Building a strong immune system against cybersecurity threats

  • Posted on June 23, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
immune system against cybersecurity threats

Just as we try to maintain a healthy immune system to prevent illness, the cybersecurity ecosystem also requires a strong cyber immune system to withstand the digital threats. These continue to evolve rapidly, particularly in todays disrupted business environment. In fact, according to recent research, there has been a 30,000% increase in COVID-19 phishing attacks since January 2020.

To try to protect ourselves from disease and seasonal illnesses, we visit our health practitioners, take immunization shots, exercise regularly and consume a balanced diet. Lifting a page from the physical world to the digital world, what are the practical measures we can take to build a strong cyber immune system?

1. Examine and design your cybersecurity strategy: Most organizations already have a plan or strategy in place; but how many times has the strategy been reviewed and updated to reflect new cyber threats and the evolution of your business? It’s time to re-evaluate your cybersecurity strategy and identify the gaps as well as the practical measures you need to take to protect your organization, your employees and your customers.

2. Seven attributes of a strong cyber immune system: Once you have an enhanced cybersecurity strategy in place, start building out a strong cyber immune system that evolves over time. Similar to how our immune system is constituted by the health of many biological aspects, the strength of your cyber immune system would encompass identity, data, network, infrastructure, application stack, user perimeter and third-party functions.

We recommend that you look at the seven key areas below:

  • Adopt a zero-trust architecture with secured layered access applied to all security domains including Identity, Application, Infrastructure, Data and Network.
  • Setting up data and information protection solutions to prevent data loss, secure emails, mobile and web security as individual’s first line of defense.
  • Securing endpoint detection and protection for the entire workplace and digital platforms used by the organization.
  • Securing applications by eliminating vulnerabilities at the early stage of application design and development.
  • Securing perimeter controls by wrapping a thorough network security scanning of anonymous domains, filtering IP addresses, proxy detection and stronger intrusion protection solutions.
  • Establishing a cyber culture and creating awareness on internal workforce security policies, IT standards through company-wide education on phishing, web threats, frequent password changes and end user training sessions.
  • Creating a stronger security intelligence dashboard that provides a complete monitoring view of analysis collected from all critical source of controls to eliminate threats at an early incubation cycle.

3. Conduct annual reviews: A cybersecurity strategy review needs to be conducted regularly and updated over time. Get leaders from across the business to be involved in the discussion. We recommend that you implement a holistic approach to security and make it a part of your organization’s digital transformation from the outset.

At Avanade, we adopt a holistic approach to security and can help you rethink ways to protect your business, employees and customers.

Download our in-depth guide, “Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world.”

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