Cyber security strategies an organization needs to protect against prevailing cyber threats!
Today large companies are taking a step forward in securing their IT infrastructure against cyber criminals by implementing new methodologies and adopting advanced technological cyber security tools.
Now, what could this mean for small businesses?
It means they become easy targets for cyber criminals since they are less secure.
However, having said that, there is not a single company that is 100% protected against cyber attacks. Irrespective of the size, cyber criminals are targeting almost every company in the Middle East region.
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In fact, 7 Million Cyber Attacks Hit Saudi Arabia In The First Two Months Of 2021. Moreover, as mentioned in one of our blogs, 72% of the CISOs in the UAE feel unprepared to deal with a cyber attack.
A report from ISJ says, “Over 10 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were recorded globally in 2020, including a 183% increase in the UAE alone”.
The numbers are only going up when it comes to cyber attacks. So, to address this issue, I have listed some of the methodologies that can help your organization in building a robust cyber security IT infrastructure.
Data Privacy and Security
Data security is crucial for every business, big and small. The data can be of any type, but what you need to aware of is those data contain valuable information. Moreover, it is to keep in mind that if this data is lost then it is often impossible to replace. In addition, if this data gets in the hands of cyber criminals then they can cause serious harm such as identity theft.
So, every organization needs to enforce a data security policy to protect the data. And in order to set this policy, an organization should understand and follow the steps mentioned below:
- Understand the Value: Every business stores several kinds of data, some may be more valuable than others, but remember that “no matter what kind of data it might be, it is always valuable and important to someone”.
- Handling and Protecting the Data: If an organization’s data are stored in a single computer or server and if it is not connected to the internet, then protecting the data could have been an easy task. However, that’s not the case in the real world. Today, the collected data is passed on from one person to another for marketing purposes. Some even share it with key partners.
So, when this data moves from one point to another it can be exposed to several harmful factors such as cyber criminals. Therefore, as an organization, you should set up a policy on how to handle this data properly and securely. Also, keeping in mind who will be handling this data, where will it travel, and where will it be stored.
- Restrictions on Access to the Data: Not every employee needs access to all the data of an organization. For example, a marketing staff or a sales executive doesn’t need to be allowed to view or access employees’ payroll data. So, when you are analyzing the types of data stored, it is important to assign who can access based on the data.
Scams and Frauds
As mentioned in one of my blogs, UAE suffered a loss of more than $87M in 2017 due to online scams. Scams and fraud cases are increasing every passing year. Therefore, to secure an organization and the customers from scams and frauds a well-built security strategy is mandatory.
If your organization is one of those that request personal information from the customers, then make the customers aware of which specific channel you will be using to approach them. However, if your organization doesn’t take personal information over emails or phone then the customer should also know that. Therefore, send them regular updates on the specific subject to remind them how they should be careful.
Moreover, a strategy shouldn’t only focus on the clients, customers, and the IT infrastructure but need to include the employees as well. They are the first line of defense in the cyber security chain, remember? So, implementing tools such as the Threat Alert Button can be handy. The tool empowers employees with the ability to report suspicious-looking emails. This results in stopping the spread of malicious emails. It also stops the employees from falling for such scams and frauds that are mostly delivered by emails.
Being an organization, a strategy to secure the networks is a must. An organization’s network should be separated from the public internet. Therefore, a policy should be enforced such as adopting firewalls to monitor and filter incoming and outgoing traffic.
An organization should identify the network’s boundary points. Moreover, after identifying the boundaries it should be evaluated to determine which type of security protocols should be implemented based on the boundary.
Emails play an important role in our everyday business. Either it’s to communicate with our clients or with other staff members. However, you should also be aware that email is not considered a secure channel of communication because of the threats concerned.
According to CSO Online, 94% of malware is delivered via email.
So, it is needless to say an organization needs a strong email security policy.
Some of the methods you can implement are mentioned below:
- Enforce a Strong Password Policy: A strong password should be a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, along with numbers and symbols. Also, the minimum number of characters of a password should be six. In addition, employees should not share their passwords at work or anywhere else. Set a policy that makes the employees understand the benefits of creating a unique and different password for each account.
- Spam Email Filter: Set up a spam filter to detect unsolicited or malicious email and prevent it from getting into email inboxes. However, implementing such filters also blocks important emails by mistake because of the content in the email. So, ensure that filters are reviewed regularly to not let this happen.
- Secure Outbound Emails: The reason why the success rate is so high with email attacks is that hackers impersonate a legitimate email domain to trick the users. Therefore, to protect your business and your customers, outbound email security is required. Tools such as KDMARC do exactly that. It provides you with full insights into your email channel. Additionally, the tool helps in preventing malicious emails that are sent using your email domain from reaching the recipients’ inbox.
Cyber Security Awareness and Training
Last but not least is to set up a policy that prioritizes educating and training the employees in cyber security. As mentioned above, employees are the first line of defense. Therefore, they need to be trained well. Cyber security awareness and training will give them the knowledge on how to spot the latest and most common cyber threats. Moreover, it will make them aware of the ways on how to avoid such cyber attacks.
There are many cyber security awareness training tools such as ThreatCop that simulate cyber attacks to give a real-life experience of a cyber attack to an employee. With the help of this training, you can also find out which employee is the most vulnerable as well. Then you can provide them the additional training that is required to make them cyber vigilantly.
To secure an organization there are several parameters that you need to focus on. So, planning on which to prioritize first and what type of security measures should be taken is a must. For a cyber criminal all they need is one loophole to exploit your business, so you need to make sure every loophole is patched accordingly to stop them from harming your business.
I hope this blog helps you in building a strategy for the robust cyber security of your organization. You can leave your comments down below.
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