It is crucial for any modern company to have a detailed and thorough approach to its cyber security. Any weak points can result in a loss of customers, revenue, and trust in their business – even litigation if neglect and culpability can be proven. As flaws are open doors, hackers can gain access to your data through them. You could lose a lot of money, have your data lost, and have your brand damaged as a result of hacker attacks involving fraudulent activity, privacy breaches, and encoded extortion. To ensure that your business runs smoothly and has a reliable direction for proactively resolving these exposures before hackers target your corporation, you must employ the IT provider and compliance teams from Tekkis.
And the nature of the problem is such that cyber security should not simply amount to a box to be ticked but should represent a continually reappraised and reupdated process. New legislation, threats, loopholes and weaknesses emerge on a regular basis and a company’s strategy should be able to adapt to these changes.
The cyber security challenges that a business may face, come in many forms:
No matter how water-tight a security system has been made, there is always the capacity for it to be compromised by human error. It is therefore important to build and integrate systems that limit the possibility of this occurring. The fewer points of required human input the less likely errors of this sort are to occur so automating wherever possible is key.
Of course all security systems are designed by humans also, so human errors can appear as early as the creation stage of the system employed. This is most notable and common in bespoke systems designed specifically for the business. Off the shelf security packages tend to have these issues ironed out.
Third Party Vendors
On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, when utilising security tools or packages from third party developers, an element of control and personalisation is relinquished. Some of the better developers offer customisation of their products that enable firms to create a system that is pertinent to their needs.
Choosing the right third party vendors is critical to a successful approach to the cyber security system of a business. Using trusted and reliable vendors limits the chance of data leaks and weaknesses occurring outside of the firm’s remit.
A poorly designed cyber security system might include a backdoor for administrators to be able to bypass intrinsic encryption protocols. This is a procedure that is backed by as many as 26 governments around the world.
The argument is that encrypted data can pose a national security risk and can hinder/delay investigations, so governments push for agreements with tech companies to grant privileges that allow them to circumvent encryption.
The drawback to any kind of cyber backdoor is that they always represent a weak point in the system – one that can be exploited by other ill-intentioned persons. Another point of contention concerns how much trust firms and individuals want to place in their respective government.
So what types of prevention strategies should companies adopt going forward to future proof their business from cyber attacks? There are several to choose from:
Data breaches can also come from within the company – either through employee negligence or malicious attack, exposure to certain websites can be harmful. Cloud web filtering services are trusted by many firms to employ a level of control over which websites can be accessed from the company network and because the processing is done remotely, doesn’t require bulky in-house installations.
These services allow administrators to create department or user specific rules which determine which sites are allowed, warned against or blocked entirely. A filter statistics report can make visible, at a glance, any risky web activity and where it has been coming from.
Zero Trust Approach
A buzzword in cyber security circles, zero trust is a strategy that assumes no implicit trust between nodes in a network. Every stage of a digital interaction is continuously checked and validated.
Layer 7 of the open systems interconnection (OSI) model – the uppermost layer – is the part of the system where humans have contact with network services. Applications have access at layer 7 and this is where DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks take place.
A DDoS attack is a cyber attack where the perpetrator attempts to make the service unavailable to other users by overwhelming the servers with requests. A zero trust approach employs strong authentication measures and helps prevent layer 7 attacks.
Zero trust systems were designed to replace outdated assumptions that everyone with authenticated access within a network could be trusted, but that would include malicious insiders and threat actors, and required reconsideration. Zero trust limits lateral movement of users within a network making it harder for people to access sensitive data if they should not be able to.
Users, applications and infrastructure should all be addressed with a zero trust approach. One of the drawbacks is that it can slow down operations within the network and be harder to implement.
Assume Breach Approach
Much like the zero trust approach, assume breach systems are inherently pessimistic. They assume cyber attacks will happen and not just that there is a possibility that they might.
Assume breach differs from zero trust in that it is an approach to cyber security and not a specific framework. The approach should be implemented on three levels – people, processes and technology.
Keeping logs of all activity on the network is a starting point but logs are useless unless regularly monitored for suspicious activity. The goal is to limit the time an injected threat has inside the network since the longer it is there, the more damage it can do.
Taking the time to educate the workforce on policies concerning data and processes, especially sensitive data and establishing an incident response plan is time consuming and costly but ultimately necessary.
No security system can ever entirely prevent the chance of an attack but it’s important for these systems to minimise the chances of it happening wherever possible. With a modern and evolving approach, businesses can be reassured they can operate safely in the digital world.