Businesses need to enhance their cybersecurity measures to better mitigate threats and increase digital resiliency.

6 key parts of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy

Cyberthreats are changing — is your security keeping up?

By Mark HoffmannKENOSHA.COM

A leader in the IT industry for nearly three decades, Hoffmann has helped small and large businesses take advantage of technology to better serve their customers and employees. Hoffmann is owner of CMIT Solutions of SE Wisconsin.

Recent revelations about malicious activity originating from a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group sent shock waves through the cybersecurity community.

Last week, the United States and international authorities released a joint advisory about negative impacts on critical infrastructure, including military and government sectors. Alarmingly, the hackers have shown an ability to “live off the land,” leveraging legitimate network administration tools to evade detection and blend in with normal Windows system activity.

In the face of such sophisticated threats, standard security tools often come up woefully short. And as hackers learn to exploit the kinds of vulnerabilities identified by this recent news, nearly every company could become a target.

As a result, businesses need to enhance their cybersecurity measures to better mitigate threats and increase digital resiliency. But no one-size-fits-all approach works in every scenario, and different organizations operating in various industries across North America require diverse tools.

Nothing about cybersecurity should be left to chance.

Still, there are common mechanisms that may have once seemed advanced but are now required for cybersecurity. CMIT Solutions has collected six components of comprehensive protection that we believe every business should have in place to defend IT infrastructure, secure networks, and safeguard information and identities:

  • In-depth cyber defenses. Instead of just relying on one type of protective measure, smart security strategies call for a variety of tools. These should be thoughtfully layered across all systems to ensure operational integrity, data confidentiality, and anytime availability. Common layers of protection include endpoint detection and response (EDR), next-generation antivirus, advanced firewalls, network analysis, security incident management, and operation controls.
  • Integrated security teams. Instead of working in silos or distinct lanes that are separate from each other, cybersecurity support delivered by an IT provider should be integrated into daily operations. This allows advanced technicians and software engineers to understand the workflows of everyday employees. Meanwhile, system administrators and IT experts can work with upper management or company leadership to meet short-term needs and understand long-term strategy.
  • Visionary industry research. Working with a trusted IT provider doesn’t just ensure that computers work today. A knowledgeable partner like CMIT Solutions can translate forward-looking industry research into cybersecurity protection for your business that’s prepared to meet tomorrow’s challenges. This is critical when bad actors are constantly pivoting to new attack tactics and trying to exploit fresh vulnerabilities.
  • Alignment with compliance requirements. Similarly, a reactive break/fix approach to IT just concentrates on solving problems that have already arisen. Proactive IT management anticipates changes in privacy legislation and regulatory compliance to make sure your business meets evolving standards for cybersecurity. If your company operates in sensitive industries like finance, legal, healthcare, or government contracting, adhering to these standards is a must for long-term success.
  • Zero-trust login protocols. Nothing about cybersecurity should be left to chance — including the way your employees log in to business applications or systems. Cybersecurity experts estimate that human error accounts for nearly three-quarters of all data breaches last year, making the people that work for your company the most vulnerable link in the cybersecurity chain—and the most important to invest in. Identity and access management protocols can be implemented on a “zero-trust” basis, requiring users to verify their identity through two or more steps before they can access any system or network. When login protocols are set up this way, human-focused attacks like phishing and credential theft can be mitigated and prevented.
  • Tiered access for different risk levels. Once those login protocols are established, a trusted IT provider can help your company assign different levels of access to different people depending on the level of risk associated with them. For example, an executive should have access to all sensitive data, compared to a third-party vendor that only needs to perform a single specific task. Access privileges should be assigned based on job role and organization policy. When these smart rules specify who has access to certain parts of the network, businesses can limit the potential risks they let in.

Layered together cohesively, these cyber defenses can prevent unwanted users from compromising sensitive data and give security teams visibility and control over the data that flows across a company’s network and applications. As data breaches increase in quantity and scope, today’s businesses must take extra measures to protect their people, their systems, and their information.

At CMIT Solutions, we have 25 years of experience helping thousands of North American organizations develop customized security approaches. We provide advanced protection at an affordable cost, preventing data breaches and empowering employees to be productive and efficient with the tools at hand.

Want to know more about next-generation cybersecurity tools? Concerned that your company could have unaddressed vulnerabilities? Looking to adopt industry best practices for your business? Contact CMIT Solutions today. We worry about IT so you don’t have to.