To think that IT security is only a problem reserved for large enterprises is to put your business at a serious disadvantage. In fact, more and more small to medium-sized organizations are investing more in IT security because they understand that they are at risk. According to the 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Size Businesses study published by Ponemon, 67 percent of respondents experienced a cyberattack in the year 2018, and 58 percent of those attacks resulted in a data breach.
IT security remains a challenge for organizations of all sizes, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risks. Adhering to these three key IT security strategy pillars is the first step you should take.
Knowing What You Have Is Key to Good IT Security
Before you do anything else to shore up your security posture, you need to have visibility into all of your organization’s IT assets. Start by taking a complete inventory of your endpoints, servers, applications, infrastructure hardware, and any other assets. This gives you a starting point for identifying what you need to protect and what assets are business-critical.
After completing an inventory and identifying the most valuable assets, you can start to better understand the risk they pose to your security posture. Do they store sensitive information? Who has access and at what level? When was the last time the asset was updated or patched? Which of these assets may be a vulnerability that an attacker could try to exploit?
Don’t think that you have to do this all by hand; there are solutions that will help catalog and manage IT assets to make this process easier. Once you have this all mapped out and you understand where your risks lie, you can start addressing them according to the level of risk and the importance to your business.
Implement the Right Type of IT Security Training
Training in the concepts of IT security is no longer reserved for the specialist on staff to achieve a certification. Nowadays, security awareness training is an integral part of most businesses. Making training resources available through online courses, videos, and other content helps lay the foundation for good security practices by the people using technology. Adding phishing simulations helps users identify the most common threats facing businesses, as well.
The key to a successful training program is to make it actionable. It’s not enough to educate your coworkers on cybersecurity. You need to enable them to serve as a layer of your defenses by helping them understand what they should do if they encounter something suspicious. Potential phishing attacks, denial of service attacks, and other breaches can be stopped by a human being who knows what to look for and how to act.
Implement a Device Configuration Policy
When you took an inventory of all your IT assets, the results were likely overwhelming. Over time, a business adds more and more endpoints to its infrastructure. With people using their own mobile devices to access network resources and email, that number grows even more. Unfortunately, each endpoint is a potential entry point for an attacker. If the bad guys have the ability to control one machine, they can move laterally across your network to eventually access sensitive information. Having an endpoint management solution in place helps maintain a unified configuration for company-owned assets and can help ensure that user devices are more secure.
Implementing endpoint management allows you to set the configuration standards for new devices so that you can put the right security controls in place, lock down potential vulnerabilities, prevent access at the device level, and ensure rogue applications are not installed.
When securing your organization against attacks, it is essential that you do everything you can to prevent data loss while still leaving enough open so that your coworkers are able to do their jobs. The balance between security and availability is tough to achieve without a team of experts. If you have trouble establishing these three pillars of IT security in your organization without disrupting business as usual, you should consider working with a partner that can help you make sure work gets done without sacrificing the security of your network or sensitive information.
The right partner can provide you with insights into the current threat landscape, help monitor for events, and work with you to design and implement the right solutions for your business’s security needs. If you find that you need the guidance of experienced experts when it comes to your organization’s security, reach out and see how we can help.