Identifying and utilizing cybersecurity best practices is infinitely more complicated than it was a few years ago. Between constant patch updates, attacks that have never been seen before, and new compliance mandates, there’s a lot to balance while managing security operations. So, how can you ensure that your company is keeping up with the latest in cybersecurity best practices?
And most importantly, how do you know if you’re properly protected from evolving cyber-attacks? To keep it simple, we often point our clients to three key elements of cybersecurity best practices: prevention, detection, and response.
Developing a thoughtful cybersecurity strategy and implementing processes to help you prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats is key.
Here are a few ways you can ensure your program is up-to-date in each area this year:
- Make sure your strategy has an element designed to prevent cybersecurity attacks
The best operational security controls are the ones that prevent cyber security attacks from happening in the first place. This is largely common sense. If the undesirable event – say a cyber attack, data breach or major threat to private information – never occurs, then there is no loss event or subsequent need for incident response activities. The most common cybersecurity best practices for prevention are firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), content filters, and endpoint monitoring and protection suites (EDR). When properly configured, maintained, and monitored, these controls can prevent much of the malicious activity that security operations teams defend against. However, if the deluge of high-profile cyberattacks over the past 5 years has taught us anything, it’s that a security operations strategy that is 100% focused on prevention is doomed to fail. Managing risks is a huge part of any legitimate cyber security strategy, but in cases where risks can’t be prevented, there are further cybersecurity best practices that come into play.
- Develop a strategy to detect the attacks you can’t prevent
Sometimes no matter what you do, the bad guys will eventually find a way in. When they do, you need the ability to detect their activities quickly so that you can contain the damage and get back to normal business operations without experiencing a loss event. The most widely used preventive control used today is security information and event management (SIEM). The SIEM solution offered by CyberMaxx will aggregate logs from applications, operating systems, and network infrastructure appliances across the enterprise and then analyze the data to identify undesired activity. Because of the massive amounts of log data generated by most companies, SIEMs leverage big data analytics techniques to identify the proverbial needle in the haystack. Having a mature, well-managed SIEM system is essential to cybersecurity best practices. By having this in place, you can significantly improve their ability to proactively detect malicious activity and contain the problem before it can cause the company serious harm.
- Have plans prepared for how you’ll handle cybersecurity incidents before they occur
Finally, we must prepare for the reality that the bad guys may eventually gain a foothold on our systems. To effectively manage a breach or intrusion, companies must understand cybersecurity best practices and have a preparedness plan in place that outlines who is authorized to declare an incident, the external resources the company will need to recruit or call to action in order to respond, and how the company will technologically deal with the situation. Once you have a plan in place, the team’s performance will improve over time by practicing the response steps. In order to hone their skills, most cybersecurity operations teams conduct tabletop incident response exercises at least annually.
How can you follow these cybersecurity best practices in 2019?
Today’s cybersecurity operations teams are faced with advanced and ever-evolving threats at every possible point of entry – from the perimeter to the desktop; from mobile to the cloud. Because of the rapid evolution of threats and constant changes in network and security requirements, our team at CyberMaxx is committed to keeping you up-to-date on all new developments and threats.