According to Gartner’s 2022 projections, the global information security market could extend to $170.4 billion. That figure explains how much enterprises are willing to boost their security posture due to increasing cyber threats. Recent research conducted by Accenture revealed that 68% of industry leaders agree that their cybersecurity risks are surging. The question, therefore, is how best can organizations proactively nip in the bud these attacks?
There are different guides on how organizations could tackle security threats successfully. But most of them leave out one or two supposedly insignificant aspects that happen to be at the center of most attacks. For instance, many writeups either consider end-user security as less important or relegate it to the bottom of the stack. In contrast, Cybint states that only 5% of cybersecurity breaches are not from human errors.
The focus of this article is to expose you to well-researched guides to improve your information security posture. Before delving into that, you need to understand what information security posture means.
What is information security posture?
Information security posture is an aggregation of a company’s defense against cyber threats. It includes security policies, systems and tools, and employee security training. To examine the security posture of an establishment, one must consider the overall security status of the company’s information, hardware, networks, software, and services. A high cybersecurity posture would result in lower cyber security risks.
How Can It Be Improved?
Now that you understand what the cyber security posture represents, it is time to see five proven ways to improve it. Ready?
- Comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessment
Cybersecurity risk assessment is a bedrock of mitigating cyber-attacks. If conducted properly, it enables an enterprise to assess the areas of exposure to cyber threats. A quote from a Forbes article states that “Identifying the risk, impact, threat, threat vector, and threat actor provide the basis for creating a comprehensive vulnerability mitigation and management program.”
Enterprises must endeavor to put measures in place to address those risks. Risk assessment should be continuous to help identify new threats. Organizations need experts from various departments and a reliable framework to evaluate their vulnerability.
- A well-documented incident management plan
The Ministry of Justice, UK, defines incident management as the ability to react to security incidents in a controlled, pre-planned manner. When an organization has a well-documented plan, it is easy to manage an otherwise complex cyber security incident. Although measures are in place to shield the company from such attacks, it does not eliminate the possibility of an attack. An incident management plan would lay out what you should do and in what order you should do it. It also assigns owners different responsibilities. It would help your IT team to avoid confusion, and overwhelmingness and ensure that the incident has little impact on the business.
- End-user security education
The need to educate employees/workers on security best practices cannot be overstated. While companies budget millions of dollars for IT infrastructures and security systems and tools, only a small share goes to cybersecurity training. Most organizations conduct security training annually for other employees, thinking that only IT staffs need regular training. However, most cyber-attacks target the weak line, which would not be from your IT team. If you adequately train employees and use standard email security and web filtering techniques, you can bid phishing attacks and other password-related attacks goodbye.
- Measure and monitor security metrics
Defining security goals and metrics is another key to increasing your information security posture. It would enable you to detect threats more easily. After setting such metrics, it is a good strategy to create reports, dashboards, views, and utilize other visualization tools to chart to monitor those metrics. If you intend to go above and beyond, you could then integrate the setup with automation tools for automatic cybersecurity threats detection and remediation. This way, your organization can manage threats proactively rather than reactively.
- Assemble a solid cybersecurity team
The start for every organization when it comes to cybersecurity is to build a formidable team. It is one of the surest ways to boost your security posture score. If you have a dependable team in place, you can rest assured that every other piece would fall in place. Such teams can detect attacks before they occur. Also, they will take charge of creating awareness and conducting training for other workers.
The effect of the 2017 Equifax attack cut across about 143 million people, while the WannaCry ransomware attack affected over 230,000 machines across 150 countries (Fortinet). Those figures are small compared to the number of attacks recorded since 2000. Every organization must adopt ways to identify and fix vulnerabilities in its cybersecurity systems. The information security posture score will inform you how well you are prepared to stand the numerous cyberattacks on the world wide web.