Getting CyberSecurity Foundations Right for the New Year
Over 2022, the cybersecurity industry continued to accelerate, with rising numbers of attacks (global attacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022) and sophisticated methods. Yet, recent research found that the majority of security leaders believe that their organisation is still falling short in addressing cybersecurity risks, with a lack of investment in cybersecurity (26%), inadequate training (24%) and security application (24%).
With no sign of cyber attacks slowing down over 2023, these numbers are a cause for concern as businesses continue to leave the door wide open to be infiltrated without the basic cybersecurity strategies in place. Investing in cybersecurity should be at the top of businesses' priorities for the new year, and a 360-degree approach is key – combining technology solutions, email protection and security awareness training, according to Usman Choudhary, Chief Product Officer, VIPRE.
Education is Key
Humans are the first line of defence when protecting an organisation against cybercriminals, as the employees make the final decision to open an email or click on a link. However, research found that in 2022, 82% of breaches were due to human error.
If employees are not trained nor educated on the cybersecurity landscape, they cannot be expected to spot cyber attacks, protecting themselves and the business. Therefore, it is crucial that organisations implement SAT (Security Awareness Training) programmes regularly, rather than a tick box exercise annually. This training is designed to help the user understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping the company secure and preventing attacks, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to be more security conscious as part of the overall IT security strategy and protection.
Additionally, by making the workforce more confident, it means that there is less reliance on stretched IT teams, and those who work from home can feel more empowered when they don't have instant access to the IT team.
EDR Technology to Enhance Cybersecurity Protection
As well as companies improving their employees' knowledge of cyber threats, implementing technology can further support cybersecurity strategies by adding a second layer of protection against attacks.
Digital solutions such as Endpoint Detection and Response Technology (EDR) can be used to support organisations in monitoring, flagging and alerting cyber threats – such as ransomware and malware – by using endpoint data collection software installed into machines. If any suspicious activity is detected, the system is triggered. EDR technology can also block malicious activity, temporarily freezing an infected endpoint from the rest of the network, stopping any malware from spreading.
Email Prevention Tools
Email is considered the main method for both internal and external communication in any organisation – with 347.3 billion emails expected to be sent and received daily over 2023, which is a 4.3% increase from 2022. However, email is also a key entry point for a cyber attack, with 1 in 99 emails being a phishing attack. Therefore, ensuring that email communication is kept secure is vital.
Mistakes can easily be made – but they can also be easily prevented. Sending an email to the wrong person or opening a malicious attachment can have catastrophic consequences. But, by having email prevention tools in place, users can feel secure with this extra layer of protection when sending and receiving emails internally. This is because such tools can alert the user to take a crucial 'double-check,' confirming that the recipient or attachment is correct, which will, in turn, help to eliminate data leakage due to autocomplete errors.
In 2023, businesses must ensure that their cybersecurity strategy is prioritised and invested in. Whilst it may be difficult to predict the year ahead in terms of cyber attacks and tactics, businesses should be prepared for the threat landscape to continue to evolve, with bad actors continuing to innovate new methods for attacks. However, by adopting a 360-degree approach, organisations can cover all potential risks by empowering their employees with both education and technology, including email prevention tools, EDR technology and security awareness training programmes.
A multi-faceted approach to cybersecurity is crucial against the modern threat landscape, but it is best if these security strategies work in tandem rather than separately. This approach means that businesses and their users will be given the confidence and reassurance they require, effectively closing any potential gaps for attackers to exploit, transforming its security posture for the year ahead.