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How to Take a Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity

Each year, the volume of cybersecurity threats continues to steadily climb, with more than one billion malware programs out there and approximately 560,000 new pieces of malware being detected each day. All the while, regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are constantly evolving. This means even the most minor of security breaches can be incredibly devastating for your organization, leading to negative publicity, hefty fines and a loss of confidence in your brand.  

At Sentry IT Solutions, we can help you implement a proactive approach to cybersecurity that sees your business is protected on all fronts in a dynamic, complex and ever-evolving threat landscape. This means understanding your organization, including its systems, applications and user base, identifying where vulnerabilities lie and addressing security risks before an attack ever occurs. This article will delve into how to do just that with a dedicated technology partner by your side.  

Identify and Evaluate Risks for Assets That Could Be Affected by Cyberattacks 

A proactive approach to cybersecurity is all about understanding, managing and mitigating risk to your company’s critical assets. The easiest way to accomplish this mission and ensure any shortfalls in your IT infrastructure are properly addressed is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Here are a few basic steps to ensure a smooth risk assessment within your organization:  

  1. Identify and Prioritize Assets: Here is where you will determine the scope of the assessment and decide which valuable assets attackers may wish to target.  
  2. Identify Threats: A cyberthreat is anything that could cause harm to your organization, such as hardware failure, natural disasters, human error and more.  
  3. Identify Vulnerabilities: This is where you’ll identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited to breach security and cause harm or steal data from your organization. 
  4. Analyze Controls: These are any controls that are in place to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of a cyberthreat. They should be classified as either preventative or detective. 
  5. Calculate the Likelihood of an Attack: At this point, you can determine the likelihood of a given attack considering the current control environment your organization has in place. 
  6. Develop a Risk Assessment Report: Finally, you can develop a risk management report that supports management in decision-making on cybersecurity budget, policies and procedures.  

Invest in Preventative Cybersecurity Measures 

Just like there is not one security product that can completely encompass all your organization’s vulnerabilities, there is not a single cybersecurity policy that can sufficiently address all the needs of your business. Instead, it’s time to invest in a multi-layered, integrated cybersecurity strategy that covers many core areas of cybersecurity, including network security, cloud security, application security, Internet of Things (IoT) security and more. To lay the foundation for a solid cybersecurity strategy, it’s important to do the following: 

  • Understand the risks your organization faces on a daily basis 
  • Establish protective monitoring to detect and mitigate these threats 
  • Prepare secure data backups that keep your business up and running in the event of an attack 
  • Revisit your cybersecurity strategy as your organization changes and evolves over time 

Never Underestimate the Power of Cybersecurity Training 

A proactive approach to cybersecurity begins with awareness. While lack of proper training can leave employees more than vulnerable to releasing cyberattacks on to your organization, diverting resources into proper cybersecurity training could very well mean the difference between the success and failure of your business. The responsibility always lies on the employer to ensure that your employees have the knowledge they need to make the right decisions and where to turn if they have any questions related to cybersecurity. To prioritize cybersecurity training for your employees, we recommend getting executive buy-in, start training early and often and making the security health of your organization an ongoing, team effort. 

Stop Relying on Reactive Cybersecurity Measures Alone to Protect Your Business 

If your company’s current cybersecurity strategy is limited to firewalls, antivirus or anti-malware software, ad blockers and other measures put in place to spot the tell-tale signs of a security breach, there’s a good chance that you already have a reactive cybersecurity strategy in place. Unfortunately, reactive cybersecurity measures on their own are not enough to comprise a strong cybersecurity defense. You need to have a combination of both proactive and reactive measures in order to actively prevent data breaches and mitigate cyberthreats. For more cybersecurity solutions, include cloud security services, contact the experts at Sentry IT Solutions.