In today’s increasingly volatile cybersecurity climate, businesses are understandably feeling under attack on a near-daily basis. Each day, industry news is filled with reports of another disastrous data breach or other cyber attack that causes crippling damage to customer data and catastrophic damage to a business’s reputation and financial well-being.
Sophisticated social engineering techniques that prey on vulnerable employees have become the preferred method of cyber attack, phishing emails and malicious attachments that target unsuspecting company personnel are fast becoming the new normal. Businesses looking to protect themselves against these organized cyber criminal syndicates should keep the following tips in mind:
- Ensure all company systems are regularly updated and patched.
- Deploy a dedicated firewall in combination with reputable anti-virus software to protect against virus, spyware, and phishing attacks.
- Be sure all company browsers are updated regularly with the latest versions of the available software, patches, and security updates.
- Load only software that you actually need and use, and only if it is updated and relevant—otherwise, remove it from your system. Because many software programs will leave remnants behind after they are uninstalled, it is best to consult an Information Security professional to manage any uninstalls to avoid potential security vulnerabilities down the road.
- Regulate and manage employee BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and BYON (Bring Your Own Network) with clearly delineated company policies and procedures to prevent unauthorized network access and potentially dangerous file transfers that result from infected employee mobile devices.
- Restrict company software with administrative rights so that new software is prohibited from being installed on company computers without prior authorization.
- Use permissions and filtering to control access to sensitive company and consumer data.
- Block access to restricted or prohibited sites with customized filters that prevent hackers and employees from uploading data to remote sites.
- Disable or remove USB ports so malicious data can’t be downloaded onto the company network.
- Implement cybersecurity education of employees at every possible opportunity. Deploy strict employee password policies and best practices. Teach employees about the dangers of social engineering techniques and how to detect, avoid, and report a suspicious email or file attachment.
Penetration Testing Ensures Network Protection
Also known as white hat hacking, penetration testing is a method that cybersecurity professionals use when attempting to test the overall security of an organization’s network in real time, from both within and outside the company’s perimeter defenses. Using common black hat techniques like brute force, social engineering, and other phishing and email scams, a white hat hacker is deployed by a company to attempt to gain access to its sensitive network and valuable company files—using the same cyber criminal techniques that a real-world hacker would use during an actual cyber attack.
Penetration testing is effective because it reveals a company’s actual cybersecurity preparedness in the face of a cyber attack. In combination with the preventative methods mentioned above, penetration testing offers system-wide visibility, security confirmation, and peace of mind that your cybersecurity efforts are effective—and when they aren’t, penetration testing reveals exactly where, when, and how things went wrong.
A talented team of Information cybersecurity professionals can design a protocol of preventive cybersecurity measures in combination with penetration testing to ensure the real-time, real-world efficacy of your cybersecurity program. If you’d like more information on protecting your business from cyber crime, contact the cybersecurity experts at Intrinium for a free consultation.