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Unravelling the Complexities of Cyber Security: 3 Commonly-Asked Questions Answered

  • Jim Montgomery, Business Development Lead for Digital Transformation, eir evo UK, highlights the importance of strong cyber security in businesses

    With the vast amount of information available about cyber security often awash with jargon and acronyms, paired with a continuously evolving threat landscape, it can be overwhelming for businesses to get a grip on how to secure their network against cyber-attacks. We work with organisations to help them understand where they are on their journey to cyber resilience, breaking down the complexities with a top-down approach.

    3 recurring questions have emerged in recent times from organisations of all sizes:  What is Zero Trust and what does it entail? How can we guarantee cyber insurance coverage and reduce premiums? How do we achieve robust protection with disparate legacy systems?

    By examining these 3 questions, we can unriddle what cyber security measures are available that will improve your organisation’s posture.

    1. Protecting Your Organisation with Zero Trust

    The evolution of the workplace, coupled with migration to the cloud and the proliferation of devices on the network, means that the traditional perimeter-based security models used in the past are outdated and no longer meet the needs of modern networks. Threats have intensified, the lack of granular security controls has become more of a risk and companies have begun to move to a ‘never trust, always verify’ approach.

    Zero Trust is a robust architectural approach to secure your organisation and assumes that all network users, even those inside the network, should be treated as potential threats. A Zero Trust approach to security involves implementing strict role-based access controls and continually verifying the identity of users and devices before granting access to resources.

    Many networks are shockingly wide open due to legacy perimeter-based security methodologies, where sensitive data about financials, customers and personnel could be downloaded by any employee, or an intruder posing as an employee.

    The beauty of Zero Trust is that it protects against risks you may never have known about or haven’t realised are on your network. Each vendor has a slightly different approach to implementing Zero Trust, however all solutions essentially come down to 4 key security tools.

    1. Micro-segmentation: This involves dividing an organisation's network into smaller, isolated segments that can be more easily managed and secured.
    2. Least privilege access: This involves granting users and devices the minimum level of access necessary to perform their jobs, rather than providing them with unrestricted access to the network.
    3. Multi-factor authentication: This requires users to provide multiple forms of authentication, such as a password and a one-time code sent to their phone, to access the network.
    4. Continuous monitoring: This involves constantly monitoring the network for signs of suspicious activity and taking immediate action to prevent or mitigate any threats that are detected.

    2. Align Your Cyber Security Maturity to Cyber Insurance Requirements

    As cyber-attacks on businesses grow and the associated financial risks become more threatening, more companies have been taking out cyber insurance premiums. Cyber insurance can help offset the cost of legal fees, restoring personal identities of impacted customers, recovering compromised data, repairing any damage to compromised systems, and notifying customers about any possible breaches.

    With rising premiums and tightening coverage, organisations are having to enhance their cybersecurity maturity in-line with insurance requirements. Cyber insurers want to know you’ve taken sensible steps to protect your property, instead of leaving it wide open for anyone to steal. This requires a stringent look at what you’re doing to protect your assets. Not only will this improve your chances of getting cyber security coverage at the best rate but it will improve your overall resiliency.

    Here are the key things that cyber insurance providers look for:

    1. Implementation of robust cyber security measures including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits.
    2. Regularly updating and patching software
    3. Having a comprehensive and detailed incident response plan for responding to cyber-attacks.
    4. Training employees in cybersecurity best practices, including regular training on identifying and avoiding common cyber threats.
    5. Working with trusted cyber security vendors to deliver a baseline level of cyber security maturity aligned to an industry framework.

    3. Consolidate and Streamline for Optimum Cyber Intelligence

    Few enterprises have been totally lax when it comes to cyber security. It’s likely your business has purchased a range of protective tools such as firewalls and the latest and greatest monitoring and alerting tools.  These probably come from different suppliers, which can result in poor integration and weaken your security. This can all add up to a big headache: you have too many vendors, too many alarms which don’t make much sense and at the end of the day still lack robust protection.

    The following steps are recommended for any organisations facing these challenges:

    1. Conduct a security assessment: Conducting a security assessment of your IT and network infrastructure can help you identify any vulnerabilities or weaknesses that need to be addressed. This assessment should include both a review of the hardware and software components of the legacy systems, as well as a review of the processes and policies that are in place to protect these systems.
    2. Consolidate security technologies: Many companies have a variety of different security technologies in place, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software. Consolidating these technologies can help to streamline cybersecurity by reducing the number of systems that need to be managed and making it easier to identify and address vulnerabilities.
    3. Implement security automation tools: Automation tools can help to streamline cybersecurity by automating tasks such as vulnerability scanning, patch management, and incident response. This can help to reduce the burden on IT staff and free up resources for other tasks. Regularly patching and updating your legacy systems can help to ensure that they are protected against known vulnerabilities.
    4. Standardise security processes and policies: Establishing standardised security processes and policies can help to streamline cybersecurity by reducing complexity and ensuring that all employees are following the same procedures. This can include standardising processes such as password management, user access controls, and incident response.

    Ultimately, integration is vital. It gives the security team a clear view right across your company network about what’s secure, what’s vulnerable, and what needs action right now.

    The right cyber security partner will also have the industry relationships that can protect your enterprise against brand-new cyber threats that are often hard to detect by tools like antivirus. Global threat intelligence experts are constantly scanning for emerging threats and instantly notify partners when a new attack has emerged.

    Despite the growing volume and intensity of cyber threats over recent years, there are many reasons to be cheerful these days when it comes to cyber security. Field-tested, robust solutions are here to protect you. Security specialists with an in-depth understanding of the technologies and how they can defend your business are ready to help.

    Your aim is simple: to reduce the cyber security risks and empower your organisation to be productive, innovative, and progressive without introducing vulnerabilities. The path to a more secure business needn’t be one littered with jargon and complexity. But it’s important to make the first step, and to be alongside the right partner as you go.

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