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How to mitigate cyber risks in your organizations. 4 Dos and 1 Don’ts

Cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and organizations are at risk for a wide range of malicious attacks, from data breaches to ransomware. In order to stay safe, organizations must be proactive in their approach to cybersecurity, which includes taking steps to mitigate cyber risks. Artem Mykhailov, ISSP Enterprise Solutions Director, provides 4 Dos and 1 Don’t that help your organization stay ahead of the cyber security curve.

Do:


1. Developing a comprehensive cyber security policy is a crucial first step in mitigating cyber risks. It is a set of standardized practices and procedures designed to protect a business's network from threat activity. This policy should be detailed, outlining clear requirements for all employees, such as password policies, acceptable use of company systems, and procedures for handling sensitive data.


An incident response plan is an essential part of a cybersecurity policy. It helps prepare for and respond to a cyber incident by outlining the steps that staff needs to follow. This is particularly significant for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as 42% of small business owners don’t know what to do if an incident occurs.

In order to develop a response plan, an organization should first identify the critical assets that are essential to its operations, including financial, information, and technology assets.

Once these assets have been identified, C-level management should assess the risks associated with them and determine the necessary steps to mitigate any potential incidents.


2. The second step is conducting regular security audits that are essential for identifying potential vulnerabilities in an organization's cyber security measures. By running these audits regularly (which is a key), organizations can detect security issues before they become more serious. A security audit is a way to look at organizations from the viewpoint of a malicious actor, find exploitable vulnerabilities, and fix them before they are used by adversaries.


There are two types of audits: Technical Assessments and Maturity Audits. Penetration testing is a type of assessment that often comes first to mind. It assists personnel in learning how to handle any type of breach and evaluates the efficacy of an organization's security policies by simulating an attack from a malicious entity. By mimicking the tactics and techniques of real-world adversaries, it’s possible to validate exploitable pathways and diagnose logical flaws in the system architecture that attackers could use to gain access to the IT environment. If you want to get details about pentests conducted by ISSP, please follow the link.


A pentest is just one of the possible options. There is also a variety of instruments like Source Code Analysis or Compromise Assessment which could provide better results compared to the common manual audits. Identifying compromised systems and attack surface will help an organization discover systemic risks and exposures as well as increase the ability to respond effectively to future incidents.


3. End users pose the greatest risk to the cybersecurity of any organization. 80% of all attacks begin with a phishing email to an unsuspecting victim. Therefore, training employees on cyber safety is essential for protecting an organization from cyber threats.


Every organization, regardless of size, will benefit from cyber awareness training.

Employees who are cyber-aware will be able to recognize when there is a potential breach in the system and will be able to report it immediately or even respond themselves. So, an organization should ensure that all employees are aware of the potential dangers and are equipped with the tools and resources to stay safe.

It's important to consider that, in addition to knowing how attacks take place, employee attitude and discipline must also be maintained. Therefore, cybersecurity awareness training is only part of the story. You should also invest in building a feedback loop, which would allow evaluating how good the training was and if there were any questions or suggestions, which otherwise could be left unnoticed.


ISSP offers a complex cyber awareness and cyber hygiene program that addresses behavior-based cybersecurity risks. Find details here.


4. Selecting the right security software and cloud platforms is key for safeguarding organization’s data and systems. Main advice - research and select a security solution that best fits the needs of your organization. It should be aligned with the overall IT posture and naturally complement the IT tools and solutions a company is using on a day-to-day basis.


With remote work becoming more common, investing in cybersecurity software solutions has become even more critical. There has been a significant increase in cyberattacks on work-from-home employees, especially in 2020. The majority of these attacks come from personal connections being less secure than those found at offices and higher access to company data.


Choosing the best cybersecurity option may become far too complicated for organizations to manage on their own. Therefore, more and more companies cooperate with experienced external turnkey service providers, especially SMEs.


Don’t:


1. Ignoring cyber security can be a costly mistake for your organization. According to the recent World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023, 43% of business leaders think that it is likely that in the next two years, a cyberattack will materially affect their own organization.

Cybersecurity is usually not about investing a lot of dollars, but investing your attention and focus. Start small, just start.

By following these Dos and Don’ts, your organization can stay one step ahead in the fight against cyber threats. It is important to keep up with the latest cybersecurity trends and implement the right measures to ensure the safety of your organization and its data. Regularly review, update and follow your cyber security policies and procedures, and stay informed on the latest security threats. Invest in the best security solutions and train your employees on cyber safety best practices. Doing these things will help to ensure the safety of your organization and its data.

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