The never-ending, constantly evolving nature of cyberthreats makes protecting your data and applications against cybercrime a journey, not a destination. This relentless assault requires organizations to regularly scrutinize their defenses and provide employees with ongoing cybersecurity awareness training to stay ahead of cyber-criminals. Cybersecurity is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. You should continually assess, test, and tweak your cyber defenses to ensure maximum efficiency and protection. To get a clear picture of your organization’s potential exposure, you should consider regularly engaging security consultants to perform risk assessments, vulnerability scans, gap analyses, and penetration testing.
Fresh Set of Eyes
While many organizations regularly perform internal audits and assessments, most of them do it without the benefits of an independent, objective third-party advisor. Bringing in a third party allows for fresh eyes and different approaches to assessing your security posture. Outside consultants benefit from having conducted numerous assessments in diverse environments. This experience provides them with a wealth of insight into the latest cybersecurity trends best practices. With their industry-wide expertise and third-party objectivity, consultants can provide a completely neutral assessment and holistic review of your systems and processes without the biases and preconceptions that internal audits are prone to.
Cybercriminals Never Rest
Most cyber attackers leverage an array of attack vectors, that take on a variety of form factors, to launch attacks over an extended period of time. Because their attacks are ongoing and are not limited to a single point in time, your security defenses require continuous scrutiny and constant vigilance to stay a step ahead of these persistent threats. At the same time, hacking tools and techniques are becoming more sophisticated, making it easier for cybercriminals to circumvent traditional firewalls and anti-virus software. To combat emerging threats as well as existing threats, organizations need to continue enhancing and investing in their security capabilities and employee training.
Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity
Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is essential for keeping your data safe. Actively monitoring your networks and endpoints to detect and remediate malicious activity before it can spread is a great first step. Being vigilant and implementing security approaches such as zero-trust and adaptive security that provide visibility into your systems also offer protection for your critical data and applications. However, truly proactive organizations use ongoing testing and assessments to reveal and address weaknesses in their cybersecurity strategy before bad actors can exploit them.
Moving to a proactive cybersecurity approach does not require throwing money at the problem, but it may require a change in your organization’s culture. Many organizations are focused on monitoring and responding to attacks at the expense of proactively preparing for and protecting against attacks. Allocating the time and resources upfront to prepare your organization to prevent and respond to cyberattacks, is preferable to spending the time, effort, and cost of containment and recovery after the damage is done.
Assessing Your Cybersecurity Maturity
A security assessment can provide a snapshot in time of your risks and vulnerabilities, as well as the controls and processes you have in place to minimize those risks and address the vulnerabilities. However, most security assessments don’t measure your organization’s ability to address constantly evolving threats over time. To understand and strengthen your organization’s defenses, you should consider evaluating the maturity of your cybersecurity program in relation to its ability to prevent, detect, and respond to advanced threats.
There are several models organizations can choose from to measure the level of their cybersecurity maturity. Organizations with ad-hoc and reactive defenses, little awareness of organizational risk, and no formal plans for preventing and responding to threats, are at the low end of the cybersecurity maturity scale; while mature programs include key elements, such as strong authentication policies, regular employee awareness training, visibility to proactively detect threats and predict issues, and well-documented information security policies. Achieving and maintaining a maturity level that fits your business needs and risk profile requires ongoing assessments to evaluate your cybersecurity capabilities and adjust your plans for dealing with new and evolving risks.
Cybersecurity is a journey, not a destination, and there will always be new challenges on the horizon. Developing and executing a strategic cybersecurity plan is a critical success factor for organizations that want to minimize risk, but it doesn’t end there. Regularly reviewing and updating the plan with the help of third-party experts will strengthen your security posture and minimize the risks and consequences of a cyberattack.
If you have cybersecurity concerns and you’d like an objective assessment of your organization’s ability to stave off, detect, and respond to cyber threats, give us a call. With over 25 years of experience defending high-profile organizations across the northwest, Cerium’s cybersecurity experts have seen first-hand the many challenges organizations face. We apply this unique perspective and experience to help you defend against cyber threats. Whether it’s a security audit, risks assessment, penetration testing, security monitoring, infrastructure hardening, or another area of cybersecurity, we can scale a security consulting engagement to fit your business needs.