Cybercrime and data breaches are rife in today’s digital era, fast-becoming a major problem for organisations right around the world. To counteract the threat of cyberattack, businesses must now follow best practices to strengthen their network monitoring procedures.
According to Digital Guardian, data breaches could cost companies anywhere from GBP 1 to 6.5 million. The average currently stands at roughly GBP 3 million, a figure that’s up 1.5 percent from the year prior and factors into a 12 percent increase over the past five years.
Not only do these numbers demonstrate the necessity for cybersecurity monitoring, but also highlight how spending a relatively small amount on sophisticated security measures could save organisations millions in the long run.
Continuous cybersecurity monitoring provides real-time visibility into an organisation’s security posture, the overall security status of your organisation's software and hardware, networks, services, and information. It also covers cybersecurity monitoring best practices, security misconfigurations and any other vulnerabilities that may occur.
Organisations today depend on technology and data to complete key business processes and transactions, underlining the importance of continuous cybersecurity monitoring. Businesses are also using a greater number of independent contractors and remote workers, increasing their attack surface and adding avenues for data loss. What’s more, although organisations have strict policies and guidelines in place, workers are still using third-party vendors that are not approved and put data at risk.
Benefits of continuous cybersecurity monitoring
According to the Data Insider blog, continuous cybersecurity monitoring solutions give organisations the visibility they need to identify vulnerabilities and attacks. They provide real-time views to help IT professionals respond proactively and quickly to threats and compromises. Continuous security monitoring gives companies complete end-to-end visibility to identify security misconfigurations or vulnerabilities and help them to meet regulatory information security compliance complete with analytics and reports.
The best continuous security monitoring solutions integrate with an organisations’ infrastructure and detect devices as soon as they attempt to connect to the network, thereby stopping cyber threats in their tracks. Continuous security monitoring can classify devices by type, ownership, and operating system to deliver insights and visibility that enable preventive and reactive actions when the network is at risk.
Following the sheer number of cyberattacks in recent years, it’s very clear that organisations of all sizes must take steps to secure their data and systems. Continuous security monitoring enables organisations to identify weaknesses or potential compromises and mitigate them quickly.
How to tighten up your security
Tightening up your security is paramount. Knowing what the threats are and how to prevent them is key, but identifying the main ways data can be compromised is the first step:
External attacks (i.e., cyberterrorists hacking into your network externally)
Internal attacks (i.e., employees or trusted company insiders either willingly or unwittingly becoming the source of data theft, loss or compromise)
Third-party vendor or supply-chain attacks (i.e., third-party affiliates who have access to your critical data, becoming the source of data theft, loss or compromise)
There are also five important measures to consider within any cybersecurity monitoring strategy:
1) Identifying the data you want to protect.
Identifying critical data from the outset will help you better articulate your continuous monitoring strategy and allow you to ensure the right information is being protected.
2) Regularly patch security vulnerabilities.
If you stay on top of your entire security posture and what kinds of malware and exploits are evident within your sector, you’ll be able to patch the vulnerabilities immediately.
3) Continuously monitor your endpoints.
Continuously monitoring your endpoints—including laptops, desktops, servers, etc. — is critical to combat someone from the outside trying to gain illicit access to your data.
4) Continuously identify changes in standard user behaviour from within your organisation.
Insider threats should be continuously monitored. This is the area most overlooked and can cause a great deal of damage if not monitored properly.
5) Incorporate security monitoring software to monitor third-party vendors.
It’s critical to continually look outside of your organisation and monitor your third-party environment.
What you should be monitoring
The basic security measures organisations should be focusing on to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches include, but not limited to:
Penetration testing – regularly test your defences
Ensure strong or encrypted passwords are in place
Incorporate secure access controls
Close unused open ports
Host-based firewalls to protect against viruses and malware
Network-based firewalls built into the cloud
Port traffic filtering to ensure the router monitors the destination ports
RiskXchange delivers cost-effective solutions
RiskXchange is leading the fight against cybercrime, coming up with novel solutions to everyday problems.
We offer continuous cybersecurity monitoring, providing real-time visibility of users and their devices on all applications, software and device types. Our cybersecurity monitoring best practices give organisations the ability to continuously look over their network to stay one step ahead of cyber threats.
RiskXchange is also able to continuously monitor and verify compliance and security requirements regardless of where your data resides – locally, in a datacentre, virtual environment or cloud.
RiskXchange is an information security technology company, that helps companies of all sizes fight the threat of cyber threats by providing instant risk ratings for any company across the globe. RiskXchange was founded and is led by recognised experts within the security industry, who have held leading roles within companies such as IBM Security.