We delved into the common causes and techniques behind cyberattacks in our previous post, and offered insights on how to safeguard your remote workforce from such threats. We trust that this guidance will serve you well, as you chart a course towards comprehensive cybersecurity measures for your enterprise.
This piece aims to present a plan of action for creating your bespoke strategy to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
We advise taking into account the range of technological options available, recognizing that the optimal approach will vary from one business to another.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions or clarifications you may require.
Constructing a robust network and key considerations to incorporate into your plan.
It’s critical that your enterprise’s information security plan is harmonized with the risk evaluation checklist that we previously discussed, highlighting the need for your team to carefully assess the potential hazards posed to your company and take necessary steps towards safeguarding your data.
The next items merit further attention:
As per the Cost of a Data Breach Study by IBM and Ponemon Institute, criminal actions caused 48% of data breaches, while human error accounted for 27%, with the remaining 25% caused by technical malfunctions. These figures underscore the significance of preparing your company with the vital measures to guard itself against any form of security menace.
Moreover, your approach towards shielding sensitive information ought to encompass:
- Preventing cyberattacks and data leaks through your strategy
- Precautions – monitoring distributed systems for early detection (if possible) of attacks.
- Responding to threats – the steps you’ll take to rectify your computer networks following an attack
To guarantee your virtual team’s prosperity, it’s vital to regard the requirements of your remote staff. Before establishing such a team, it’s recommended that you conduct a thorough examination of the hazards linked with this approach and ascertain if any supplementary assistance or resources are required.
The Phases of Data Protection
Security Measures for Your Enterprise
The significance of enforcing proactive measures in cyber security cannot be overstated. Similar to how a bank employs armed guards, these measures are crucial in obstructing and forestalling cybercrime. As the proverbial saying goes, ‘the best defense is a good offense,’ and this holds particularly true in safeguarding your enterprise against nefarious online attackers. Consequently, it’s imperative to not overlook preventative measures.
Divide Your Data into Segments
It’s crucial to acknowledge that not all data stored in distributed systems has equal significance. It’s advisable to organise information into different levels, with the most critical data on the highest tier. This would help lower costs and save space. Once the data is classified, it becomes easier to determine the essential security level for each tier.
- The clearance required to access this highly classified information is equivalent to that of a secret agent. Law necessitates that one should be prepared to undertake substantial risks to safeguard it, including information pertaining to your 11-herbs-and-spices formula, data relating to your clients and workforce, and any other private information that you may possess.
- It’s imperative to ensure that any sensitive or confidential data is only divulged to individuals who require legitimate access to it. Appropriate users must have access from the project’s commencement and should be revoked once they’re no longer involved. Most of your distributed workforce ought to be included in this group.
- Publicly accessible content that can be modified by anyone, akin to erroneous data on a Wikipedia page.
Subsequent to organising your data in this manner, you’ll have a greater understanding of who should be granted access to what, and which security measures to implement to safeguard it.
Precautionary Measures for Data Security
You may take two fundamental precautionary measures to protect your data:
Codes to Protect Data:Ciphertext is the outcome of an encryption process that renders data illegible without a corresponding decryption key. In a distributed workforce setup, this method is advantageous for two main reasons. Firstly, plaintext use is not advisable as it can be easily intercepted and accessed by others. Secondly, encryption is one of the most secure technologies available, making it a dependable and sturdy option.
Data Concealment:Masking technology is used to substitute actual values with data that is structurally similar but not accurate, thus ensuring that true values are kept confidential. When a system is in the process of being trained, tested, taught or executed, it may be useful to allow both onsite and remote staff access to information. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to ensure that they don’t have visibility to real data.
Tools to Safeguard Your Distributed Workforce from Cyber Threats
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are frequently employed by telecommuters to enable secure networking and data transmission. These networks are equipped with encrypted connections and protected data tunnels, as well as allowing users to alter their IP address for enhanced anonymity and security. It’s worth noting, however, that not all VPNs have identical characteristics. For instance, the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) doesn’t employ encryption. As a result, it’s advisable to choose a VPN provider that offers encryption protocols like Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS), or Secure Shell (SSH).
- Cloud-based software mandates the use of passwords for access, and the information contained herein is secured even if a device is lost or stolen because the data is not stored electronically. Additionally, these platforms permit users to restrict access depending on the data’s label, so it’s vital to choose a trustworthy cloud service. There is no requirement to pay more if the application offers a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.
- The adoption of a firewall is crucial to secure data when individuals from diverse locations access and transfer information on your system. Firewalls serve as a checkpoint, offering a layer of protection to deter malicious or unauthorised access.
- Blockchain technology is well-regarded for its exceptional level of security, making it an excellent option for safeguarding vital data in a distributed setting. The technology’s distributed, encrypted, and validated blocks can be utilised in either public or private modes. Currently, only a handful of blockchain-based data security providers, such as When The Guards Are On Duty, are available.
- If your business conducts the majority of its operations online, such as engaging with clientele, conducting negotiations, or agreeing on pricing, a Virtual Data Room (VDR) is an indispensable tool. It wouldn’t surprise me if MI6 used VDRs to communicate with their personnel.
- For distributed workers, biometric authentication is a priceless tool that offers a secure method of verifying user identities in various environments. By necessitating biometric authentication, organisations can ascertain that only authorised personnel can access their centralised systems, thereby furnishing an additional layer of security. Additionally, biometric authentication can aid in overseeing any machines that endeavour to access the network, providing a useful means of maintaining network security.
- For organisations of any size, it’s imperative to invest in technologies that protect information. Encryption, data protection, tokenisation, and data masking are all services that can be employed to guarantee the security of sensitive data. It’s vital to guarantee that the chosen solution can safeguard data, even after it has left internal systems and is accessible via external sources, such as mobile devices and email.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) provides you with the capability to observe, regulate, and protect the mobile devices used by your distributed workforce. Additionally, you can also use the ability to remotely remove data from any lost or stolen device, which proves to be an incredibly advantageous feature.
Small to medium-sized enterprises need not spend a fortune on costly technology to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Nonetheless, businesses must devote enough time to identify solutions that are well-suited for their organisation and the everyday work processes of their distributed workforce to ensure they can safeguard themselves from any impending threats.
Instead of relying on a solitary approach, it’s advisable to diversify your security measures. Employing a variety of methods provides a more comprehensive defence and instills greater peace of mind. For instance, when scrutinising Remote Administration Systems, ensure that you search for solutions that provide complete data encryption.
For cybersecurity, your organisation necessitates both preventative and corrective measures.
Investigative security techniques safeguard your distributed systems akin to how a border patrol secures the country.
If a hack or data breach occurs, it’s feasible to decrease the impact of the incident through the incorporation of ‘reactive measures,’ which are akin to swift response from medical teams. By taking such steps, organisations can move quickly to lessen the damage.
Security Types for the Informational Response Stage
At this juncture in your strategy for remote cybersecurity, you can safeguard data by two means:
Eliminating information – Data erasure guarantees the complete removal of any data saved on a device in case it’s lost or under unauthorised access. It’s sometimes used to describe the process of securely removing outdated data from systems such as hard drives or digital assets that may contain data related to finished projects, obsolete suppliers, or lost clients.
Data durability – To guarantee business continuity in the event of a disaster, it’s crucial to establish a secure backup of your data. This will enable you to quickly return to a stable operational state and keep running your business as usual.
Technologies for Cybersecurity and Incident Response
Cisco discovered that it takes firms about 100-200 days on average to detect a cyberattack, which worsens the already dire situation.
This is the reason why it’s imperative to monitor your systems. Here are some precautionary steps to take in case of an attack:
Sandboxing– You can enhance security by confining only the necessary programs from the rest of your system.
Anti-bot– To prevent threats securely, this method can distinguish between human and bot activity or traffic.
Synonyms: Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence– When Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL) are embedded into your systems, they can understand typical user behaviours and detect atypical activities. This can save you time by allowing them to determine if a potential threat is authentic and requires more investigation.
Backup, Information Technology Risk, and Disaster Recovery as a Service– To ensure the security of your data and applications, it’s vital that all these technologies work in unison to help you regain access to your information. The data stored on your systems is securely backed up, and the IT system is designed to be resilient to damage. In case of a disaster, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is at your disposal to help you promptly restore your system, including physically transferring recovery discs to an alternative location. When selecting a DRaaS provider, it’s important to consider features such as cloud-based storage, quick service level agreement (SLA) with minimal spin-up time, and WAN optimization (WANO) for swift data transmission.
Approaches to Combat Cyber Attacks
Formulating a comprehensive strategy for cybersecurity should include preparations for a possible cyber attack. The SANS Institute has outlined six essential guidelines for this purpose:
- Preparation entails coaching your staff on what actions to take.
- The initial stage involves evaluating whether the incident poses a significant threat.
- Implementing steps to curtail an outbreak, or segregating impacted systems to minimize harm.
- Eradicating involves detecting the root cause of the problem and removing it.
- The procedure of reinstating operational condition to damaged infrastructure is known as “recovery.”
- For future purposes, lessons refer to the study and documentation of an incident.
We’ve compiled a few of the top companies offering crisis response services for you to explore.
Regulations for Information Security
The growing incidence of cyberattacks and data breaches underlines the significance of adhering to globally recognized data security benchmarks. Disregarding them could result in severe consequences, such as financial penalties, legal action, and possible irreversible harm to one’s image.
If your company manages information that incorporates personally identifiable details, then you are regarded as a data processor. This position entails a diverse range of duties and obligations that you are obligated to comply with.
Compliance with several international security protocols is crucial to guarantee the highest level of data protection. These benchmarks comprise the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Standard of Good Practice (SoGP), ISO/IEC 27001, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. It is vital to conform with all of these standards to optimize data security.
Learn which of these security regulations apply to your company and what they involve by referring to this article.
The 9 most vital takeaways from cyber warfare in the current, distributed workplace.
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in cyberattacks and data breaches. To safeguard your company and remote workforce against cyber criminals, it is critical to take fundamental precautions. Based on insights from both this and our prior articles, below are our most significant recommendations concerning data security:
- Cyberattacks target small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular.
- Most security breaches occur due to companies neglecting elementary security measures.
- The weakest links in data security are personnel devices and emails from unknown senders.
- Devising and executing a cyber protection plan that includes prevention, identification, and response.
- One approach to enhance security is to opt for applications that feature their own integrated encryption.
- For optimal safety, biometrics should be utilized in combination with digital locks.
- Currently, the most secure choices are those that employ encryption and cloud technology.
- Choose security providers who can satisfy your requirements and uphold their service level agreements.
- Employ data security experts if your company lacks the capacity to avert breaches.
If you require assistance in identifying the appropriate personnel to manage your data, you may refer to our guide or contact us by phone.