Cyber incidents—including data breaches, ransomware attacks and social engineering scams—have become increasingly prevalent, impacting organizations of all sizes and industries. As such, here are 10 essential cybersecurity controls that organizations can implement to help manage their cyber exposures:
- Multifactor authentication (MFA)—While complex passwords can help deter cybercriminals, they can still be cracked. MFA can help prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to employees’ accounts and using such access to launch potential attacks.
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions—EDR solutions continuously monitor security-related threat information to detect and respond to ransomware and other malware.
- Patch management—Patches modify operating systems and software to enhance security, fix bugs and improve performance. Created by vendors, patches address key vulnerabilities cybercriminals may target. The patch management process can be carried out by organizations’ IT departments, automated patch management tools or a combination of both.
- Network segmentation—Network segmentation refers to dividing larger networks into smaller segments (also called subnetworks) through the use of switches and routers, permitting organizations to better monitor and control the flow of traffic between these segments.
- End-of-life (EOL) software management—EOL software has vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can easily exploit. Proactive EOL software management is necessary to prevent unwelcome surprises and maintain organizational cybersecurity.
- Remote desk protocol (RDP) safeguards—To safeguard their RDP ports, organizations should keep ports turned off whenever they aren’t in use, ensure they aren’t left open to the internet and promote overall interface security through the use of a virtual private connection and MFA.
- Email authentication technology—It’s paramount that organizations utilize email authentication technology, which monitors incoming emails and determines the validity of these messages based on specific sender verification standards that organizations have in place.
- Secure data backups—One of the best ways for organizations to protect sensitive information and data from cybercriminals is by conducting frequent and secure backups.
- Incident response planning—Cyber incident response plans can help organizations establish protocols for detecting and containing digital threats, remaining operational and mitigating losses in a timely manner amid cyber events.
- Employee training—Employees are widely considered organizations’ first line of defense against cyber incidents. Training should center around helping employees properly identify and respond to common cyberthreats.
In today’s evolving digital risk landscape, it’s vital for organizations to take cybersecurity seriously and utilize effective measures to decrease their exposures.
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