Expanding the size of the attack surface inevitably amplifies the risk of cybersecurity breaches. Consequently, reducing the attack surface logically diminishes cybersecurity risk. It is imperative to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to security and risk management.
Fortunately, attack surface management solutions are not the sole arsenal available to security teams in the battle against cyber threats. Organizations can implement various tactics to improve security to mitigate the exposure of their IT environment and proactively prevent cyberattacks.
Table of Contents
Key Cybersecurity Tips
1. Create Cybersecurity Policies
A cybersecurity policy acts as a formal guide, enabling your company to enhance its cybersecurity effectiveness. It brings together security experts and employees, ensuring alignment and outlining critical practices to protect valuable information throughout the organization.
To improve cybersecurity and streamline department workflows, it is advisable to implement a hierarchical cybersecurity policy. This entails implementing centralized security policies and department-specific policies tailored to meet their specific requirements. For instance, you can establish policies focused on:
- Controlling access
- Managing remote access
- Supervising vendors
- Mitigating insider threats
- Preventing data loss (DLP)
- Managing incident responses
2. Adopt a Zero-Trust Strategy
Adopting a zero-trust approach to logical access control can significantly reduce your organization’s vulnerability to data breaches. By continually verifying posture and compliance while providing least-privileged access, this strategy effectively minimizes the attack surface. It’s important to note that zero trust is not just a product but a comprehensive strategy.
However, there are tools available, such as those included in the secure access service edge (SASE) framework: Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), Secure web gateway (SWG), Cloud access security broker (CASB), Next-generation firewall (NGFW), and Zero trust network access (ZTNA). It’s worth mentioning that a zero-trust strategy can extend beyond logical access control and encompass physical access control as well. When granting access to secure areas, it’s imperative to rely on mechanisms like access cards and biometrics rather than blindly trusting. Verify at all times.
3. Use a Virtual Private Network
When it comes to cybersecurity, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) remains a powerful tool even in 2023. With a VPN for Mac, you can hide your IP address and location, making it much harder for hackers or suspicious websites to track you or obtain your personal information. But to reduce the risk of cyberattacks, you need a powerful VPN service. One of them is VeePN, which has advanced security systems. It protects against DDoS attacks, phishing, hacking, connecting unauthorized users, etc.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication
If you want to enhance security, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an excellent choice. When MFA is activated, unauthorized access is prevented even if someone possesses your password. They would require additional authentication factors such as your mobile phone, fingerprint, voice, or a security token. This ensures that malicious actors cannot gain entry, allowing you to have peace of mind.
While seemingly basic, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) remains one of the most effective methods for cybersecurity protection. It is a requirement by esteemed regulatory bodies such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the SWIFT Customer Security Programme (CSP). Prominent technology giants like Google and Twitter strongly encourage the adoption of MFA by their users.
5. Be Sure to Make Backups
Experiencing the loss of valuable data can be an absolute nightmare. Whether it’s confidential files or cherished personal albums, data loss can occur due to multiple factors, including hardware failure, cyber-attacks, or even theft. To exacerbate the situation, cybercriminals often exploit system vulnerabilities, seizing your files and demanding a ransom for access restoration.
By regularly backing up your data, you can secure your vital files and swiftly recover them in case of data breaches or loss. You can choose to back up to a physical external hard disk or utilize cloud storage for added protection and convenience.
6. Evolve to Risk-Based Vulnerability Management
The US National Vulnerability Database (US NVD) contains a staggering number of over 160,000 scored vulnerabilities, with new ones being added regularly. Surprisingly, a recent study by Securin, Cyber Security Works (CSW), Ivanti, and Cyware revealed that out of the 160,000+ vulnerabilities, only 180 were actively trending with known exploits. Traditional vulnerability management methods that rely on outdated risk scores from the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) fail to accurately identify and classify exploited vulnerabilities. Despite the existence of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (CISA KEV) Catalog, it remains incomplete and doesn’t consider the criticality of assets within an organization’s environment.
To address these shortcomings, organizations need to adopt a risk-based approach to vulnerability management. Risk-based vulnerability management (RBVM) is a cybersecurity strategy that prioritizes vulnerability remediation based on the level of risk they pose. By emphasizing a proactive and targeted approach, organizations can effectively mitigate potential threats and safeguard their assets.
7. Create Strong Passwords
Beware! Your password may not be as secure as you think, especially if it’s based on your pet’s name and favorite number. Cyberthieves have developed powerful algorithms that can effortlessly crack passwords in seconds.
One of the essential practices for creating robust passwords is to combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and special characters. Additionally, never reuse the same password for different accounts. This way, even if one password is compromised, your other accounts will remain secure.
8. Implement Biometric Security
Nothing surpasses the power of biometrics when it comes to physical security. With fast authentication, secure access management, and precise employee identification, biometrics can serve as the ultimate guardian of your organization’s safety.
Good business cybersecurity means that your business will stand up to a hacker attack. No matter how good your company is, if it does not pay attention to security, it is only a matter of time before it undermines the credibility of its customers. Rebuilding trust is much more difficult.