Cyber Threats and Layered security

Why Cybersecurity is important?

It is a mistake to believe that you are of no interest to cyber attackers. Everyone who is connected to the Internet needs cyber security.

Cyber security is important because it encompasses everything that relates to protecting our data from cyber attackers who want to steal this information and use it to cause harm. This can be sensitive data, governmental and industry information, personal information, intellectual property, and protected health information (PHI). 

Cybersecurity is critical because the government, military, corporate, financial, law firms and medical organizations collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices. At an individual level, cyber security attacks can lead to identity theft and extortion attempts, which can do serious damage to that individual’s life.

As we are noticing cybercrime is on the rise, there are roughly more than 4000 cyber-attacks every day. One reason the rate of cybercrime continues to increase is because it is cheap, fast and highly profitable, compared to other type of crimes. A 2020 study carried out by McAfee and the CSIS (Centre for Strategic and International Studies), based on data collected by Vanson Bourne, the world economy loses more than $1 trillion (approximately £750 billion) each year. Political, ethical and social incentives can also drive attackers.

The damage of cyber-attacks is significant: it can cost millions of dollars to organization. Another reason why it is so important is that it builds trust. For that, customers and employees should feel that their information is being properly secured and kept private. Every organization has vulnerabilities. End users like me, or you can often be the weakest link in an organization’s security. Cyber threats can come from any level of your organization. We must educate our staff about simple social engineering scams like phishing and more sophisticated cybersecurity attacks like ransomware  attacks (think WannaCry) or other malware designed to steal intellectual property or personal data.

The aim of cyber security programs is to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect against the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.

Having advanced cyber defense programs and mechanisms in place to protect this data is crucial and in everyone’s interest. Everyone in society relies on critical infrastructure such as hospitals and other healthcare institutions, financial service programs et cetera. We need these to keep our society running.
Without a cybersecurity program, your organization cannot defend itself against data breach campaigns, making it an irresistible target for cybercriminals.

GDPR and other laws mean that cybersecurity is no longer something businesses of any size can ignore. Security incidents regularly affect businesses of all sizes and often make the front page causing irreversible reputational damage to the companies involved. Another important factor is that the costs of cyber security breaches are rising. Privacy laws can mean significant fines for organizations that suffer cyber security breaches. There are also non-financial costs to be considered, like reputational damage.

How to protect an organization from cyber-attacks?

Security is an ongoing and never-ending task.

Three significant risk management themes have been put forward to help improve the digital risk ecosystem including: security by design, defense in depth, and zero trust. They are a triad, or three strong pillars of risk management needed for a successful cybersecurity strategy.

Layered security is a network security approach that uses several components to protect your operations with multiple levels of security measures. The concept behind layered security is simple. If a hacker manages to breach one security measure, all sensitive data is still protected by the other layers of security that are in place.

This layered security approach aligns with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, voluntary guidance that integrates industry standards, guidelines, and best practices to help organizations understand and manage their cybersecurity risks.

Information security specialists divide the concept of security layers into seven layers. Intruders attempting to overtake a system must sequentially break through each layer. Therefore, optimizing these seven layers is the focus of any information security professional.

Security Policies

Most intrusions fundamentally happen because poor decisions are made by managers who are responsible for safeguarding computer systems. Security managers are responsible for implementing security policies that prevent unauthorized access. Having strong security policies can systematically prevent data breaches while also increasing awareness of security protocols within your organization.

Premises Security

Data has become so valuable that hackers often resort to attacks that involve breaking into a facility or even infiltrating an organization from the inside. As a result, strong premises security is crucial for preventing criminal organizations from breaking in. Premises security can also help to monitor employees who have access to sensitive systems. Walls, cameras, metal detectors, and security guards are only a sample of the assets organizations with sensitive data need to keep their facilities safe.

Network Security

Once your facility is secure, you will need to turn your attention to securing your network. Hackers need access to your network before they can attempt to break into computers and servers within your organization. You can keep hackers out by properly configuring devices like routers and firewalls. Only one vulnerability is needed to enable hackers to break into your network, and new vulnerabilities emerge every day. Therefore, implementing proper network security practices requires a significant amount of time and effort.

Software-Based Malware Protection: Securing Endpoints

Today’s malware protection software is much more advanced than it was in the recent past. Software-based solutions come with a broad range of features, including:

  • intrusion detection systems,
  • encryption tools,
  • anti-spam tools,
  • software-based firewalls, and
  • virus detection software.

Proper protection at the software level usually necessitates using only one software program that comes with a range of applications and extensions.

Access Control Measures

Security professionals know that unauthorized access is usually the ultimate cause of a data breach. Consequently, organizations seeking to protect important data must utilize best practices for controlling access. Access control professionals ensure that secure passwords are used throughout an organization and that a minimal number of users have access to sensitive systems.

Data Protection

This security layer is very important. You should implement protections that shield sensitive information from being stolen if an unauthorized user gets into one of your systems. Data should always be encrypted when it is stored, and keys must be saved using secure practices. make use of data backups to avoid losing important information when hard drives fail or when an intruder deletes data within a system.

Monitoring and Testing

The best way to keep your systems secure is to test them regularly. Many organizations bring in teams of professional hackers who are rewarded with big commissions if they succeed at breaking into a computer system. You should also actively monitor your systems for signs of unauthorized access and for opportunities for improvements. By working to continuously improve the security of your computer systems, you can keep your organization protected against new threats while decreasing the probability of experiencing a data breach in the future.

In the quickly evolving cybersecurity landscape, new threats are emerging daily, and employing a layered security approach is critical. Implementing these essential cybersecurity layers mitigates your risk and builds cyber resilience to put your business in the best possible position to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a cyberattack.