Managing risk when it comes to a cyberattack is a continuous process that requires a high degree of organizational risk awareness combined with basic information security principles. Clients come to us with two main concerns: how can I determine the appropriate level of protection for my organization and how will protection measures impact my business operations? For our clients, we espouse three guiding principles that reduce the probability of an attack while integrating seamlessly with ongoing business operations and goals:
Reduce Attack Surface
The first step in reducing the likelihood of an attack is to minimize your organizational footprint in terms of what entry and exit points exist for a threat actor to enter the environment. These could be websites, email or even LinkedIn profiles that could disclose information helpful to launching a successful attack. We uncover and review with our clients all aspects of the attack surface, including networks, databases, social engineering (i.e. human) and physical. Creating an awareness of what is at risk and how it is vulnerable is critical to protecting it.
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Employees as Perimeter
A second principle is understanding the importance of employees and their role in protecting your organization. The best technical tools and processes can be in place, but if employees are not trained on how to recognize and thwart attempted attacks, the organization is immensely vulnerable. Ongoing security awareness training that incorporates the latest attack methods are an essential tool to maintaining a secure perimeter around your organization.
Security is a Living Thing
Finally, security is a living, breathing organism that requires continuous care and feeding. The best tools and processes today can easily be obsolete tomorrow as threats evolve. The security landscape changes rapidly and organizational security posture has to keep up. Sustainable security programs must be developed that fit into existing business processes and internal gaps filled to keep security breathing 24/7 in your organization.
Our final recommendation is to keep the proverbial door to your organization locked. Many attacks we see in the headlines were not caused by highly sophisticated methods. Rather, vulnerabilities that could have been easily prevented by proactive patching and OS updates are to blame. Focus first on the low-hanging, easy to remediate fruit as a starting point to maturing the security posture of your organization.