Learn how to safeguard your business from the ever-growing cyber threats with this guide to cybersecurity essentials. Understand common cyber threats, how to assess your vulnerabilities, and build a strong security framework. Protect your business today and foster a culture of cybersecurity among your employees.
For businesses, cybersecurity has become an indispensable aspect of survival and success. Cyber threats have put companies of all sizes at risk, making it crucial for organizations to prioritize their defensive strategies.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, businesses must stay vigilant and well-informed to fend off potential attacks effectively. For this article, we spoke with TechQuarters, one of many London IT support companies that have assisted businesses in improving their cybersecurity posture. With their insight, we wrote this guide for identifying cybersecurity threats, and the best practices and solutions to mitigate those threats.
Understanding Cybersecurity Threats
In order to protect themselves, businesses should be well aware of the types of threats and risks they might be exposed to. Below are some of the most common cybersecurity threats out there:
- Malware– Any type of software that is designed for malicious purposes (Malicious + Software = Malware). These range from viruses and worms, to trojans, keyloggers, ransomware, etc.
- Phishing Attacks– Many malicious actors use social engineering in an attempt to trick users into giving up sensitive information, or else visiting sites, or downloading software that can steal information.
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks– This type of attack uses web traffic to overwhelm systems, causing them to fail, and allowing malicious actors to gain access to the system.
- Insider Threats– Any activity happening within an organisation that can impact security is an insider threat. This includes anything from simple user error, to purposeful data leaks.
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)– An ATP is where a malicious actor establishing ongoing, undetected access to a system.
Assessing Your Business’s Cybersecurity
Another important aspect of improving your cybersecurity posture is assessing your organisation’s current cybersecurity posture. We asked TechQuarters what measures an organisation can do to gauge their level of cybersecurity:
- Identifying Critical Assets and Data– Firstly, an organisation must know what assets and data they have that might become a target for hackers. All companies have customer and employee PPI, financial information, intellectual property, etc.
- Identifying Cyber Threats– Organisations should also have a clear understanding of the landscape of risks that businesses are exposed to.
- Identify Vulnerabilities– As well as general cyber risks, organisations should also know about the vulnerabilities that are specific to their infrastructure.
- Analyse Existing Controls– Assess that controls that your organisation already has in place, and compare them with proposed new controls to see how effective they are.
- Assess Likelihood of Risks– Once an organisation has a clear idea of the risks they themselves are exposed to, they should run scenarios to see how likely each risk is, as a means of prioritizing actions.
Building a Strong Cybersecurity Framework
The cybersecurity assessment will make the pathway to building a sufficient cybersecurity framework much clearer. A good cybersecurity framework should include the following:
- Implementing Strong Password Policies – Setting out guidelines for strong passwords, such as minimum length and character complexity, can help ensure accounts are well-protected.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – Setting up MFA adds another layer of protection to accounts, on top of strong passwords.
- Software Patches and Updates – As a Microsoft 365 consultant, TechQuarters pointed out that SaaS solutions like M365 supports automated patching and updates.
- Data Backups and Disaster Recovery – The more frequently an organisation can back up their data, and harder it will be to lose large amount of data in a breach.
- Network Security– I.e. Firewalls, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) Systems.
Maintaining Cybersecurity in an Evolving Landscape
In the ever-changing realm of cybersecurity, knowledge is power. The methods and techniques employed by malicious actors are continuously evolving, therefore it is very important for businesses to remain vigilant.
In the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between cyber attackers and defenders, leveraging emerging technologies can provide a significant advantage in bolstering cybersecurity defences. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data analytics have all emerged as powerful tools in the fight against cyber threats.