Cybersecurity is something that every business needs to take seriously. With record numbers of hacking attacks affecting businesses of all sizes, it is important that every company is aware of the dangers posed and is putting in the resources necessary to keep themselves secure. There are many different aspects of defense that may need to be considered, but which are the most important for long-term protection from cyber-criminals and hackers? Here are six vital tools and services that every business needs to consider investing in to ensure their cybersecurity is as strong as possible.
As hacking and cyber-criminals become more sophisticated and defenses become stronger, you might assume that a firewall is obsolete. And while a firewall is arguably the most core of security tools, it remains one of the most important. Its job is to block any unauthorized access to your system.
A firewall monitors network traffic as well as connection attempts, deciding on whether or not these should be able to pass freely onto your network or computer. Of course, while they are useful, they do have limitations. Skilled hackers have learned how to create data and programs that trick firewalls into believing that they are trusted – this means that the program can pass through the firewall without any problems. Despite these limitations, firewalls are still very effective in detecting the large majority of less sophisticated malicious attacks on your business.
2. Antivirus Software
If you run a business and do not have a great deal of experience with cybersecurity, you might assume that the terms ‘firewall’ and ‘antivirus’ are synonymous, but they are not. It is necessary to have both a strong firewall and up-to-date antivirus software in place to keep your system secure. In 2018, both remain vital components of your cybersecurity.
Antivirus software will alert you to virus and malware infections and many will also provide additional services such as scanning emails to ensure they are free from malicious attachments or web links. Modern antivirus programs perform useful protective measures, such as quarantining potential threats and removing them. There is a huge range of antivirus software, and you can easily find a package that is suited to the needs of your business.
3. PKI Services
Many people only associate PKI with SSL or TLS, the technology that encrypts server communications and is responsible for the HTTPS and padlock you see in your browser address bars. While SSL is of course extremely important, not just for security public sites but your internal networks as well, PKI can actually solve a number of common cybersecurity pain points and deserves a place in every organization’s security suite.
In addition to server security, as mentioned above, PKI can be used to:
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication and access control. Ensure only approved users, machines, and devices (those with properly configured certificates) can access and operate on your networks.
- Create compliant, Trusted Digital Signatures. Digital signatures authenticate the signer’s identity and create a tamper-evident seal to protect document contents and meet compliance requirements.
- Encrypt email communications and authenticate the sender’s identity. Digitally signing and encrypting all internal emails mitigates phishing and data loss risks by clearly verifying message origin so recipients can identify legitimate versus phishing emails and ensuring only intended recipients can access email contents.
- Digitally sign and protect code. Assure end users that code is legitimate and comes from a verified source, and protect code from tampering and the threat of malware injections.
- Build identity and trust into IoT ecosystems. Giving each IoT device/endpoint a unique identity means they can authenticate when they come online and throughout their lifetime, prove their integrity, and securely communicate with other devices, services, and users.
4. Managed Detection Services
As cyber-criminals and hackers have become more sophisticated, and the techniques and software they use are more advanced, it has become necessary for businesses to invest in more powerful forms of defense. In 2018, it is no longer enough simply to have defenses that react to threats – instead they need to be proactive and identify attacks before they can cause problems.
Cybersecurity has seen a shift from investing in technologies that attempt to prevent the possibility of an attack towards advanced services that react to and detect potential security issues, and respond to them as fast as possible. It is far less damaging to identify and eliminate an attack before it spreads rather than trying to handle an attack that already has a strong foothold on your IT network.
5. Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is an important way to test your business’ security systems. During a penetration test, cybersecurity professionals will use the same techniques utilized by criminal hackers to check for potential vulnerabilities and areas of weakness. A pen test attempts to simulate the kind of attack a business might face from criminal hackers, including everything from password cracking and code injection to phishing.
Once the test has taken place, the testers will present you with their findings and can even help by recommending potential changes to your system.
6. Staff Training
You might not think of staff training as a ‘tool’ but ultimately, having knowledgeable employees who understand their role in cybersecurity is one of the strongest forms of defense against attacks. There are many training tools that you can invest in to educate staff about best cyber security practices.
Something as simple as regular updates on cybersecurity strategies and getting into the right habits with passwords can make a huge difference. It is also smart to provide training sessions or simulations on spotting suspicious links or scam emails that may be a part of a phishing attack. It doesn’t matter how strong your defenses are if staff can be tricked through social engineering tactics.
As cyber-criminals continue to expand their methods and level of sophistication, it has made it essential for businesses to invest in these tools and services. Failing to do so can leave you in a position where your company is an easy target for hackers. The expense of the investment might put you off, but remember this initial outlay will reward your business with long-term security and protection.
Note: This blog article was written by a guest contributor for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of GlobalSign