Reacting quickly to cyberattacks is a vital aspect of cybersecurity. A prompt response can be the difference between minimal damage and catastrophic data loss.
Additionally, cybersecurity experts value the importance of preventive and offensive measures, whose presence is as important, if not more so, for cybersecurity professionals to master as a quick response.
A quick, effective response combines with preventive measures for an ideal cybersecurity solution.
Offensive Cybersecurity Measures
Hackers today are sophisticated and up-to-date, making a defensive stand not enough on its own for many companies. In fighting a cyberwar against very skilled hackers, companies need to approach security with an offensive mindset.
Whereas defense relies on waiting for a hacker to make a move, offensive strategies involve identifying the network’s vulnerabilities in addition to the hacker’s weak spots and methods, applying preventive measures with this information in mind.
Although the term offensive may imply attacking hackers first, the offensive aspect more so regards an IT environment as a battleground, with the protection of that battleground requiring visibility into the environment.
Organizations should strive to know their battlefield better than hackers, with the ability to quickly recognize when something seems awry.
Daily, real-time analysis can help to spot any vulnerabilities, just like how the military routinely performs reconnaissance missions to scout an environment.
In addition to offensive measures providing effective risk management, cybersecurity experts value the effectiveness of preventive measures, which can stop hackers in their tracks before they access any sensitive data.
Cybersecurity should eliminate exposure of control system devices to an external network. Some companies are not aware that their control systems face the internet, presenting a cyber threat.
Cybersecurity experts should also apply firewalls and network segmentation, which involves classifying and categorizing data and IT assets into specific groups, which they then restrict by access.
Placing resources into various areas of the network can make it more difficult for hackers to access in its entirety. Additionally, network segments and boundaries help to monitor, restrict and regular communication flow, which helps in identifying suspicious activity.
For precautionary reasons, all networks should also have system logging. Logging helps identify cyberattacks in real time, in addition to providing information that can help prevent such attacks in the future through root-cause analysis. Also, program auditing can ensure your systems are operating at peak efficiency, which helps reduce expenses and liability.
The IT team should also inform employees to use only strong passwords, to prevent against brute force attacks, when hackers try millions of different characters with tools to break into an account. IT should also enforce policies on mobile devices, since hackers can take advantage of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend in some workplaces.
In general, companies should implement an employee cybersecurity training program. Although cybersecurity is a broad field, several topics require immediate attention, such as social engineering methods like email phishing.
Smart internet practices, like recognizing illegitimate websites and malware, are also useful to teach, as well as emerging hacking methods like voice hacking.
Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan
In addition to offensive and preventive measures, cybersecurity experts should organize an incident response plan. The plan can involve anti-virus software, intrusion detection systems (IDSs) and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) to help detect early-stage attacks.
Many IPSs and IDSs can detect malware, port scans and irregular network communications. An effective response plan can help to minimize damage and soothe customers and partners. The plan should involve collaboration among all departments, from IT to top executives. In business, everyone is responsible for cybersecurity prevention.
Cybersecurity is about more than reacting to attacks. Offensive and preventive measures must be in place to ensure damage is minimal.
Additionally, an effective cybersecurity incident response plan can invite collaboration among all departments to improve a company’s cybersecurity strength.