Three Practices to Better Bolster Your Cyber-Defense

By Apu Pavithran, Founder and CEO at Hexnode

Congratulations, you’ve survived a grueling cyber-attack. Unlike Codespaces, The Heritage Company, Travelex or many others like them, you didn’t go bankrupt. Instead, you’ve managed to keep your ship afloat through some innovative preventive measures and a hint of good luck. However, the next step poses a challenging obstacle – ensuring that it does not happen again. Granted, maintaining a 100% secure network is impossible owing to an ever-changing threat landscape. Still, your chances of immunity will be significantly higher with intelligent planning and an arsenal of the right tools. In that regard, here are three essential practices to bolster your cybersecurity posture.   

Raising Cybersecurity Awareness   

Let’s start with the most obvious one. In many cases, cyberattacks happen not due to the insufficiency of security protocols but due to employees’ negligence. In a recent report, IBM stated that 95% of cybersecurity incidents result from human error. Therefore, the importance of cybersecurity and awareness about cyber-hygienic practices must be included right from the onboarding procedure. Furthermore, frequent security awareness training sessions will allow employees to gain the confidence and knowledge necessary to recognize cyber risks, cautiously respond to them, and prevent them from escalating. Depending on how efficiently you train them, your employees could be your Achilles’ heel or your Great Wall.   

Additionally, establishing a comprehensive security policy is a compelling strategy for improving cybersecurity awareness. Tools like unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions help define and implement such policies. For instance, a UEM’s password policy ensures that the employees assign strong passwords for their corporate devices and even change the passwords periodically. Not every employee in an organization is an IT expert, and enforcing such policies would go a long way in cementing your security structure.   

Implementing a Zero Trust Architecture   

Zero Trust is a phrase that has gained a lot of steam in the last few years. Essentially, in a zero trust network, even company-issued devices are examined before they are given access to the network. Then, when they do grant permission, their access is limited to only the data they genuinely need to view. Even though zero trust was primarily exclusive to large enterprises in the past, with the rising threat count, even SMBs are leveraging the security it offers.  

There are two ways you can establish zero trust, either through a specific zero trust solution vendor or through a collection of synergic solutions. However, the former option might be more expensive for mid and small-tier organizations. To follow the latter approach, I recommend starting with a zero trust network access solution (ZTNA) and an identity and access management (IAM) solution for your identity needs and building up from there.  

Modernize, Upgrade and Update   

One of the greatest challenges to cybersecurity is the ever-changing threat landscape. In such an environment, sticking to legacy solutions and hardware will not be adequate. Instead, modern solutions with frequent updates and patches are necessary to combat such an attack scenario. The newest generation of security tools can complement one another through innovative integrations to offer a more inclusive security posture. Furthermore, extended detection and response (XDR) solutions provide intelligent monitoring and response against any impending attacks.   

In my experience, modern tools are critical but cannot be fully utilized without trained or knowledgeable personnel. Therefore, we make it a point to always hire security analysts and IT admins who are experienced and capable of efficiently maintaining the myriad of security and management solutions.  

The Global Security Outlook 2022 has reported a 31% increase in cyberattacks from 2020 to 2021. According to the report, 55% of enterprises worldwide were affected. So, protecting your digital assets remains an increasing priority for businesses. A strong and resilient cybersecurity infrastructure makes a massive difference in the stand against such attacks.

Apu Pavithran is the founder and CEO of Hexnode, the award-winning Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) platform. Hexnode helps businesses manage mobile, desktop and workplace IoT devices from a single place. Recognized in the IT management community as a consultant, speaker and thought leader, Apu has been a strong advocate for IT governance and Information security management. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and devotes a substantial amount of time to working with startups and encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs. He also finds time from his busy schedule to contribute articles and insights on topics he strongly feels about.

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