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6 Most Effective Cybersecurity Prevention Measures You Need To Know

effective cybersecurity prevention measures
Cyber Security / Data Security / General

6 Most Effective Cybersecurity Prevention Measures You Need To Know

Cybersecurity is a big topic today which means every organization must install in place effective cybersecurity prevention measures to keep themselves safe and ready.

Every day, thousands of small and large enterprises lose critical data to cybercriminals. Some even lose money through ransomware attacks.

Indeed, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the number of reported cyber breaches increased 300% in the past year.

The report also says that the types of threats have changed, with the criminals now using extremely sophisticated techniques that allow them to reach high-level targets while evading detection.

Some cybercriminals have even moved their operations to the cloud, allowing them to pose as legitimate service providers.

6 Effective Cybersecurity Prevention Measures Organizations Should Consider Today

These trends are evidence of an increased need to invest more in cybersecurity solutions. Otherwise, organizations are at risk of falling prey to ever-evolving attacks.

Conduct a risk assessment to determine vulnerabilities

The first on the list of effective cybersecurity prevention measures is a risk assessment task. Your first step is to understand whether you’re exposed and the level of your exposure. The best way to do this is to conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment to uncover potential gaps in your security controls.

A risk assessment offers insight into organizational assets that cybercriminals may target and loopholes that they may use to penetrate the identified assets.

The assessment will also identify the most likely cyber risks. Cyber risks aren’t the same thing as vulnerabilities.

Whereas vulnerabilities are weaknesses that hackers and other cybercriminals may exploit to penetrate your computer systems, cyber risks are ways hackers may exploit your systems. Common cyber risks are phishing, data leaks, ransomware, insider attacks, and malware.

A risk assessment will give you a clear picture of your cybersecurity status as well as the security level of your third-party partners.

Establish network access controls

Once you’ve assessed your assets and determine your risk level, the next step is to limit access to high-priority areas. Why? Because the most important step in securing your business is to protect the most valuable assets.

You want to make sure that these assets are only accessible to people you fully trust. Additionally, you want to make sure that if there’s a breach, the innermost assets are the least at risk. You can only achieve this through access control.

Fortunately, security experts have developed reliable access control solutions to help organizations limit access based on needs.

For instance, zero trust systems assess trust provide user access privileges on an as-needed basis, depending on each user’s specific job function.

This helps to minimize the likelihood and impact of threats or attacks that may result from employee negligence.

It also protects the organization from attacks that may result from lack of awareness.

Verify vendor and third-party compliance

Besides ensuring access control, another very effective cybersecurity prevention measure is ensuring third-party compliance.

All organizations do business with other businesses in one way or the other. If your partner businesses aren’t fully compliant with existing cybersecurity laws and regulations, then it doesn’t matter the security solutions you’ve installed – you’re at a high risk of attack.

The easiest way to ensure third-party compliance is by checking their cybersecurity policy. What are their priorities?

For instance, the best organizations comply with the US National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) and Center for Internet Security (CIS) Critical Security Controls regulations.

Other notable cybersecurity frameworks that you want to check for before doing business with any organization are COBIT, HIPAA, and the EU GDPR.

If the organization doesn’t comply with at least one of these standards, they’ll likely expose you to grave risk.

Conduct employee cybersecurity awareness training

Another positive move when thinking about effective cybersecurity prevention measures is to conduct employee security awareness campaigns.

Research shows that employees are the weakest link in the data security chain in organizational setups. Your employees will open suspicious emails without blinking and download attachments without thinking twice.

They may also share their personal computers, which they also use in the office, with friends and family. All these expose the organization to great risk.

The only way to fix this challenge is through regular awareness training. You need to train them on a wide range of topics that touch on data security.

For instance, make sure they understand the need to use strong passwords.

You may even want to show them how to create strong passwords. Also, train them to check links before opening them and to desist from opening suspicious emails.

Other important topics when training your staff include the risk of using unknown Wi-Fi, ways to protect their personal accounts, and best practices for using personal devices at work.

Install antivirus/firewalls and keep the system updated

Antiviruses and firewalls may not stop all hacking attempts and malware attacks. However, they often keep out over 90% of threats.

Antivirus programs are designed to continuously scan your systems and software for malware and other threats and kill any threats instantly and move them to a sandbox your review.

The majority are also designed to report flag malicious emails and links. This can be very helpful in fighting threats.

Meanwhile, firewalls serve as a buffer between your computer systems and the outside world. They give your organization greater control over incoming and outgoing traffic, making it a lot easier to keep threats at bay.

Above all, make sure the antivirus programs, firewalls, and all your other software programs are up-to-date.

As we’ve mentioned, threats mutate every second. Thus, an out-of-date software program can offer smooth entry for new malware and other cyber threats.

Develop an incidence response plan

Although prevention is the best cure, every cybersecurity strategy worth its salt never will miss an incidence response plan.

Why? Because attacks happen even to the most prepared organizations. For example, we saw Yahoo attacked in 2013 where more than three billion accounts were compromised.

More recently, we also saw Alibaba attacked, with 1.1 billion pieces of user data compromised.

Would you say that these companies weren’t well secured? Would you say they dint have antiviruses or firewalls?

Of course, they did. But hackers still find a way to penetrate their systems, anyway.

To this end, you need a response plan. What if we’re hacked? How do we respond? A good incidence response plan limits lost productivity and minimize negative publicity.

It also requires decisive action to restore stakeholder trust.

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Online security is very important for any organization. Hopefully, you now know effective cybersecurity prevention measures to help you stay out of trouble.

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