7 Strategies to Reduce Security Breaches in an Organization

There’s something about having valuable information, essential data at the tips of your fingers, that makes you a prime target for cyber attacks. Of course, you have the occasional attack on everyday people regardless, because there’s always an opportunity — but organizations that have access to bigger pools of data wind up becoming much more vulnerable overall. With that in mind, if you have an organization to protect, there are some tactics you can use to make attacks far less likely to succeed against you. If you’ve got something to protect and you’re ready to go on the defense, read on to learn seven strategies that help reduce security breaches in an organization.

Always Be Up To Date

There’s much that can ruin your security posture through passivity and inaction, and one such case that’s all too common is the lack of updated softwares. Updating anything in your system, be it a firewall, an antivirus tool, or even something not related to security, is going to keep your organization ahead of the threats that lurk nearby. This is because outdated software can and will prove a vulnerable spot for breaching. So, whether it’s a part of your security perimeter or just an application of yours that attaches to the attack surface, it’s crucial that you keep everything up to date. It may take a little time out of your day, but letting these updates take hold is one easy way to protect yourself against future attacks.

Have A Strong Security Structure

What works just as well as making sure your perimeter is up to date? Making sure you have the best defense strategy and tools for the overall organization. That’s where strategies like the zero trust security model come into play: by implementing an architecture in your organization that emphasizes verification above all else, you give your perimeter a second continuous layer of security. You need to be proactive by auditing and monitoring your network, and by adding zero trust security into the mix, all of that becomes second nature, a part of the whole process. Additionally, because “zero trust” means always assuming a breach has happened, you’ll always be one step ahead of actual attacks — as it forces you to plan for breach response, forming an action plan that you can use by default.

Train Your Team

Whether it’s the awareness of where attacks come from, or the responses that need to be taken in the event of a breach, your team needs to know where they stand and what they can do to help. Therefore, it’s on you and your organization to create a straightforward set of rules to follow, of things to watch for, and of behaviors to avoid. For example, if your team is made aware that certain unsavory emails are targeting the workplace, you can rest assured that they’ll be on the lookout and will know where to steer clear. When your employees know what behaviors aren’t appropriate for proper secure operations, they can keep themselves in check, keep each other in check, and have an intimate understanding of what is expected of them instead. 

Protect Your Assets Internally

Not everyone is essential for every job; not every piece of data is essential for every task. With those truths comes the realization that you don’t need to have an openly shared system where everyone has enterprise-wide access to whatever is available. That, in itself, is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you should manage assets, including data, with a hierarchy of necessity. Who has permissions to handle certain data? People who need it for their tasks. Who has permissions to edit certain data? Those trusted with its accuracy and maintenance. Jobs and levels of trust should help to define your access roles, and those should be fluid enough that you can decide to limit access here and there as needed. By being actively in charge of such access, you become a gatekeeper to the data and other assets in your organization — and such a gatekeeper is yet another obstacle for cyber attackers. In addition to this, data encryption is yet one more way to protect assets internally from being used by the wrong parties.

Vet All Third-Party Entities

Be it an application, a service, or other vendor, third-party entities should also be verified and vetted for compliance with your security needs. Background checks, compliance audits, and so on are all useful in maintaining a sense of security with whichever third parties have become an integral part of your organization’s processes. Of course, for those parties that don’t comply, you need to oust them, then replace them. The position of these parties is too crucial for your business for them to be only partially secure.

Enforce Strong Password Protocols

Not only should you be keeping tabs on how passwords and other verifications protect each segment, each endpoint, and each application of your system — you should also make strong passwords the guiding rule with each new user. Encourage them to write and develop passwords that are difficult to crack — and to change them when necessary to keep your organization as secure as possible.

Implement Perimeter Tools

It’s imperative that you protect your organization however you can, and while there will always be the chance of a breach, you can make it much more difficult. Implementing tools such as firewalls, filters for web browsing and email servers, and even an intelligent endpoint protection platform can help with this by strengthening the outer walls of your organization’s digital structure, so that even when remaining vigilant, you’ll have to act less often on actual threats.

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