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3 Essentials Of A Proactive Cybersecurity Strategy

May 4, 2023 No Comments

By Jack Donovan

Today, hackers deploy sophisticated methods and tools, such as Machine Learning (ML) and automation, to gain access to an organization’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and accelerate the cyber-attack lifecycle.  

Because of the issue above, an organization must solidify its defenses by becoming proactive against potential threats. This measure protects data, reputation, financial resources, and ensures compliance with data regulations.  

This article will explain proactive cybersecurity strategy and some essentials for implementing such a step. Read on if you want to learn more about it.  

What Is A Proactive Cybersecurity Strategy?  

A proactive cybersecurity strategy involves preventing cyber criminals from launching an attack. This method is achieved by identifying and addressing possible weak areas of your IT infrastructure and system in advance. 

Examples of proactive cybersecurity strategies are conducting penetration testing, threat hunting, network monitoring, and cybersecurity awareness training.   

Having a proactive cybersecurity strategy in place differs from the traditional approach to securing data and IT infrastructures. For one, the traditional approach is reactive, meaning alerts sent to an IT team or managed IT service provider only happen after the cyber-attack. This approach makes it harder for the teams to adjust. 

Ultimately, if you want to outsource the task of proactively protecting your IT environment, you can check the services offered by cyber security services in Chicago or other areas. They’ll ensure that your organization will be safe from hackers and cybercriminals.  

3 Essentials Of A Proactive Cybersecurity Strategy  

If your organization wants to implement a proactive cybersecurity strategy without hiring external services, below are some of the things you can consider. Employing them ensures that your organization will become more resilient instead of being ready to act once it identifies a potential attack or breach. 

1. Cybersecurity Awareness Training  

Most data breaches are proven to occur because of team member negligence. For this matter, it’s crucial to hold cybersecurity awareness training to ensure your data is safe. This training teaches them how to prevent cyber threats before they occur. Thus, it’s a proactive cybersecurity strategy that you must consider. 

Below are some steps to apply if you want to conduct this training for your staff:  

Implement Continuous Training  

Conducting cybersecurity awareness training only once won’t be enough. For one, cyberattacks are constantly evolving. Thus, your countermeasures should also be the same. As there is new cybersecurity information that you can obtain, it’s crucial to continually train your staff on how to prevent data loss and breaches. For instance, you can hold quarterly or bi-annual training sessions to promote a more proactive cybersecurity culture. You can also set up refresher courses so that your staff can retain what they learned. 

Include All Levels Within Your Organization  

Your organization should require cybersecurity training for all its team members, from executives to low-level staff. Specifically, senior-level management must focus more on this training as cybercriminals will likely target them more than others.  

2. Penetration Testing  

The next strategy you may apply to secure your IT environment proactively is penetration testing (Pen Test). This test is a process of conducting simulated cyber-attacks to check if your computer systems have vulnerabilities. Often, your organization will collaborate with ethical hackers and experts to do this test. 

Penetration testing will test some areas of your IT environment, such as:  

– Mobile Devices  

– Web Applications  

– Cloud  

– Networks  

– Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)  

– Containers  

Mobile Applications  

During the pen test, an organization can use toolsets based on the target the test aims for. Below are examples of those tools.  

– Vulnerability Scanners  

– Reconnaissance Tools  

– Proxy Tools  

– Exploitation Tools  

– Post Exploitation Tools  

An organization can ultimately benefit from pen tests as they mimic real-world cyberattacks. These tests can prepare you once potential cybercriminals try to exploit your IT environment.  

3. Regular Network Monitoring  

Network monitoring involves monitoring computer networks, such as routers and servers, for potential flaws, such as reduced traffic speed. This type of monitoring can be done regardless of the network resource’s location, whether on-premises, in a data center, hosted in the cloud by external providers, or in a hybrid ecosystem.  

To start with this strategy, the following are the steps you can implement:  

– Determine the most crucial network devices  

– Use network monitoring tools 

– Lay out a baseline for typical network performance  

If you decide to monitor your network, you should proactively do so. An organization that proactively identifies performance issues and bottlenecks will be able to recognize problems at their early stage. Eventually, this prevents further issues such as network failures.  

Final Thoughts 

Cybercriminals use advanced tools and strategies to exploit an organization’s cyber defenses. Thus, it’s crucial to predict and prepare for upcoming cyber threats. This article tackled three essentials for such an aim. Applying them ensures you avoid data loss and other repercussions of a successful cyber-attack.

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