In today’s climate, cyber threats continue to increase in number and intensity. Given how the tactics of cybercriminals continue to evolve, further fuelled by the recent pandemic, organisations big and small cannot afford to lag in their planning and preparedness. But at the end of the day, this will always be easier said than done. So how can business leaders be one step ahead of these threat actors or at least keep up with the best cybersecurity practices?
Although there are many ways to bolster a company’s protection against cyberattacks, the first and most important aspect is to determine whether it has a cyber-aware culture. This essentially means that everyone under the company is constantly working to keep its information safe and have their guard up against all kinds of suspicious activity. Cultivating a cyber-aware culture among employees is pivotal since the human element will always remain no matter how advanced one’s security defences may be. And this human factor has proved to be the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain.
To ensure improved preparation, follow these four steps in building and cultivating a cyber-aware culture in your organisation.
1. Develop a plan and periodically review all of its elements prior to a breach
The first line of defence against any kind of criminal cyber activity is ample preparation. If an organisation does not develop its culture of preparation and incident response plan until after an incident occurs, it is already too late. Thus, it is imperative to develop and test these security protocols beforehand. Establishing the best course of action for the organisation includes ensuring everyone knows and understands the protocols in place and their roles and responsibilities in case of breaches or ransomware attacks.
Of course, crafting such an effective incident response plan can hardly be done alone, so it is best to rely on IT outsourcing companies in Singapore to engage services like penetration testing, firewall services, endpoint security, and much more necessary to its development and implementation.
2. Emphasise and invest in training employees about the fundamentals of cybersecurity
Employees or users are a common means by which cybercriminals gain access to an organisation’s systems. One such type of cyber-attack is spear phishing, wherein threat actors specifically target individuals or small groups of individuals through email messages and other channels. They use cues in their messages to make them appear legitimate to the user, typically posing as someone they know, such as a friend or colleague. Once gaining their trust, they will generally prompt users to open a link or attachment containing malware, often with a sense of urgency.
Training employees to spot such fakes is the best way to prevent these simple yet devastating attacks. This involves informing them about certain guidelines like what to look for and how to proceed with unusual messages, as well as guidelines pertaining to whom they should inform about such situations. Lastly, simulate phishing attacks regularly to help determine their sensitivity to the usual approaches attackers use and provide a continuous learning platform for more tests and training.
3. Monitor surveillance systems and logs proactively
Intruders can infiltrate and remain inside a given network and steal information before an organisation notices their presence. The duration between their initial penetration and eventual detection is known as “dwell time”, and the average for this varies between 49 to 150 days. Deploying a Managed Detection and Response plan in the organisation’s environment helps cybersecurity teams pick up on traffic that deviates from the normal range. Moreover, doing so increases the company’s threat hunting capabilities.
4. Prioritise on protecting client data
Ultimately, the goal of cybercriminals is to get access to as much sensitive data as possible and leverage it for personal and monetary gain. With increased regulations around customer data protection, organisations face intensified pressure to keep their client and employee data safe, especially those in the financial and healthcare industries.
When it comes to client data, both the data and how it is handled are equally important. Organisations must practice caution when determining who gets access to such information and how they will use it to accomplish their work. If it is unnecessary to house client data in the network, it is best to delete it after conducting a transaction and that nothing remains of it after. Otherwise, if certain data like credit card information needs to be kept, it is crucial to employ the proper masking techniques to keep them safe.
Cybercriminals are relentless, and their attacks are a constant threat in today’s modern world. By prioritising your organisation’s cybersecurity today, you can prevent a cyberattack tomorrow. And while investing in better security systems and personnel is one way to go about it, cultivating a cyber-aware culture in your company remains just as important.
If you need the help of experienced professionals for your IT outsourcing needs, look no further than TYPENT. We provide various IT support services and solutions that ensure the robustness and reliability of your IT systems 24/7, 365 days a year, including network support, FortiGate configuration, network integration, and email security solutions in Singapore.
To learn more about our solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.