Cybersecurity can be viewed as reactive or proactive, or a mixture of both. Not sure what the difference is between proactive and reactive cybersecurity? Below we will explain what cybersecurity practices are proactive or reactive and how end-to-end encryption is an essential part of a proactive security practice.
Comparing Proactive and Reactive Cybersecurity
All cybersecurity is designed to protect an organization’s valuable data and communications. Reactive cybersecurity involves responding to attacks that have already taken place, while proactive security involves identifying and protecting against new and evolving risks before an attack happens. Both types of cybersecurity are necessary.
Understanding Reactive Cybersecurity
Some might view reactive cybersecurity as scrambling after the fact, but in reality, it plays an important role in an organization’s overall cybersecurity posture. Reactive cybersecurity is necessary for repairing the damage caused by prior security incidents, analyzing those incidents, and preventing similar attacks in the future.
A reactive cybersecurity strategy is typically focused on protecting against common attacks, known malware, and attackers who have previously breached your company’s systems. Reactive cybersecurity practices include such popular technologies and procedures as:
- Anti-malware tools
- Spam and phishing filters
- Software and hardware firewalls
- Password protection
Unfortunately, reactive cybersecurity practices do little to protect against new and evolving types of cyber attacks. For that, proactive cybersecurity is necessary.
Understanding Proactive Cybersecurity
Whereas a reactive cybersecurity strategy is focused on the types of attacks that have happened in the past, a proactive strategy involves identifying and protecting against new types of attacks before they develop. The goal of proactive cybersecurity is to prevent new cyber attacks from occurring.
Proactive cybersecurity practices include processes and technologies such as:
- Ethical hacking
- Simulation modeling
- Vulnerability testing
- Network and endpoint monitoring
- End-to-end encryption
The whole point of proactive cybersecurity is to imagine how malicious actors might attack in the future and then devise systems to guard against those potential attacks. Just as your information technology department is constantly evolving to store and access more and more important data, cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques to breach your systems and gain access to that data. Without proactive cybersecurity, you could never keep up with the bad guys.
The good news is that proactive security works. According to recent data, companies that embrace proactive cybersecurity practices stop more attacks, find and fix breaches faster, and significantly reduce the impact of data breaches compared to those firms that employ more reactive measures. In addition, a survey found that firms practicing proactive cybersecurity were able to reduce the growth of cyber attacks by 53% over firms with a more reactive strategy.
Which is Better: Proactive or Reactive Cybersecurity?
Companies need both reactive and proactive cybersecurity. Think of it this way: proactive security is similar to receiving a vaccine to immunize you against a future virus, and reactive security is medical care to help you recover from the virus you just caught. Both are important.
Just as your organization needs the reactive protections of anti-malware and firewalls to guard against known threats, it also needs proactive security to protect against new and more complex threats that are being devised by cybercriminals every day. You need to stay ahead of these developing cyber threats, which requires an investment in proactive cybersecurity practices.
The Use of Encryption in Proactive Cybersecurity
One of the key components of a proactive cybersecurity strategy is the use of end-to-end encryption. This technology can help secure both your data and communications from the evolving threats of malicious actors.
Understanding End-to-End Encryption
Encryption scrambles data with a unique key. The encrypted data can only be unscrambled with a matching decryption key.
Normal encryption protects data in only one location. In communications, the data may be encrypted at the source, but then decrypted on a central server. This does not adequately protect against unknown threats; malicious actors can use their evolving methods to access the unencrypted data.
To better protect against both known and new threats, end-to-end encryption must be employed. With end-to-end encryption, the data or communications are fully encrypted throughout the entire process, including on host servers. Any malicious actor trying to access the data or communications, through means known or unknown, cannot decrypt the data, thus rendering it useless.
Employing End-to-End Encryption in Proactive Cybersecurity
Many organizations include end-to-end encryption as part of their proactive cybersecurity practices. End-to-end encryption is one of the most effective ways to proactively guard against future threats. No matter what technologies or processes are employed, end-to-end encryption ensures that even if defenses are breached, no useful data or communications can be obtained.
There are several other approaches you can employ in your proactive cybersecurity practice, but end-to-end encryption is an essential last line of defense for your valuable data and communications. No matter how effectively you guard against future breaches, only end-to-end encryption ensures that your data and communications are fully protected. After all, if they breach your system but can’t read any sensitive information, your company is still protected.
Choose Wickr for Your Proactive Cybersecurity
Wickr is a secure collaboration platform that offers full control, total compliance, and complete security. The Wickr platform employs 256-bit end-to-end encryption for all data transfers and communications, thus becoming a must-have component of any proactive cybersecurity practice.
Contact us today to learn how you can employ Wickr in your organization’s proactive cybersecurity strategy!