro, we are here and ready to help. We go beyond the basics to ensure your enterprise is always a step ahead of the evolving threat landscape.

All you need to do is take the first step!

Robin Hau
Written by
Executive Vice President, Managed IT Services

Robin, founder of USWired, a Quatrro Business Support Services subsidiary, boasts 25+ years' experience in IT services. Under his leadership, USWired earned spots on prestigious lists as the Inc. 5000, MSP 501 and CRN MSP 500.

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