Three Essential Proactive Steps for Keeping Enterprises Cybersecure

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cybersecurity expert on laptop keeping enterprises cybersecure

Ransomware, phishing and malware are just some of the cyberattacks plaguing enterprises today. As the pandemic spurred a shift in digital transformation and remote and hybrid work models, cybercriminals ramped up their efforts to exploit vulnerabilities associated with the digital economy and a more distributed workforce. It’s important to take proactive steps for keeping enterprises cybersecure.

Going into 2023, cyberattacks against enterprises show no signs of slowing down. Research from Check Point found that global attacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to same period in 2021, with average weekly attacks per organization worldwide reaching over 1,130. In this environment of elevated cyber risk, enterprises must be proactive in securing data and protecting privacy.

As cyberthreats evolve, growing in sophistication and frequency, the best defense against these threats is preventive and proactive. To create a cybersecure enterprise, organizations should take the following mission-critical steps:

1. Provide cybersecurity awareness training

Employees are often the weakest link in the chain of cybersecurity. Data from Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report supports this observation, finding that 82% of breaches involved the “human element”. To help make employees a more effective first line of defense against cyberthreats, organizations should provide ongoing cybersecurity awareness training. This is just another way for keeping enterprises cybersecure.

Providing cybersecurity awareness training is especially critical in the era of remote and hybrid work, which is expanding the attack surface in organizations. While cybercriminals continue to target vulnerabilities and security weaknesses related to these working models, many organizations are not training employees to practice good cyber hygiene. A new survey by cybersecurity provider Hornet Security found that 33% of companies are not providing any cybersecurity awareness training to users who work remotely.

An essential part of any proactive strategy for preventing data loss and data breaches, cybersecurity training should make employees aware of the damaging risks and threats associated with cyberattacks. Employees should also learn how to recognize and avoid threats like phishing scams, malware and ransomware as well as what steps to take in the event of an attack. The training should also cover cyber hygiene basics such as using strong passwords, never using the same password twice, steering clear of accessing unsecure websites and applications, keeping software updated and never leaving mobile devices unattended.

Employees who receive cybersecurity training help improve the cyber resiliency of an organization and help mitigate data breaches. In fact, studies show that employees who consistently receive cybersecurity awareness training are five times more likely to recognize and avoid clicking on malicious links. 

2. Take a zero-trust approach

The zero-trust framework for securing data and systems is based on the principle of trusting no one, not even an organization’s end users. Enterprises should adopt zero-trust for the continuous verification and authorization that minimizes cyber risk. Using this approach, enterprises can achieve more secure access while enhancing data protection, usability and governance. As part of zero-trust, enterprises should implement strong identity and access management including multifactor authentication and biometric technologies such as facial recognition to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

With data showing that the zero-trust security framework can reduce the cost of a data breach by approximately $1.76 million, an increasing number of enterprises and organizations are adopting the framework. In 2022, 72% of organizations were either in the process of adopting zero-trust or had already adopted it. The Department of Defense (DoD) is among these organizations. The DoD recently announced plans to implement a zero-trust security strategy that goes beyond the traditional perimeter defense approach.

3. Use secure by design technology

To prevent data breaches, any proactive approach to making enterprises cybersecure should include strengthening the security of tech stacks with the adoption of secure by design technology. Built-in security is especially critical in technology such as mobile messaging and collaboration tools which support remote and hybrid work. As these working models continue to create security vulnerabilities for businesses, secure mobile messaging and collaboration technology becomes an essential business enabler and data security protector.

Secure by design mobile messaging and collaboration platforms are architected with enterprise-grade end-to-end encryption (E2EE), complete IT visibility and administrative, physical and technical safeguards that ensure compliance. Unlike consumer-grade messaging apps, which contain hidden vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actors, secure mobile messaging tools encrypt data, providing uninterrupted security for data at rest and in transit which keeps messages secure from prying eyes and prevents these messages from being tampered with or altered.

Enterprises using mobile messaging and collaboration platforms secured with robust E2EE never have to worry about exposure of business communication and collaboration in the event of a data breach or a lost or stolen device. E2EE makes it impossible for cybercriminals to intercept this data, locking down sensitive information to ensure data privacy, security and compliance.

Business communication that is encrypted by default provides the strong cybersecurity defense enterprises need to protect data and information as it is transmitted from device to device.

Enterprises that proactively take these essential steps will be well on their way to building the strong cyber defenses needed to prevent cyberthreats and keeping enterprises cybersecure.

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