Modern approaches to cybersecurity issues or how do we protect the data in 2021?

Modern approaches to cybersecurity issues or how do we protect the data in 2021?

15 Nov 2020

When the world met the COVID-19 pandemic the companies realized the importance of keeping pace with the times; that is why a lot of workers started to work remotely, management started to care about cybersecurity more. This article sheds light on some modern approaches to data protection that are becoming more and more popular in 2021

  • How do I ensure my employees remain productive and my data stays secure when they work from home during a lockdown?
  • How to check if my company's cybersecurity posture is more exposed due to external connections?
  • How to allocate time and resources to reach the best results as a CISO and secure my company in 2021?

If you needed to answer these and similar questions when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, then you have even more to think and care about now, when 2021 is coming. During the virtual Gartner Cybersecurity Summit 2020, Gartner and other credible sources reported that cybercriminals have not wasted time and new threats are looming on the horizon, which requires modern approaches to cybersecurity issues. How do we protect the data in 2021?

The key here is communicating the importance of the required cybersecurity updates to stakeholders in order to ensure business enablement and minimize risks. Below we list 10 aspects of ensuring your business-critical data is secure in 2021, in no particular order.

  1. Securing work from home connections for your staff

    When employees have to access business systems over insecure home networks, man-in-the-middle attacks, malware injections and other kinds of malicious activity become a much greater risk. Providing a compulsory VPN connection for all devices might seem a tough decision, yet it is only the first of the security measures you need to implement. It is also important to monitor if every person on staff complies with these demands — as a single insecure connection might mean a data breach or unauthorized system access.

  2. Don’t try to protect everything. Protect the mission-critical

    It is not feasible and doable to instate rigorous cybersecurity measures for all aspects of your operations — as there always be backdoors and security loops due to rapidly changing business requirements and resulting updates in security posture. Use threat intelligence, assess, and try to forecast potential attacker activity to safeguard your critical digital assets. Hiring external cybersecurity experts to perform penetration testing can help highlight all the flaws and exploits in your systems and processes.

  3. Implement XDR

    Extended Detection and Response (XDR) platforms, either off-the-shelve or custom-built will help consolidate your cybersecurity products and operations, minimize potential attack area and vectors, facilitate incident response and remediation. It would be best to integrate them when deploying new business systems, but they can be added later to provide lots of value.

  4. Instate automated IaaS and PaaS security controls

    When your company runs its operations in the highly dynamic cloud environment, manual threat monitoring becomes literally impossible. You need to implement DevSecOps best practices and create a set of automated security controls to be able to respond proactively, not reactively, to potential threats. Effectively creating a uniform cybersecurity policy across your cloud environments helps greatly reduce operational overhead and toil for your team.

  5. Streamline cloud access controls with CASB

    When you create a cloud access security broker or CASB, you ensure the flexibility of access to your cloud systems for customers, while enabling traffic fidelity monitoring for your team. This control point allows businesses to effectively enforce cloud security policies and actively block suspicious traffic using a built-in proxy to withstand malicious intent.

  6. Passwordless authentication

    When your employees use the same password everywhere, including for accessing systems vital for your business, the risks of unauthorized access due to password leaks grow tenfold.

    Instead of pestering the employees with the need to create strong and unique passwords (someone will still not do it), it’s better to introduce some passwordless authentication methods to remove the needs for any passwords at all.

  7. DMARC

    When email becomes crucial to your communication, email spoofing and fake emails can be very detrimental to your business. Implementing domain-based message authentication (DMARC) can help ensure the emails sent within the confines of your organization are genuine and build another layer of trust in your employees and partners.

  8. Data classification

    Your business data comes in many types and forms, but not all are equally important for your business, and not all data types can be handled securely using the same approach. Thus, structuring your data enables selecting the appropriate security measures for each type and building multi-layered protection.

  9. Employee competency assessment

    There are business roles that demand hard professional skills and soft leadership skills — and these roles should not be filled with slackers. It is hard to find the right candidates, yes — but it is better to spend 3 months and interview 15 applicants than risk losing a business due to lax cybersecurity practices of a person with an important role. Continuously assess the competencies of your employees to secure your business from within.

  10. Risk assessment automation

    Businesses rarely perform routine risk assessments or perform them in a very basic way. However, this is one of the most essential practices of cybersecurity, as it allows you to dynamically track the existing threats, identify root causes for repetitive incidents, and remediate them before they become serious issues. This can be done as a part of periodic penetration testing or performed by the in-house team on a regular basis.

The actions you will do depend on the level of operational maturity of the business, the resources at your disposal, and the toolset in use. However, following these 10 modern approaches to cybersecurity will help ensure your business is able to protect your data in 2021. Should you have any inquiries about implementing these methods — feel free to ask, we are ready to assist!