How to Avoid the Top Cybersecurity Challenges to Your Business
Cybersecurity is of paramount importance to IT decision-makers. Maintaining the security of corporate data resources keeps many computer professionals up at night. Unfortunately, they have every reason to be concerned.
The prevalence of cybercrime and its impact on victims is continuing to increase according to key findings in IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report from 2021. Examples of frightening statistics from the report include:
- The average cost of a data breach increased by almost 10%, representing the largest single-year increase in the last seven years.
- The average cost of a ransomware breach is $4.62 million.
- Breaches involving remote work cost businesses an average of $1.07 million more than those constrained to on-premises employees.
- The cost to businesses averages $180 per record when sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) is lost or stolen.
We are going to look at the main cybersecurity challenges your business faces and strategies you can adopt to avoid or minimize their impact.
Cybersecurity Challenges for Businesses
The emergence of ecommerce and the digitalization of patient health records are two of the factors driving cyberattacks. Gaining access to a company’s data resources can provide cybercriminals with very valuable information. Following are the major cybersecurity challenges organizations must address.
Lack of cybersecurity awareness
Many companies suffer from an organizational lack of awareness regarding the dangers of cybercrime. This includes things like taking the appropriate actions to safeguard credentials and how to recognize a phishing email. Many of the subsequent security issues emanate from this lack of awareness.
Inferior cloud security
Migrating to the cloud provides businesses with many benefits but adds complexity to implementing rigorous security. Inexperience with the intricacies of cloud security poses a challenge and a risk to organizations with a cloud presence.
Vulnerable IoT devices
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are increasingly being integrated into mission-critical systems. Each device presents a potential attack surface and entry point to a corporate network that needs to be protected.
Remote workers and mobile devices
The combination of a remote workforce and the bring your own device (BYOD) approach to mobile devices poses a serious risk to an organization’s cybersecurity. Every device and access point outside corporate firewalls needs to have additional security apps installed and managed.
Elevated user privileges
Providing users with elevated privileges introduces additional attack vectors for cybercriminals. Stolen credentials can be used by attackers to gain access to business-critical systems. Elevated privileges can also be used by unscrupulous internal actors to compromise company data.
Ransomware infections encrypt systems and hold them for ransom. They are often initiated through phishing attacks or by other means that compromise user credentials. User education is essential in avoiding ransomware attacks.
Software supply chain attacks
Cyberattacks focused on the software supply chain have increased and pose challenges to companies unsure about the veracity of the components that comprise their environment.
Insufficient security resources
Companies with insufficient security resources cannot cope with the increased volume and severity of cyberattacks. Inexperienced security professionals can inadvertently leave business-critical systems exposed to cyberattacks.
Strategies to Avoid the Top Cybersecurity Challenges
Businesses can avoid the ramifications of the top cybersecurity challenges by adopting effective strategies and tactics. Following are some of the most impactful measures an organization can take.
Promote cybersecurity awareness and education
Arguably, the most important step a company can take to avoid cybersecurity challenges is to increase the awareness of every individual in the organization. All employees should complete cybersecurity training and revisit the education regularly.
Security awareness should be championed from the highest levels of the organization. Everyone’s role in keeping the business secure needs to be stressed and understood by all employees and contractors.
Implement the zero-trust security model
The zero-trust security model mandates that users and devices are only granted to resources they need to perform a task after they have been authenticated. All users in a zero-trust environment are required to undergo a strict identity verification process when accessing business systems and data.
The goal of achieving zero trust is accomplished with strong identity and management (IAM) procedures, micro-segmentation of network resources, and enforcing least privileged access for all users. Nobody should have access to data they don’t specifically need to do their jobs.
Encrypt at-rest and in-transit data
Encryption protects data resources by making them useless to the perpetrators in the event they are compromised. Sensitive data or PII should never be transmitted without being encrypted.
Develop a viable business continuity and disaster recovery plan
A company’s IT infrastructure is essential to its ability to survive. Outages caused by ransomware or other types of cyberattacks can cripple an organization. Organizations need a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that should be tested and updated regularly to reflect changes in the computing environment.
Backup data resources regularly
Backups are an integral part of a disaster recovery plan. They also offer insurance against human error and allow a business to roll systems back if they have been corrupted due to a cyberattack. Backups should be encrypted to protect the contents, especially when stored offsite.
Enforce strict patch management policies
Guarding against software supply chain attacks requires vigilant patch management. This includes installing security and other critical upgrades as soon as they are available from developers.
Engage an experienced cybersecurity partner
Businesses intent on bolstering their cybersecurity standing can benefit from working with a trusted partner that brings experience to the table. Consulting with a security-focused third-party enables a company to focus on its core business objectives while keeping data resources secure.
Let Prescient Help Secure Your IT Environment
The security experts at Prescient can help identify areas that need to be strengthened with a comprehensive security audit. Our team will assess your current cybersecurity standing and recommend methods and techniques to improve the way you protect your valuable business resources.
Prescient will help you choose the appropriate third-party security tools to safeguard your business. We also offer ongoing monitoring services and can ensure all security patches are quickly installed. With Prescient’s assistance, companies can concentrate on running their businesses with the knowledge that they have a strong cybersecurity strategy in place.