How secure is your organization’s data and systems? Given the increasing number of cyber threats circulating today, it’s essential that you strengthen your security posture to more effectively guard against ransomware, data breaches, and other types of unwanted events. Follow the recommendations in this quick guide to strengthen your defenses and better protect your firm’s valuable cyber assets.
What is a Security Posture?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a firm’s security posture is the combined security status of its data, systems, and networks. In essence, a firm’s security posture details all the IT resources available to protect it from unwanted cyber events, including its people, hardware, software, and policies.
When evaluating a firm’s security posture, note that strength cannot be solely measured in terms of quantity – i.e., the number of people on staff or the amount of money spent on firewalls and anti-malware software. It’s the effectiveness of these resources that makes a bigger difference. A firm can operate with fewer, better-trained staff and have a stronger security posture than a firm with a larger yet less effective IT security staff. When it comes to measuring your firm’s security posture, experience and training matter as much if not more than the size of your cybersecurity budget.
Why is it Important to Strengthen Your Security Posture?
In today’s threat-filled IT environment, having a stronger security posture is increasingly important. The latest numbers are disconcerting:
- In 2020, 86% of all organizations were victims of cyberattacks (CyberEdge 2021 Cyberthreat Defense Report)
- The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $4.24 million (IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021)
- More than three-quarters of cyber-related issues today are financially motivated – with more than 80% of these events conducted by organized crime groups (Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report)
- 37% of all companies in 2020 were the victims of ransomware – with the average cost of mitigating such an issue running to $1.85 million (Sophos The State of Ransomware 2021)
The stronger an organization’s security posture, the better protected it is from these cyber threats. A weaker security posture puts an organization at greater risk of data breach or similar event.
What Can You Do to Strengthen Your Security Posture?
To protect against ransomware, data breaches, and other unwanted cyber eventw, it’s essential that your organization strengthen your security posture. Here are eight steps you can take.
Conduct Regular Security Assessments
Before you can strengthen your security posture you need to know how strong it currently is. That requires assessing all aspects of your organization’s cyber security:
- Identifying all valuable assets, including data and systems
- Assessing the current state of your IT security
- Identifying potential threats to your cyber assets
Conducting a security assessment is not a one-time time. You need to periodically reassess your security status in the wake of any changes in your organization and to respond to evolving cyber threats in the wild.
Identify Security Gaps
Following on your security assessment, it’s important to identify any gaps between potential threats and your current cyber defenses. It’s essential that you quickly direct resources to fill in those gaps so you’re not left unprotected.
Prioritize Potential Risks
You can’t protect against every potential cyber threat. You need to prioritize potential risks in terms of both likelihood and impact on your business, and then focus your security efforts on defending against the most likely and highest-impact threats.
Regularly Monitor for New Issues
New cyber threats are emerging on an almost-daily basis. You need to monitor various information resources so you’re aware of emerging threats and preparing for them. You also need to monitor your own organization’s cyber security to identify any new vulnerabilities that arise from changes in your systems or data usage.
Track Key Security Metrics
When monitoring your cyber defenses, focus on a few key metrics to track on an ongoing basis. These metrics can provide a real-time view into your organization’s security posture, and should include:
- Detected events
- Event response time
- Event severity level
- Number of users affected by each event
Create an Event Response Plan
What do you do if your organization is the victim of a data breach or other event? It’s important to develop a detailed incident response plan that you can follow when unwanted events occur. This plan should spell out, in step-by-step fashion, what needs to be done and who should do it if your firm is the target of a cyber issues.
Automate Event Detection
It’s virtually impossible to manually monitor large systems for signs of unwanted events. Instead, automate your organization’s event detection with robust cyber security tools that can more quickly identify and respond to any cyber threats.
Strengthen Your Security Posture with Secure Communications from Wickr
Securing your organization’s communications and collaboration, especially for remote workers, is key to strengthening your overall security posture. Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform uses end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that all of your firm’s text, voice, and video communications are completely secure from unauthorized access or attack. Let Wickr ensure that all of your communications stay safe and secure, even – and especially – for your organization’s remote workers.
Contact us today to learn more about strengthening your security posture with Wickr secure communications.