How to Fortify Your Business’s Cybersecurity in 2021

4 Mins read

How to Fortify Your Business’s Cybersecurity in 2021

For years now, we’ve leveraged numerous digital technologies to streamline our business operations and data management. However, although digitalization is convenient and comes with many benefits, it also comes with numerous risks — cybersecurity risks, especially.

RiskBased Security reported that, in 2020, a whopping 36 billion confidential records were divulged, making it “the worst year on record.” Prevent your business from becoming a statistic by fortifying your cybersecurity in 2021. Here are three primary ways to do that:

1. Be Guided by the MITRE ATT&CK Matrix

The MITRE ATT&CK framework is short for MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK). It was developed by the MITRE Corporation, a non-profit organization providing technical guidance and engineering on complex technology issues, including cybersecurity.

The MITRE ATT&CK matrix is a globally accessible, curated database and pattern for cybercriminal actions and behaviors based on real-life situations. In the model, you’ll see specific adversarial behaviors in every stage of the attack lifecycle and the platforms they popularly target.

Additionally, the ATT&CK model presents these primary elements:

  • Tactics (in columns), referring to the short-term, shrewd adversary objectives during an attack; and
  • Techniques (individual cells), which explain the ways fraudulent actors execute their tactics or attain their goals;

The MITRE ATT&CK is similar to the Cyber Kill Chain concept by Lockheed Martin but substantially more exhaustive about how each stage goes. Moreover, it includes specific cloud-native attack techniques and tactics that the cyber kill chain lacks.

As an intelligence bank, the MITRE ATT&CK framework is even frequently up-to-date with industry input, helping you stay informed on the latest malicious cyber stratagem. Studying the inputs in this model can help you find the best defense tools and measures for your business data assets.

2. Modernize your Defense Measures.

Digital technologies and cyber breaches are continually advancing, so it’s only rational to modernize the ways you protect your data assets.

The following are some innovative defense measures to take in 2021:

Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS)

Breach and attack simulation (BAS) is a newer cybersecurity technology that automatically imitates real-life breach attempts and uncovers weaknesses in your IT landscape. It is essentially an advanced version of penetration testing that combines red and blue team (or purple teaming) techniques — which are traditionally manually performed –but in an ongoing and automated manner.

This sophisticated computer security testing method mimics and evaluates the latest breach attempts by advanced persistent threats (APTs) and other fraudulent players. If it discovers any vulnerabilities in your systems, the BAS platform gives you a priority list of any necessary corrective steps.

BAS platforms can simulate data exfiltration, malware infiltrations on your IT endpoints, and complicated APT assaults moving laterally through a network and targeting critical files. ABAS also runs automatically 24/7 every day without depending on human intervention. This helps you increase your visibility into any security weaknesses and address them ASAP.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is one of today’s smart cybersecurity solutions and helpmates because of its automation and other capabilities helpful for threat prevention, detection, recovery, etc. Businesses now use AI to update security databases, analyze logs from several sources and data throughout various channels, recognize suspicious activity based on established parameters, etc.

Tangible use cases also include biometric logins, multi-factor authentication, API monitoring, and more.

Password Protectors

A password manager or protector is an encrypted database for your login credentials (e.g., usernames and passwords). It helps you store and manage these access details safely and conveniently and assists in generating and recovering complicated passwords.

By creating an account for the password protector, you can manage only one master password and then automatically keep all other login details in the digital vault. That way, when you sign in to an app or website with your saved credentials and the login fields appear, the password protector instantly fills them in for you.

Using password managers makes it more difficult for cyber hijackers to hack into your systems and accounts but eases your use of robust passwords.

3. Maintain the Essentials.

While using advanced defense measures is beneficial, maintaining the cybersecurity essentials is still a must for keeping your business assets safe. These essentials are considered evergreen and often proactive habits, empowering you to strengthen your cybersecurity defenses without breaking the bank:

Rock-solid Passwords

Diversify your password characters into symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers. Use something personally meaningful, preferably one that doesn’t sound like a person’s name. Leverage also reliable password strength testers tell you how long it will take to break your access codes and, therefore, how rock-solid they are.

Regular Data Backups

Always ensure your data assets have safe, sufficient backups. The 3-2-1 rule is an excellent method to remember:

  • Maintain at least 3 copies of your files and data;
  • Store your files and data in a minimum of 2 different formats (e.g., cloud, disk, etc.)
  • Keep 1 copy of your files offsite to secure them from physical disasters (such as theft, flood, fire, and others). Consider using offsite record storage services to protect and securely store your files from these unforeseen events

Staff  Training

Train your staff to have proper cybersecurity mindsets, skills needed to detect human-targeted breach attempts (e.g., phishing, whaling), and the appropriate responses when they happen.
Robust cybersecurity policies

Establish strong cybersecurity policies and protocols in your company. They should cover aspects such as authorized access to data assets, corrective and disciplinary actions for breaches, and others.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN is a service enabling you to access and surf the Web securely and privately, away from prying fraudulent players. VPNs establish a safe, encrypted connection between your location and company network by routing it through a server and hiding your online activities.

Install VPNs on your devices and select the most suitable implementation method for your business:

  • Browser extension (Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.)
  • VPN client
  • Router VPN
  • Company VPN

Internet-of-Things (IoT) management

Install and periodically update your firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware software programs, and other security tools on all your company devices.

Final Thoughts

2021 can bring with it disastrous security breaches, but arming your company with these protective measures can go far in thwarting malicious actors. Remain vigilant, regularly inspect your security posture for loopholes, and keep tabs on modern cybersecurity tools, frameworks, and adversary techniques. Doing these things is the only way to fortify your cyber defense and preserve your assets and company lifespan.

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