10 Best Practices to Reduce Cyber Threats

How to reduce cyber threats? Common cyber threats for individuals and businesses include malware, phishing, SQL injections, zero-day exploit, and business email compromise. Other threats include DDoS attacks, MITM, DNS Tunneling, ransomware, etc.

The cybersecurity industry is growing at a faster rate. Although businesses deploy more resources to counter cyber threats, companies don’t use them adequately. There is a long way to go to catch up with cyberattacks.

The primary objective of cybercriminals is to steal confidential data, including personal and financial information. There are different types of profit-driven criminal activities experienced by organizations.

These include email and internet fraud, ransomware attacks, identity fraud, and stealing financial accounts. Likewise, stealing financial data also includes credit cards and other payment information. Before discussing the ten best practices to reduce cyber threats, let us tell you some crucial facts. Read on!

Cyber Threats – Stats and Facts

Research shows that 95% of breached records come from government, retail, and technology industries. These sectors are popular targets for cybercriminals. Besides, there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds.

According to the University of Maryland, cyberattacks can lead to many problems and complications for individuals and organizations. It affects one in three people in the United States every year.

Because people use non-secure usernames and passwords, this gives attackers higher chances to achieve their goals. In addition, about 43% of cyberattacks target small-medium enterprises. About 64% of companies experience web-based attacks. Likewise, 62% experience social engineering and phishing attacks, leading to complications.

Research highlights that 59% of businesses experience complications due to malicious codes and botnets. About 51% of companies experience denial of service attacks. Small businesses and entrepreneurs with less than 500 employees spend an average of $7 million per incident on reducing cyber threats.

According to Varonis, the global average cost of cyberattacks, including data breaches, is $3.9 million across small-medium businesses. Another report shows that there has been a 300% increase in cyberattacks since the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to Forbes, companies will spend about $6 trillion to reduce cyber threats in 2021. Organizations, including small and large companies, must make changes in their cybersecurity approach. Let us now discuss how to mitigate cyber threats.

How to Reduce Cyber Threats?

According to KVS Computers, a reputable company, cyber threats are a big deal for individuals and companies. These can cause the failure of military equipment, electrical blackouts, and breach natural security secrets.

Besides, cyberattacks can result in the theft of sensitive data, including financial information, medical records, and employees’ data. Not only can cyberattacks disrupt computer networks, but they can also paralyze systems. Here are the ten best practices to reduce cyber threats. Continue reading!

1.    Maintain Control System Devices

A company must not allow any system on the control network to talk directly to the machine. It is particularly crucial on the internet and business network. Some organizations’ industrial control systems may not experience direct threats. However, a connection still exists if your systems connect to a part of the network.

Many businesses do not realize the existence of the connection. On the other hand, a cybercriminal can find such pathways. So, they use these connections to access and exploit control systems across industries, creating a physical consequence.

In addition, KVS Computers encourage companies to conduct thorough evaluations of their systems. These also include corporate enterprise segments. The purpose is to determine whether the pathway exists. It also helps determine whether the pathway exists.

Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate any channels between devices on the equipment and control systems. That way, you can reduce network vulnerabilities and streamline your cybersecurity operations.

2.    Apply Firewalls

Firewalls are software programs or hardware devices that filter outbound and inbound traffic. These programs filter traffic between various parts of networks and the internet. You can set up a firewall to filter incoming and outgoing data for connections using the internet.

When you reduce the number of pathways within your networks, you can enhance your cybersecurity. It is wise to implement security protocols and standards on the existing pathways. That way, you can reduce cyber threats.

Moreover, when you implement security protocols, it becomes challenging for threats to enter the system. That way, threats can’t access the networks. Create network boundaries and segments to empower your organization.

The primary objective is to enforce detective and protective controls within your organization’s infrastructure. The practical capability to baseline traffic on the network requires you to focus on monitoring, restricting, and governing communication flows.

3.    Use Secure Remote Access Methods

Remote connections to networks offer a wide range of benefits to end-users. However, they can lead to cybersecurity problems if you fail to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is a channel that encrypts data.

The purpose is to secure sending and receiving data activities through public IT infrastructures, such as the internet. Besides, using a VPN allows you to access internal resources remotely.

These include files, databases, websites, and printers. You can further harden the remote access by decreasing the number of internet protocols (IPs). KVS Computers recommend using network devices and firewalls to specific IP addresses.

Bear in mind that a VPN secures when you connect the device to it. According to KVS Computers, a computer or laptop infected with malware can cause vulnerabilities in the network. As a result, it leads to additional infections and negates the efficacy of VPN. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in a premium antivirus program like Malwarebytes.

4.    Establish Role-Based Access Controls

Businesses must establish role-based access controls – and grant or deny access to network resources based on the employee’s job requirements. Role-based access control limits the ability of your employees or attackers to reach sensitive files in the system.

Therefore, organizations must define permissions based on access levels each job function needs to perform its duties. Work with the HR department to implement standard procedures to reduce cyber threats.

The purpose is to remove network access of contractors and former employees. Similarly, limiting employee permission via role-based access controls can facilitate tracking and mitigate network intrusions. You can also track suspicious activities during an audit.

5.    Use Only Strong Passwords to Reduce Cyber Threats

According to KVS Computers, individuals and businesses must use strong passwords to protect their systems and secure the information. Make sure you have different passwords for different accounts.

Cybercriminals and hackers usually use software tools to try millions of character combinations to log in to the device in an unauthorized manner. That’s why this is known as a “Brute Force Attack.”

Your password must contain eight characters or more. KVS Computers recommend setting longer passwords because they are stronger. It becomes difficult for a hacker to crack a longer password.

Likewise, use uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numerals. For instance, when you install specific software, use a strong password and change all default ones. Make sure you change passwords for control system devices and administrator accounts.

Moreover, implement other password features, such as an account lock-out. It activates when someone tries to enter too many incorrect passwords. Your company must also consider implementing multi-factor authentication.

It entails your employees to verify their identities. The multi-factor authentication factor is an essential feature that sends codes to devices previously registered. When your employee applies the code, the system will let them log in.

6.    Implement Necessary Patches and Updates

Most companies work hard to develop patches and updates for identified cyber threats. However, even when they release patches and updates, many systems remain vulnerable. The primary reason is that most businesses are unaware of these fixes.

Denial of service, crimeware, and cyber espionage are three patterns used by cybercriminals. Understanding the building blocks of attacks, such as the kill chain, can construct security protocols and defenses to detect a breach.

Remember, effective patching can stop many attacks that account for 85% of exploited traffic. Cybersecurity professional must rethink their defense plans. It is because hackers have redefined their infrastructures to carry out stronger and profitable attacks.

7.    Enforce Policies on Mobile Devices

The proliferation of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones in the workplace presents many security challenges. The mobile nature of devices means exposure to compromised networks, external applications, and malicious codes.

According to KVS Computers, organizations must focus on mitigating the effects of cyber threats by employing policies on mobile devices. One such strategy is “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Develop policies and strategies on the reasonable limit of smartphones in the office and on the networks. Enforce these measures strictly for all employees and contractors. Make sure all devices are password protected to ensure authorized employees can log in to the systems.

Otherwise, unauthorized users can access restricted networks, databases, and files using an authorized employee’s device. Employees must also avoid using devices that do not belong to them.

The purpose is to comply with the established policies. Using devices that do not belong to your employees can lead to complications. Consequently, these will infect your systems and networks and put your company’s information at risk.

8.    Implement Cybersecurity Training Program

Training your employees on cybersecurity is very important. Organizations spend billions of dollars every year to train their employees. The primary objective is to equip them with knowledge and tools to reduce cyber threats.

The training program should incorporate smart internet browsing practices. Visiting vulnerable websites can expose users to malware infections embedded on the site. Sometimes, legit websites and files have malware.

Cybercriminals use a wide range of attacks, including a “water-hole” attack, to target a company’s employees, especially those who visit the malicious website. That’s why it is crucial to exercise caution no matter where your employees navigate and the software they download.

9.    Involve Executives in Cybersecurity

Organization leaders lack sufficient awareness of cyberattacks and cybersecurity. That’s why executives must know the efficacy of cybersecurity. For instance, business leaders and their employees must know how to use different tools to reduce cyber threats.

Make sure you elevate cybersecurity measures to the executive level. You can add the role of chief information security officer (CISCO) to your company to prepare for cyber threats. Become aware of the signs that your organization is not ready for cyber threats.

For instance, these include the lack of CISCO, misidentification of actual threats, not including C-suite members in the defense strategy, and a reluctance to share data about cyber threats with external organizations.

10. Develop a Response Plan to Reduce Cyber Threats

Although many companies implement preventative measures, they still experience compromises. Bear in mind that experiencing a compromise the question of “when” and not “if.” For example, when an attack occurs, you can use the response system to mitigate the threat.

Implement measures like intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, logs, antivirus software, malware tools, etc. These can help detect compromises in the earliest stages. Most intrusion and prevention systems use signatures to detect malware, port scans, and other abnormal activities, including vulnerable network communications.  

KVS Computers recommend Malwarebytes, a premium antivirus program to detect the latest threat signatures. However, you must not rely entirely on an antivirus program for detecting infections.

You must also monitor logs from firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and prevention sensors, as well as servers. The purpose is to analyze the signs of infections and use the response system to reduce cyber threats.

How to Reduce Cyber Threats – Final Words

Cybersecurity is crucial for individuals and organizations. It protects databases, files, systems, and networks from theft and damage. Cyber threats can compromise personally identifiable information, sensitive data, health information, and intellectual property data.

Threats can also affect information systems in the government sectors and industries. Individuals and companies use different methods to reduce cyber threats. However, not all of them are sophisticated enough to mitigate the threats.

These ten practices are best for strengthening your cybersecurity measures, leading to data protection, and streamline business operations. Contact KVS Computers for antivirus installation, computer scans, and malware removal.

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