How to Proactively Defend Against Cyberattacks

How to Proactively Defend Against Cyberattacks

Dennis Snider

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IT security is a highly complex and technical area that only experts truly understand. However, it is essential that you understand at least the basics in terms of defending against cyberattacks, in order to keep your business safe.

Firstly, you need to understand the threat before you can start thinking about prevention. Everybody in your business should be aware of what they’re facing. Look at your industry, and learn about the most common forms of attack in your sector. Cyberattackers are constantly developing, so you should review your lists several times a year.

Secondly, consider what needs to be protected; undertake an analysis of all the elements of your organizational network, thinking about every device that has an Internet connection, how they are protected at the moment, and what sort of data they can access.

Thirdly, now you know what sort of attacks you’re facing and you’ve looked at your technology, you’ll have a better awareness of how you can start working on prevention, rather than reaction. Think about your baseline: create exercises that simulate genuine cyberattacks and run them through your network to find the weak points. Reputable IT professionals can mimic external attacks to give you a better idea of improving your defense capabilities.

Finally, draw up your strategy. Using outside experts if necessary, you need to draw up a multifaceted plan for your security which should encompass the following elements:
– Training for every single person in the company, making them aware of issues such as spam, how mobile devices should be used, how they should manage passwords, etc.
– Implementing the best possible border defenses with firewalls and intrusion prevention mechanisms; the best way of stopping a cyberattack is blocking it before it even gets into your network.
– Making sure that all your software, patches and licenses are up-to-date; exposing weaknesses in out of date systems is one of the easiest ways for a cyberattacker to gain access.
– Using web-filtering services to make sure that any inappropriate or dangerous websites cannot be accessed from your network.
– Continually updating your antivirus software whenever new versions or patches are released to ensure you have protection against the latest threats.

If you implement all these forms of proactive defense, it will pay you back a hundredfold, as you’ll find the time you have to spend rectifying the damage that cyberattacks have done to your IT systems massively reduced.

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