Investing in Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Organization from Attacks

11/11/2021

The volume and severity of cybersecurity incidents increased in the past year, according to 67% of respondents of an IBM survey – highlighting an emerging issue for organizations many industries.

These days, no IT team is complete without cybersecurity experts. Whether your organization is creating positions focused on cybersecurity for the first time, or adding to a growing team of experts, cybersecurity should be a top priority for all IT departments to better protect their organization’s internal employees, private and sensitive information, and customers.

Read on to learn four tips to prevent cyberattacks on both your internal employees and any clients with whom you interact.

1. Protect Your Most Vulnerable Assets First

Attacks on vulnerable cloud services, compromised websites serving malicious content, identity theft, scareware and ransomware, and rogue anti-viruses, data theft, phishing scams, and infiltrated private servers are the greatest cybersecurity threats facing companies.

The top most prominent attack types over the past year, according to IBM Security research, include:

1. Ransomware (23% of attacks)

2. Data theft (160% increase since 2019)

3. Server access (233% increase since 2019)

Take time to identify which of your IT assets may be most prone to an attack. Where is the most valuable company and client information stored? Who has access to it? How is it currently protected – and how can that protection be leveled up?

In addition to physical company hardware, it’s critical not to overlook the protection of company cloud data and mobile usage – especially with the increase in remote work. When employees are connected virtually via newer technology such as cloud systems, private VPNs, collaboration tools such as Teams or Slack, email inboxes and other methods, it makes these systems more prone to a malicious attack from anywhere in the world.

With advanced technology comes the need for advanced protection measures; malicious users are evolving their methods in the same way that technology is improving.

If your organization is not prepared to provide full protection for entirely virtual assets, it’s also a possibility to take a hybrid cloud approach. This tactic allows companies to utilize both on-premises servers and the cloud for company technology – and their cybersecurity efforts should be appropriate to protect each type of asset. Addison Group’s partner in consulting, AIM Consulting offers a full suite of consulting technology services regarding cybersecurity to ensure your organization’s most valuable assets and systems are safely protected.

2. Create a Cyberattack Response Plan

Cybercriminals and users with malicious intent are constantly creating new ways to steal information or hack into company systems. The aftermath of a cybersecurity breach or incident can be hectic, so it’s imperative to establish a concrete list of actions to address in the unfortunate event of a ransomware attack.

Only 51% of organizations have established enterprise-wide security response plans. Though the number is up from 26% in 2020, a mere half of companies are prepared to withstand or mitigate the damages of a cyberattack.

After creating a playbook, ensure you have backups in place, and build security policies to be fully prepared. With a protocol set in place, your team will be more relaxed and confident in your ability to address an incident.

3. Educate Your Entire Organization

Employee error causes approximately 88 percent of all data breaches, according to a Stanford University and top cybersecurity organization joint study.

Part of preparing your organization against cyberattacks is to require periodic trainings for all employees to get refreshed on cybersecurity protocol, avoid phishing scams and prevent data breaches. A breach can occur within a matter of seconds with the simple click of a link sent via email, so all employees should be directed with best practices for how to avoid such incidents. In addition, implementing multi-factor authentication and other authorization techniques will enhance the protection of valuable information.

Unfortunately, threats can come from the inside of your organization just as easily as they can from the outside. To shield against insider threats, implement data loss prevention solutions and routine monitoring of all employees’ cyber activity to screen for anything suspicious.

4. Build a Team of Experts

As hackers continue to refine their skills and launch more sophisticated attacks as technology advances, the only way to remain protected is to build out a cybersecurity team that defends against these types of attacks and minimizes risk. As a professional services company that specializes in filled roles on IT teams, particularly within the cybersecurity realm, we at Addison Group have witnessed the good and the bad in this field.

The roles we fill at Addison Group are highly skilled and well-trained professionals in the IT field who can not only reduce the harm of a cyberattack but implement proactive measures to prevent the occurrence of a breach in the first place With extensive experience in intrusion detection, secure software development, attack mitigation, and the implementation of security protocols that enhance business operations, the professionals in our network are especially qualified to elevate the cybersecurity efforts at your company.

Reach out to Addison Group today to learn more about protecting your organization.