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Cybersecurity Posture is a Must in an Anti-Cyber-Attack

cybersecurity

More than 10 years ago, fewer than one in four companies relied on the Internet for their business. But now,  it is 100 percent. Despite this growth,  the Internet has now been accompanied by a steady increase in the severity of “Cyber-Attacks.”

Billions of business individuals worldwide have had their personal data stolen, exposed, and rapidly occurring at a high frequency.

According to the WHSR Security evaluation, Germany tends to have the highest cyber incident. Although the United States is naturally a major target for cybercriminals. However, Germany lost an estimated $50 Billion to cybercrime, ranging from big corporations to small business enterprises.

Cybercriminals are reaching further than before, that for every 60 seconds, $1.1 million is lost to cyberattacks. In fact, Australians lost over $634 million in total to cyber-attack in just 12 months. Meanwhile, these at pace have set to cost business affair $5.2 trillion ‘worldwide’ with continuity to affect critical, pivotal facilities.  For all that, this unprecedented cybercriminal activity has generated businesses across the globe, $128 billion in cyber spending.

It’s fair to say that this has been the era of Cyber Attacks. However, not becoming a victim should be a priority for every organization rather than adding up to the number of amounts “lost” to cyber-threats.  Since cyber-attacks are globally increasing, operational effort to respond and prevent must therefore be proactive.

Cybersecurity posture; an organization’s coast-to-coast defense in disagreement with cyber-attacks

Understanding cybersecurity posture is essential to recognize where your organization stands regarding online security threats such as data breaches and intrusions.  However, by understanding where your organization is most vulnerable, you can begin to establish a plan for creating a more secure environment.

Security posture refers to the strength of your overall cybersecurity defense. This is important because cybersecurity threats are ever-increasing, and cyberattacks are considered the third greatest global threat, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The modern enterprise’s attack surface is ever-growing, which makes gaining an accurate understanding of a big challenge. The hard truth is that most organizations only have a vague understanding of their attack surface and overall cybersecurity posture.

For an organization with a thousand employees, over 10 million time-varying signals should be analyzed to predict breach risk accurately. This enterprise attack surface includes a wide variety of assets spanning across its infrastructure— applications, managed and unmanaged endpoints (fixed and mobile), IoT, and cloud services. Once these elements, breached in many ways, this compromise enterprise asset, giving cyber-attackers an initial foothold inside the company’s network.

It is important to create a habit of regularly monitoring and maintaining your cybersecurity posture, most importantly, your cybersecurity risk. To understand the efficacy of cybersecurity posture, cybersecurity risk assessment by an organization must be completed. Cybersecurity risk is the probability of exposure or loss resulting from a cyber-attack or data breach on your organization. A better, more encompassing definition is the potential loss or harm related to technical infrastructure, use of technology, or an organization’s reputation. To put it simply, as your cybersecurity posture strength increases, your cybersecurity risk should decrease. This helps to identify all vulnerability points to help your organization more proactive rather than reactive to cybersecurity threats.

Maturity Assessment – worth of your cybersecurity posture; coming-of-age call’s and objectives

Maturity assessment is an upright pillar of an organization’s information security capability to protect the business against applicable cyber risks.  This measures the ability of an organization for continuous improvement in a securing discipline, which can be drilled down to departmental view, functional view, and process view.

Throughout the course of operations, business leaders set goals and objectives for their enterprise, and they rally teams to work hard and deliver on them. These goals and objectives are business needs; they are the things the business must have or achieve to run, be profitable, serve effectively, and deliver successfully on its mission. However, organizations with the most mature security posture don’t break-out, avoid cybersecurity mistakes during business racing and successfully outperform their peers.

The higher the maturity, the higher the chances that mistakes or errors will lead to improvements either in the quality or the use of the discipline’s resources as implemented by an organization. The Security Maturity Assessment gives a first look at how mature your organization is concerning cybersecurity. By knowing the security level, an organization can build an effective cyber protection strategy for the future.

Cybersecurity maturity assessment can analyze the current security state, with a view towards the desired state. It assesses cybersecurity controls and realize new technology-process controls. The main advantage is to specify the maturity level of an organization. Whereby each level depends on a group of processes. Each process can depend on the infrastructure, resources, operation’s automation, and user’s knowledge. Hence, cybersecurity maturity can help to distinguish between organizations.

Cybersecurity posture score; accompanied by a risk management program

The terms “safeguards� and “controls� refer to risk-reducing measures. The process of risk management allows the balance of operational and economic costs of protective measures and achieve gains in mission capability by protecting information systems and data that support organizations’ missions.

Protecting information is a business problem costing millions of dollars and reputational loss. Even with an acute awareness of these risks, many attacks go unchecked. The solution requires more than deploying technology, like firewalls and antivirus gateways, and hoping for the best.

However, security professionals cited a critical need for expertise, technology, and external services to address these external threats’ growing concerns. The solution requires a vigorous, comprehensive investment in risk management for your organization’s complete environment.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Protect and Enable Your Remote Workforce

remote workforce

With more employees working from home today, it’s becoming harder to protect and enable a geographically distributed workforce. Remote work poses unique security challenges and risks that must be faced by employers. Also, companies must consider individual requirements of their employees workers, from enabling secure and fast Wi-Fi connection to ensuring employees feel engaged and motivated.

To help you mitigate security risks and enable your remote employees to work from the comfort of the homes, we’ve created this step-by-step guide. You’ll find the best remote workforce security practices and proactive measures you can take to keep your remote team engaged.

Step 1. Connect Your On-premises Infrastructure to Cloud

Cloud storage eliminates all data loss risks typically associated with local storage. Also, cloud storage is extremely reliable and safe in terms of data breaches and cyberattacks.

The benefits of cloud storage extend further beyond enhanced security. First off, cloud storage is generally more affordable, because cloud providers distribute the costs of their infrastructure and services across many clients. Also, cloud storage allows you to save more physical space and eliminates the need for hardware maintenance as much of your hardware won’t be necessary.

Another benefit of cloud storage is its mobility. Cloud storage enables us to work efficiently no matter the physical location.

Use cloud or web-based storage software that allows sharing and editing documents. Educate your employees on the benefits of cloud storage and develop guidelines for using cloud services.

Step 2. Review Which Software Your Remote Employees Need

After you’ve decided on your cloud storage policies, review which software your remote employees need to work productively from home. It’s easy to get lost in different types of software for remote work because there are just so many of them. Let us talk you through the most effective types of software your remote employees will need to stay productive.

Remote Desktop Software

The remote desktop software allows you to connect to a computer in another location for business purposes like file transfer, remote control, or desktop sharing. As a bonus, you can use remote desktop software for troubleshooting customer issues.

Group Chat Apps

When working remotely, you want to enable communication between your team members. That’s why you have to choose which team chat app to use unless you want to go all old school with using email for business communications.

Video Conferencing Software

When texting can’t fully replace the magic of human communication needed for productive work, video calls are certainly helpful. Video conferencing makes you feel like you’re in the same room with your co-workers and brings in the spirit of corporate culture essential to stay productive.

Screen recording tools

Sometimes, your employees will need to send screen recordings to each other. Choose screen recording tools that are super easy to use and offer extra features, like built-in annotations.

Additionally, ensure all of your employees have access to particular software they need to do their part of work effectively. Audit the software you use in the office and decide on how to provide easy access for remote employees.

Step 3. Set up Two-factor Authentication

Remote work requires extra security protection as there are more chances of security breaches and data leaks happening. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security method that requires users to provide a second piece of evidence (besides a password) before they can successfully log into the account.

Passwords are not sufficient enough to keep our data and accounts safe. Ultimately, 2FA is a second level of protection that helps prevent unauthorized access if the account information has been compromised.

Studies suggest that setting up multi-factor authentication can block over 99.9% of account compromise attacks. This means that two-factor authentication has the potential to bring the chance of stolen credentials within your organization to a minimum.

Step 4. Be Careful Allowing Your Employees to Use Their Personal Devices

Developing policies to address the use of personal devices for work-related purposes is the next step to protecting and enabling your remote workforce.

Experts claim that employees performing everyday work-related tasks on their personal devices present the highest cybersecurity risk. This risk increases dramatically when employers fail to establish policies on how to use personal devices for work-related purposes.

Besides developing and implementing policies and guidelines, you must figure out a way to recover data for departing employees. Let’s say one of your remote workers resigns or gets fired. What then happens to all the files a person has access to and stores on their laptop? Cloud-based storage is a part of the solution. Besides, you’ll have to establish a data recovery policy that works best for your business.

Step 5. Determine which endpoint protection your remote workers must use

After you’ve figured out the rules your remote employees should follow to do their work with the convenience of personal laptops, it’s time to determine the security policies they should follow.

The first thing you should do is identify which security software suits your remote workers must install on their personal devices. As a general security measure, all of your employees must enable the following software:

  • Firewall
  • Antivirus tools
  • Malware detection software
  • Cloud-based storage

Next, educate your employees on the best cybersecurity practices. You can use this list as a reference.

  • Educate your employees on the importance of creating strong passwords/passphrases or using 2FA for work and personal accounts.
  • Educate your remote workers about domain spoofing.
  • Educate your employees about phishing attacks and ways to prevent them.
  • Always use encrypted video conferencing and team chat apps.
  • Educate your remote workers on the importance of regularly installing software updates.

Step 6. Ensure Secure and Fast Wi-Fi

Did you know that 81% of chief information officers report their company experienced a Wi-Fi-related incident in the previous year? Using unsecured Wi-Fi networks increases the chances of security breaches, data leaks, and third-party control. That’s why the next step you should take is ensuring your remote employees have access to a fast and secure Wi-Fi connection.

The easiest solution is requiring your remote employees to use a virtual private network (VPN) when they work from home or, especially, from public spaces. VPN works by routing the device’s internet connection through a private server.

A VPN makes it impossible to track data as it technically comes from a VPN rather than a user’s computer. Remote workers’ connections, the, remain private and anonymous no matter the network you’re using.

You can use VPN to shield one’s browsing activity from cyberattacks, prevent data leaks, and enable safe data transfers.

Step 7. Develop a contingency plan for risk management

Developing a contingency plan is the final step to protecting and enabling your remote workforce. A contingency plan is a fundamental risk management tool as it foresees potential threats and guides remote employees in stressful situations.

For example, in case your remote workers lose their laptop with sensitive work-related information stored on it, a contingency plan is an absolute must. It should describe various situations and step-by-step instructions on how to handle them effectively.

Keeping Employees Motivated in the Work-From-Home Conditions

While many employees are encouraged to work from home at first, this excitement typically wears off over time. Oftentimes, deadlines, and commitments are not enough for motivating remote employees.

How do you keep them engaged and motivated? Experts from Ivory Research suggest that most of the methods you currently employ for your in-house employees can be used to inspire motivation among your remote workers. Here are some simple methods that can be used for keeping your employees engaged in the work-from-home conditions.

  • Recognize remote employees for great work and other contributions.
  • Make sure to clearly communicate tasks you’re expecting to be completed.
  • Give your remote employees access to project updates, mission statement, and company performance records.
  • Bring remote team members together regularly and emphasize the importance of culture within your company.
  • Provide remote workers with time management tools and resources.

The Bottom Line

Remote work doesn’t have to put the security of your organization at risk. Following these steps will help you protect your company from cybersecurity threats while enabling geographically distributed teams to work productively.

Here are the top takeaways.

  • Establishing clear and comprehensive policies is key to securing your remote workforce.
  • Make sure to provide your remote employees with clear guidelines on using their personal laptops for work without posing a threat to the company’s security.
  • Leverage remote collaboration technology, including video conferencing, cloud storage, and group chat apps to enable productive work.
  • Ensure all of your remote workers have access to a secure and fast Wi-Fi connection.
  • And finally, keep your employees engaged and motivated in the work-from-home conditions.

Image Credit: Pexels

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