Is your current IT vendor or IT Team safeguarding your business, or are they simply maintaining the status quo? Are they equipping you to combat today’s heightened security threats?
It is not uncommon for me to hear that an organization has ALL of these protections in place during initial conversations, only to find that some, and in some cases most of these, items are not being effectively deployed or monitored and updated after the initial installations.
Here is a checklist of many tasks that need to be standard practice for any organization facing today’s heightened security requirements.
- Regular Patching and Updates: Ensure your firewalls, switches, and desktops receive timely patches and updates. Neglecting these can expose your network to vulnerabilities that make it easier for malicious actors to strike. If your IT team is too busy with strategic initiatives, this is an easy place to outsource.
- Hardware Warranty: Make sure all your physical servers have current manufacturer’s warranties. Hardware failures are inevitable and having a swift hardware replacement plan will help you prevent significant downtime, Especially due to significant delays we have seen these past few years.
- Secure and Recoverable Backups: Implement secure and recoverable backup solutions for your server applications and desktops if required. Ransomware is a growing threat, and reliable backups are one key to protecting your critical infrastructure.
- Ongoing Reporting and Reviews: Engage in regularly scheduled quarterly reporting and reviews to maintain a proactive security posture. Monitor support call statistics, hardware lifecycles, and budgeting recommendations.
- Enhanced Endpoint Detection and Reponse (EDR/XDR): Traditional antivirus solutions are no longer being accepted by some insurance and compliance organizations. EDR and/or XDR offers advanced analytics and AI capabilities to predict and mitigate potential threats.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implement MFA on all devices. Given the evolving threat landscape, this needs to be a standard and fully enforced practice, not an option.
- Wi-Fi Security: Ensure your Wi-Fi network is shielded against both internal and external threats. Unprotected or incorrectly configured networks are prime targets for cybercriminals.
- Security Awareness Training: Invest in security awareness training for all employees. This is essential for mitigating threats originating from within the organization.
- Continuous Monitoring and Threat Assessment: Cyber threats have evolved and security enhancements have to be an ongoing engagement to stay ahead of criminals employing more sophisticated tactics. Your IT staff and vendor partners need to insure your organization’s readiness to defend against these threats and insure you remain vigilant.
Cybersecurity is not a luxury or something to discuss once per year at budgeting time; it’s a necessity. The cost and consequences of breaches can be extreme.
We are seeing increases in municipal government, educational institution, and commercial breaches using more sophisticated methods. Your organization’s critical infrastructure and the security of your customers’ and employees’ data have to be continually hardened and protected. Be prepared, stay vigilant, and fortify your defenses against the ever-present threat of cyberattacks.
I hope this information helps you make informed decisions as you continue to safeguard your organization. If you have any questions or require further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me to review your organization’s current security posture and discuss ways of enhancing it to avoid being the next victim of today’s enhanced security threats.
Written by Glenn Hays