Cyberattacks aim to breach device, program, and system defenses to access critical company or individual data. If a hacker attack is successful, unauthorized parties can modify, corrupt, destroy, or hold the data hostage until the victim pays a ransom.
Data breaches can often lead to data loss, extortion, and interruption of business processes. Cyber threats are a regular part of the digital landscape nowadays, especially for organizations and enterprises, whether DDoS attacks, Trojans, phishing, or even viruses.
Cybersecurity software aims to minimize the risk of a data breach on company networks via tech, security controls, and protection processes across said networks. The primary features to battle cyberattacks are patch management, endpoint protection, backup and restore, disaster recovery, and antimalware protection.
Every company has a unique network structure, so applying a robust defense strategy takes time, effort, and customization. It is a slow but rewarding process if done adequately. Given you’ve done your research, the most suitable cybersecurity solution for your business will handle most of the innovation on its own.
It’s up to you to assess and plan how to approach cybersecurity, educate your employees (learn the lesson from the recent Twilio security breach), and follow your plan until your systems are secure from end to end.
To assist you in setting up your cyber defenses, we present you with this article.
Let’s go through it together.
Essential Cybersecurity Features
Solid cybersecurity solutions function as a team on the battlefield.
They have scouting features to monitor and alert for potential threats paired with vulnerability assessment experts to pinpoint weak entry points and potentially fortify them. We also have backline defenders to fight off persistent attacks and recovery tacticians to minimize losses and resume operational processes as soon as possible after a successful breach.
To pick a reliable guard against cyber threats, here’s what to look for in a cybersecurity service.
Data protection comprises all tools and processes dedicated to keeping all of your data secure.
You can use data encryption to cloud your data from prying eyes. This way, even if attackers get a hand on your vital data, they’d need to decipher it first before successfully accessing it. You can encrypt operational data, secure data transfers across company servers, and even data in storage, be it cloud or local.
Moreover, companies should back up their data regularly to several locations. You can have local storage on your office’s premises, an outside physical storage facility, and data backups on the cloud. This way, even if someone compromises one or two of your backups, you’d still have an operational copy ready to go.
A reliable cybersecurity feature should also cover real-time threat monitoring, instant alerts, anti-ransomware tools, crypto-jacking protection, and CPU load balancing. After all, you wouldn’t want to build a concrete wall against cyberattacks only to see your system overloading, and stalling your work processes.
Moreover, data protection includes securing all bring-your-own-device networks. If you have employees working at home or others who bring their laptops to work, those devices should be protected to avoid compromise on their way to and off from work.
Attackers can exploit software to penetrate systems through vulnerabilities in its code. Software developers continuously monitor their products for exploitable vulnerabilities and strive to issue security patches to fix weak entry points.
While patches can’t protect software from undetected faults (zero-day), they can ensure that all registered vulnerabilities are fixed upon issuing the latest update. It’s crucial, especially for large companies, to install security patches on all devices and networks as soon as they’re out.
Now, manual patching sounds overwhelming; this is why automated patching plays a massive role in sensible cyber protection. Your security software can check for missing patches and deploy them immediately, as well as detect weak links in your system and issue a fix.
Streamlining patching from start to finish reduces the risk of your systems failing, optimizes patching costs, and increases efficiency.
Here are several points to keep in mind when setting up your patching schedule:
- Software and operating system (OS) updates to minimize the risk of data breaches significantly
- ASAP patching, while automated, minimizes the number of weak entry points for cybercriminals to exploit and potentially breach your networks
- Manual patching may seem intuitive if you’re an SMB; however, human error can expose endpoints if the patching process isn’t synchronized. What’s more, automating patching enables your IT team to focus on business-critical processes instead of steadily patching device after device.
Endpoint protection, or endpoint security, strives to secure all potential entry points of end-user devices against malicious attacks. The targeted devices include desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and external media carriers.
Endpoint security covers physical-devices networks and the cloud to enable end-to-end protection from sophisticated malware and zero-day attacks. We’ve mentioned “zero-day” as a term already, but let’s dive into it a bit now.
Zero-day threats are coordinated hacker attacks relying on a software vulnerability yet undetected by developers and vendors. Such attacks sometimes involve months of planning before the hit, and affected parties have little to no time to respond to them.
High-tier endpoint solutions rely on machine learning to detect, classify, and potentially negate zero-day threats. Their tools can audit every device on your network, check its software and patching state, and apply security fixes where needed.
Additionally, antimalware and antivirus software detects and quarantines (or deletes) potentially infected files or folders to secure endpoints and OSs across your network. To counter malicious attachments in emails or websites, proactive security protocols scan and alert for potential threats while browsing on any device.
You can initiate pre-patch data backups to avoid flawed system patches with endpoint solutions. Even if a patch conflicts with your network, you can restore the backup to a working version.
Lastly, endpoint, email, and disc encryption ensure that all company and user data is encrypted to deny successful infiltration during a breach.
More often than not, all of us had used a free Antivirus on a device at some point in time. It’s easy to download, scan devices frequently, and alerts of threats, usually with a flashing notification on your screen.
However convenient and cost-efficient free software can be, antivirus and antimalware protection require a multi-layered approach to battle modern cyber threats. In the best case, your antimalware should rely on AI, behavioral, and signature-based threat detection and protection.
This way, it can negate not only known but newly developed malware, viruses, and ransomware.
Antimalware solutions should comprise on-demand antivirus scans, smart alerts, real-time protection, and security update. Also, you can benefit from web filtering to block out malicious URLs and videoconference security while managing a hybrid work environment.
Lastly, a task that software can hardly deliver in an optimal form – employee education can make or break your defenses against cyber threats.
Of course, you can send out educational materials and security guidelines, but face-to-face courses with practical tests on the provided knowledge can go a long way. After all, if your employees are prepared, they’ll know how to detect and respond to online threats. This may save the company security costs and virtually nullify downtime in the long run.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Speaking of negating downtime, disaster recovery is the cornerstone of adequate incident response.
However, proper disaster recovery relies on backups. By making copies of your data and storing them in multiple locations, you can restore business-critical information in the case of accidental compromise, software malfunctions, or a data breach.
With most modern solutions, you can schedule and automate backups to the encryption-protected cloud. You can also automate local backup up to a point, but you’d still need to manage it manually, at least up to some point.
Once you have a backup set up, you can initiate disaster recovery to reestablish data access, apps, and other resources during a successful Denial-of-Service-Attack (DoS, DDoS) or an outage caused by a natural disaster.
Disaster recovery comprises several vital stages to deliver on its promise:
RTO calculates the time needed to recover business operations during an outage. Typically, less time spent on recovery relates to fewer losses in terms of productivity and revenue.
RPO calculates the maximum amount of data a company can afford to lose during a natural disaster or a successful cyberattack.
Failover aims to offload automated tasks to back up business-critical systems seamlessly.
Failback ensures that business processes operate through your primary data centers when your systems are back and running.
“Restore” monitors and manages the data backups transferred from protected storage to your company’s primary data system.
Server management is essential to keep all operational data secured at all times. Additionally, it enables your company to meet user data, legal, and compliance regulations.
Server management relies on 24/7 monitoring and intrusion detection to alert you of any potential attack on your systems. It constantly inspects network traffic to detect malicious activities, manages network security appliances, and administers top-tier firewalls to block out data traffic from unchecked or malicious IP addresses.