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Cyber security tools and tips that can help reduce risk in today’s digital environmentNovember 29, 2023
Cyber security is a fast growing industry, and it’s not surprising to see why. As cyber breaches become more frequent and sophisticated by the day, businesses are looking to safeguard their network perimeters, especially amid rising concerns from customers. With companies processing vast amounts of data following user registrations, interactions and purchases, governments and independent regulatory bodies alike are increasing restrictions around how this data is retrieved, stored and used to ensure integrity and safety of confidential information.
As a result, cyber security companies need to offer a two-pronged approach towards protecting their clients’ online environments, so that security as well as compliance is adhered to. From network monitoring to incident response, cyber security components are varied as they are intricate. Add to this the fact that no two businesses have identical requirements; such a combination can overwhelm even the most seasoned experts, thereby requiring further recommendations on what the best course of action can be in order to ensure robust cyber security.
This article will serve as a guide for the fundamentals of cyber security, as well as how IT outsourcing companies can double up as a managed security service provider. We also include a guide on how to choose a suitable cyber security partner, as this can literally make or break how strong and protected your business is online.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is the protection and safeguarding of networks, websites, data and any virtual applications or infrastructure over online channels. With almost every individual now connected to the web 24/7, attack surfaces have substantially expanded to give hackers a wider playing field. Whether this is done via phishing, spoofing or malware, malicious individuals are constantly developing newer ways to scam unassuming users.
Cyber security services as well as proprietary protection platforms such as antivirus solutions, firewalls and password managers can therefore help users stay protected as they work, study or conduct financial transactions online. However, enterprise cyber security solutions go above and beyond siloed antivirus programs or firewalls, as they encompass a multitude of cyber security components to shield business environments from attacks of a more sophisticated nature, such as ransomware and espionage.
What are the top cyber security tools in use today?
As an IT outsourcing company in Sri Lanka, EFutures has long-standing expertise in building and delivering cyber security strategies that are closely aligned to business pain points as well as vulnerabilities. As a result, here’s our roundup of some of the most effective cyber security tools, for protecting most businesses today (irrespective of size or industry).
Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPPs)
Endpoint security and device management work hand-in-hand to allow only authorised access to networks, applications and data from connected devices. EPP solutions have now become a must in today’s highly remote work environments, as staff are distributed beyond state as well as national borders.
With shadow IT now a common predicament among businesses as a result, device management platforms enable BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) functionalities, which help IT teams configure and secure employees’ personal devices, thereby alleviating mandatory dependence on proprietary ones.
With leading device management platforms now inbuilt with endpoint security capabilities, ensuring proactive device protection across the organisation is now possible so that any threats can be identified and quarantined well ahead in advance, while also mitigating unauthorised access.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM platforms offer a variety of capabilities that help IT and security teams configure device and user access, while monitoring user behaviour and any anomalies for swift quarantine or remediation.
Although overarching IAM solutions specialise in creating custom IAM policies as well as conducting risk assessments, subset applications such as password managers also fall under the IAM umbrella, as these contribute towards governing access to applications and devices.
Network monitoring and security solutions may also include some IAM capabilities such as user provisioning/deprovisioning, or integrate closely with the same in order to ensure optimal protection around network entry points.
As part of a more tailored approach, IT companies that build custom software can also integrate IAM capabilities such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to websites and applications, to ensure only authorised users are allowed access.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a set of data security tools that ensure data is stored securely, while maintaining sound backup systems in case a breach occurs. Encrypting data at rest as well as in transit is a core capability of top DLP platforms, so data is well protected while it is stored, as well as when it is being transferred.
Disaster recovery systems also work in conjunction with DLP solutions, with features such as inbuilt failovers ensuring data restoration lest a loss takes place, be it via a breach, natural disaster or power failure. Geo redundancy, which involves storing copies of data in multiple locations, can also go a long way in delivering business continuity, by making sure confidential data is never completely lost.
Vulnerability Assessment Tools
Vulnerability assessment platforms scan devices, networks, applications, storage as well as entire cloud environments to identify any security gaps, so these can be closed as soon as possible. Risk analysis and risk scoring are common capabilities that are covered by leading vulnerability assessment platforms.
However, advanced ethical hacking tools such as penetration testing and adversary simulation can also be incorporated to vulnerability assessment programs, so no security loophole goes unnoticed. IT outsourcing companies that specialise in custom software development can also integrate vulnerability assessments as part of a DevSecOps approach, so proprietary software is built with robust security from the get-go.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) work hand-in-hand to detect, prioritise on, and remediate threats. While SIEM focuses on gathering data from events and logs, and triaging the same thereafter to identify serious threats, SOAR platforms can help remediate threats through automated workflows.
Is outsourcing cyber security worth it?
Cyber security services can be outsourced to IT companies as part of a managed security services program. Also known as MSSPs (Managed Security Service Providers), such IT companies can undertake all responsibilities pertaining to your organisation’s cyber security needs.
As a business, you can choose to outsource your cyber security requirements if:
- You lack the expertise of cyber security professionals – This is one of the most common reasons to outsource cyber security services, for businesses today.
- You need specialist support for niche or complex problems – Sometimes, complications in your cyber security posture may require a second opinion.
- You need to comply with vital regulations – As this may be challenging to do in-house, even in the presence of a qualified professional.
Choosing the right cyber security partner for your business
Choosing a cyber security partner that takes your organisation’s best interests at heart is one of the most important decisions you may ever make, as it shall eventually determine the overall security posture of your business. While a stellar cyber security strategy shall preserve data and keep malicious individuals at bay, it will also instil trust in your stakeholders, as well as establish a positive business reputation in the industries/sectors you operate in.
While there is no exact blueprint for choosing the right cyber security partner, here are some tips that are very much evergreen, as they are bound to help you and your business teams make the right decision.
- Assess your business – While it’s imperative to understand what your business objectives are, it is also crucial to identify business pain points, as these can be potential entryways to cyber compromise.
- Be reactive and proactive – Discuss how your organisation is going to stay in lockstep with zero-day threats, as hackers and scammers are always developing new ways to break in.
- Define zero-trust workflows and roles – Stay suspicious by default, and establish who needs to do what if a breach occurs.
- See how AI can help – intelligent threat detection and triage may help reduce alert fatigue, as false positives could be eliminated and teams are able to focus better on what truly matters.
Cyber security is replete with tools and technologies that can enable businesses to safeguard their networks, applications and vital data. However, knowing what to use, when, where and how can be perplexing and overwhelming, especially as hackers constantly alter course with threats that are more powerful and expertly disguised than ever before.
In a landscape that is abundant with so many options, how is the average business to take its first step towards safeguarding customer touchpoints and confidential data – while duly complying with relevant regulatory bodies? Cyber security services can help take away some of this stress by offering specialists who are experts at identifying and remediating threats. Additionally, IT outsourcing companies can also offer cyber security services to existing clientele, by incorporating DevSecOps into current software development lifecycles.
No matter what cyber security approach you choose to protect your business, ensure it addresses your business’s unique objectives as well as pain points, in order to instil a security posture that is impenetrable, yet scalable.
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