Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly common. So it’s essential to continuously evaluate where your organisation is on its cybersecurity journey. This includes identifying next steps to strengthen your security posture in the future. Critically, it also involves deciding where to direct budget devoted to protecting your IT environment. A key piece of the puzzle when it comes to risk reduction is helping everyone in the organisation understand why cybersecurity awareness is important, and how they can help.
But isn’t cybersecurity awareness an IT issue?
Enterprises today are often operating more complex IT environments than in the pre-cloud era. Nearly every department and team has its own IT operations. These range from the use of cloud-based software solutions through the array of hardware devices that are connecting to the network. As a result, the IT department doesn’t have the same level of visibility over the implementation of technology as it did in the past.
Along these lines, it’s also difficult to determine proper implementation of security measures across the entire business. Using relevant tools is therefore essential in gaining oversight over your network and in identifying any potential flaws or threats. And most businesses have these in place — but that’s just the beginning.
Join us on a journey to level up your organisation’s security posture. We’ll cover measures to emphasise the importance of cybersecurity awareness throughout the organisation. And once it has been recognised for its strategic importance to the business, we’ll provide advice on where to direct the security budget.
Step 1: Building defences from the ground up
The initial stage features a hands-on approach to security, focusing on resolving outside threats. In this phase, businesses often underestimate the risk of attack.
Here, measures are normally limited to standard defensive strategies. Some examples include maintaining and patching systems, updating anti-virus software, multi-factor authentication and managing firewalls.
Most organisations have these fundamentals in place to ensure basic protection. And that’s a good start. But without knowledge or resources about what to do if an attack should make it past these initial defences (or how to minimise the risk of attacks happening in the first place), you’re not deriving the most value from these measures.
Step 2: Raising awareness of the issue
There are several ways to get the entire business on board in the fight against threats. Helping employees understand why cybersecurity awareness is important maximises an organisation’s defences throughout the business.
This stage is complete when employees know the role they can play in helping reduce susceptibility to attacks. Now it’s time to move budget in a way that empowers them to do so.
Step 3: Reducing risk
As a result of the measures highlighted above, there is heightened awareness throughout the business that cybersecurity should be prioritised. Still, there is uncertainty about what can bring the organisation’s security posture to the next level.
At this stage, it’s crucial to obtain dedicated budget for cybersecurity that goes beyond the basics outlined in step 1. This should be spent on measures that aim to empower the end user to mitigate vulnerabilities, such as anti-phishing training. Given that over 90% of all cyberattacks begin with a phishing email, this is a critical step in levelling up your security posture.
Step 4: Evaluating resource
After setting up measures to protect the business from within, the focus around cybersecurity awareness now centres on detection and response.
Allocating your security budget towards collecting and analysing data, but not acting on this data, leaves a significant hole in your security strategy. Action is the most important step in the process. Companies must be ready to act when their intelligence systems alert them to a problem. Otherwise, it’s like a security camera with no one to monitor it: the “break-in” will be recorded, but no one will stop it.
This is why it’s so important to have skilled security experts on hand — and preferably around the clock. An experienced professional is likely to have the depth of knowledge to take the most relevant data, apply this know-how to the situation and make strategic decisions on next steps. Acting quickly dramatically increases the likelihood of containing the threat.
As we’ve established here, a strong security posture consists of multiple components. And while your people – both techies and non-IT employees alike – play a valuable role in your organisation’s security, this is a lot for a business to handle on its own. It also takes valuable time and resources away from your IT operations who are focused on technology that advances the business.
Relying on a partner with extensive knowledge about protecting and securing data – and who understands the role of security as it fits into your data strategy as a whole – can be the ideal solution. Proact has years of experience helping organisations realise just how critical of a role security can play in their business.