Organizations of all sizes are beginning to acknowledge the threat of a cyberattack. They understand that a cyberattack can halt daily operations, hurt their reputation, and cost significant resources to return to normal. They have also begun taking steps to prevent attacks, such as by ensuring that their passwords are strong. Applying some preventative security measures may make an organization feel like they have done their due diligence to protect their systems, but applying only a few security controls is not enough to deter, detect, or prevent a cyberattack. Today’s attackers are skilled. They can attack from many different approaches and have the capability to go after any organization whether large or small.
How To Step 1
To effectively increase an organizations cybersecurity posture, companies must first conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment. A cybersecurity risk assessment is used to identify and prioritize risk resulting from the use of information systems and technology. During the assessment, a cybersecurity professional will do the following:
1. Identify all critical information of value and assets
2. Identify relevant threats to the organization
3. Evaluated company cybersecurity posture for weaknesses
4. Determine likelihood and impact of a threat event
5. Prioritize findings for decision makers
How to Step 2
Using the assessment results as a guide, a cybersecurity professional and the organization can begin effectively reducing risk. Together they can implement administrative, technical, and physical security controls to the organization. Administrative, technical, and physical security controls are used to reduce risk within the 7 layers of information security. The 7 layers include the following:
1. The Human Layer
2. Perimeter Security
3. Network Security
4. Endpoint Security
5. Application Security
6. Data Security
7. Mission Critical Assets
Within the 7 layers of information security, an administrative control, such as a password policy, would be implemented at the Human Layer to guarantee strong password are always used. A technical control, such as installing a firewall, would be implemented at the Network Security Layer to ensure malicious connections are not made to the network. A physical control, such as electronic door locks, would be implemented at the Perimeter Security Layer to safeguard building entrances.
In time, the organization’s security posture will increase as the cybersecurity professional helps the organization implement administrative, technical, and physical security controls at different security layers. Adding multiple security controls at each layer makes it significantly more difficult for an attacker to conduct a cyberattack. Applying more than one security control at each layer also prevents a single point of failure and minimizes the number of attack vectors that an attacker can use to exploit a network.
Conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment also has other benefits.
Reduced likelihood of cyberattack - Identifying risks and then working toward mitigating them will reduce the likelihood of a cyberattack, saving the organization from reputation damage and spending significant amounts of money to get back to business.
Stay compliant - Many organizations must keep up with regulatory compliance such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and other federal government requirements. A risk assessment helps ensure they are compliant and avoid costly fines for not being in compliance.
Better planning and future savings - Risks and solutions are methodically identified and handled by a cybersecurity expert. Increasing the efficiency of implementing strong security controls the first time.
How to get Started?
The best way to effectively minimize risk and increase an organizations cybersecurity posture is to conduct a risk assessment and work toward implementing security controls. For more information about the importance of performing a cybersecurity risk assessment, reach out to Hire A Cyber Pro for a free consultation and ask how Hire A Cyber Pro can begin strengthening your cybersecurity posture today!