The number of successful cyberattacks grows steadily every day, making it more important than ever for businesses to implement robust cybersecurity solutions. Part of a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure is a proactive cybersecurity strategy. This involves taking steps to prevent attacks from happening in the first place, rather than reacting after an incident occurs. In this blog post, we will discuss what proactive cybersecurity is and how you can implement it in your business.
Benefits of proactive cybersecurity
Proactive cybersecurity is a strategic approach to protecting computer systems and networks from cyberthreats. It involves identifying potential vulnerabilities before cybercriminals can take advantage of them and implementing measures to prevent these vulnerabilities from being exploited. This approach is in contrast to reactive cybersecurity. Rather than attempting to prevent cyberattacks, reactive cybersecurity focuses on responding to and recovering from attacks that have already taken place.
Having proactive security measures can provide your business with the following advantages:
- Avoid playing catch-up with threats
Taking action every time there's a threat can be exhausting for your security team and your other resources. If you're always playing catch-up with threats, you'll never be able to get ahead. By utilizing both preventive cybersecurity strategies alongside reactive measures, you will be able to best protect your data and networks.
- Improve security compliance
Proactive cybersecurity measures can help you root out threats to your data and your clients' data. This, in turn, enables you to meet data compliance requirements.
- Boost business reputation
Customers are more security-conscious today than in the past. With many data breaches impacting companies, your customers will want assurance that you have measures to safeguard their personal information in place. Having a proactive cybersecurity culture will demonstrate your commitment to keeping customer data safe and give your business’s reputation a boost. Showing that you can be trusted with clients’ sensitive data will also give you a leg up over your competitors.
Implementing proactive cybersecurity
To effectively implement a proactive cybersecurity strategy, follow these steps:
- Determine the threats
Work with your in-house IT staff or managed services provider (MSP) to identify the types of attacks that are most common in your industry. By being aware of the threats out there, you can take steps to protect your business and keep it running smoothly.
- Assess your resources
After you identify the primary cyberthreats to your company, prioritize them by determining how each security issue can damage various parts of your network. You can start by listing company devices that connect to the internet. Check the security measures these devices have and the type of data (regulated, mission-critical, low-importance, etc.) each device has access to.
- Implement proactive cybersecurity measures
Your IT team or MSP may recommend these security measures based on the risks and assets identified in steps 1 and 2:
|Proactive measure||What to expect|
|Conduct security awareness seminars||Educate every employee about security best practices, including spam awareness, password management, proper mobile device usage, and the like.|
|Regularly update anti-malware software or cloud-based services||Keep your data and systems safe from the newest malware threats.|
|Establish schedules dedicated for software patches and upgrades||Patches and upgrades decrease the chances of someone getting unauthorized access to your network by exploiting software vulnerabilities.|
|Recommend web filtering services||Keep your network safe by blacklisting dangerous and inappropriate sites.|
|Set up perimeter defenses (e.g., intrusion prevention systems and hardware firewalls)||Watch out for anything and everything that tries to access your network.|
|Initiate policy of least privilege||Provide users access only to the data they need to complete their tasks.|
|Determine data segmentation||Assess and establish micro-perimeters to protect high-value data.|
|Run full-disk encryption||Encrypt data on electronic devices to prevent unauthorized access in case the devices are ever misplaced or stolen.|
|Secure virtual private networks||Encrypt data transmitted across unsecured connections to make it impossible to read if intercepted.|
|Provide strict access controls||Secure accounts from unauthorized access by using stronger passwords combined with multifactor authentication and automated screen locks that engage after a period of inactivity.|
|Utilize AI-powered network monitoring||Be on the lookout for suspicious user and software behaviors, like when employees access files outside their departments.|
Proactive cybersecurity is critical for businesses of all sizes. By taking steps to understand the threats your business faces and implementing measures to protect yourself, you can keep your data and your business safe. If you need help getting started, contact us today and our team of cybersecurity experts will be happy to guide you through the process of implementing proactive cybersecurity.