Upward offers 5 recommendations for every business to enhance their cybersecurity resilience in 2022.
There has been a lot to be grateful for in 2021, and we look optimistically at the year ahead in most regards. Regarding cybersecurity, our outlook is unfortunately more mixed. We have seen encouraging signs that more and more businesses are beginning to take the risk of cybersecurity seriously, while at the same time cyber-criminals are innovating and out-maneuvering with breathtaking speed.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Here are 5 recommendations for every business to enhance their cybersecurity resilience in 2022:
Security Operations Center/Security Information Event Management (SOC/SIEM) Solution as a Service
Most internet connected devices and online (SaaS) applications, including Microsoft 365, Google Workspaces, cloud services, firewalls, antivirus programs or network gear (a good portion of the technology you use everyday) can provide alerts when unusual logins, warnings or behavior are detected.
The problem is that IT Teams and providers have no way to aggregate the alerts and quickly identify if they are normal behavior, like a user trying to log in from vacation, or something malicious, like a hacker in Lagos, Nigeria. The only way to know is to investigate every alert independently, which is prohibitively time consuming. A SOC/SIEM solution aggregates the alerts from all relevant systems in an ecosystem and uses artificial intelligence and trained humans to identify which threats need investigation versus which threats are false alarms.
These solutions are the gold-standard for cybersecurity protection for businesses because they can reduce the time it takes to identify malicious activity in your environment from weeks or months to minutes or hours. Click here to learn more about our SOC/SIEM partner, AgileBlue.
We have been encouraging the use of password management solutions, our preferred solution being Keeper, strongly for several years now but have still seen less than 10% adoption amongst our clients! Reports show that up to 80% of all breaches are due to sloppy password management by users or firms. Password managers go beyond ensuring passwords aren’t sloppy, they help ensure that users in your environment only have access to the list of password their role requires, and ensures that if they ever leave, your passwords don’t go with them. On top of everything, users don’t need to remember so many passwords any longer, so it actually saves significant time for your team.
The monthly cost and time investment to set it up are small versus the benefits it brings.
Malicious website traffic protection
With so much of the world now remote every day, your corporate firewall is doing nothing to stop your employees from visiting malicious websites, let alone warning you when they do so. A malicious website protection solution, like LUMU is designed to continuously assess your environment for signs of compromise and alert your IT/IS teams when users visit websites that are hosting malicious content or when their device has been compromised by a threat actor that is reaching out to a malicious website.
Before you can effectively secure your environment, you have to establish the rules. A basic set of IT policies, including Acceptable Use, Information Security and Incident Response will give your team the rules and guidelines on what is within and out of bounds in your environment.
There is nothing fun about policies, but they are imperative as a foundation for understanding and governance in every environment, and are becoming mandatory for some cyber insurance underwriters.
We know that not every client we work with has acquired cyber insurance yet, and with the costs increasing 40-70% in the past 12 months, we understand that there are more reasons than ever to put it off, but it could not be more important. Effectively, a good cyber policy gives you Seal Team 6 if you ever suffer an attack. They provide a cadre of cybersecurity experts, lawyers, forensics and reputational experts to ensure the issue is dealt with as quickly as possible. Without insurance, you could easily face hundreds of thousands of dollars of liability and could be put in a “go-out-of-business situation”.
BUT, read the fine print and scrutinize proposed cyber policies and renewals as much as possible, or ask us for help. The cyber carriers and their underwriters have been slammed with claims in the past few years and have become very strict and specific about how and why they will help you, what exemptions they can claim (some won’t cover ransomware for instance), what other policies they may be subordinate to and most importantly, what mitigations they require to be in place in order to maintain policy validity.
Upward knows some excellent brokers, please let us know if your current broker does not have expertise in this area.
Stay safe out there in 2022! We are on your side and here to help in any way that we can!