Prevention is always better than treatment. That’s true for diseases, and it’s true for cybersecurity breaches.
If a cyberattack ravages your company, you have only one option: react to it. When you react to external events, you’re often blind-sighted with short-term solutions without thinking about the bigger picture.
Let’s say an employee has mistakenly installed ransomware on their work laptop. A hacker holds sensitive customer data and asks for money to unlock it. Your options are limited, but you have to react.
In a perfect world, you would have already anticipated such a situation happening. That’s being proactive. It’s everything you do before a breach occurs, an employee installs malware, or you fall for a phishing attack.
Being proactive in your cybersecurity efforts is a must in today’s climate. Hackers are on the rise, machine learning and AI are making a full swing, and white-hat cybersecurity experts can’t keep up with every threat. It’s up to businesses and individuals to take matters into their own hands.
What are the best cybersecurity tactics?
There are two types of cyberattacks. The known and the unknown. Logically, it’s easier to start with the known and then keep striving to protect yourself from the unknown.
It’s 2023, and people are still using ‘password’ as their password. What’s even more, ‘qwerty,’ ‘admin,’ and ‘123456’ are up on the list too. You can build a cybersecurity fortress with top-notch experts that will monitor attacks 24/7, and they won’t be able to protect you if you’ve got a weak password.
Hackers breach weak passwords in seconds, and they exploit people’s easy-going attitudes when creating them. Create strong passwords, and change them every month. Use a different one for each account, and use multi-factor authentication. Cybersecurity starts and ends with a password.
Antivirus and VPN Software
Antivirus software is a blessing in a world full of malware. It’s great at picking up malicious code that wants to exploit your device and steal personal data. But even an antivirus is not perfect. New attacks bypass security checkups, and an antivirus can’t save you from phishing and malicious websites.
That’s where a VPN comes in. It protects you from internet threats by masking your IP address and encrypting your data. A VPN makes you a harder target for hackers, which is more than enough for them to move on to the next victim. Why waste time and resources on you when they can breach someone else in mere seconds?
When you’re getting a virtual private network, always check the number of servers near you. For example, search for VPN Australia to see the coverage and read their details on encryption and no logs policies (https://nordvpn.com/servers/australia/).
What do you do when the unthinkable happens? If you leave it to chance, you’ll react wrong. If you have a plan, you’ll follow it. That’s where a disaster recovery plan comes to save the day.
Eventually, you’ll have to deal with a cybersecurity breach, a DDoS attack, or malware. Make sure to outline every step and activity you need to do before it happens. It will help you keep a calm head and move forward without forgetting about the company’s big picture.
The easiest way to see if you can get hacked is to call a hacker and watch him do it. Of course, you’d contact an ethical hacker who will breach the cyber defenses and help you rebuild them. Penetration testing is one of the best preventive measures to see how you would fare in a real situation.
You might have a breach that you don’t know about. That’s where threat hunting comes in. It’s a preventive approach to test out a hypothesis and identify malware or a breach. Cyberattacks don’t make any noise unless they’re in the news.
Thus, a hacker will gain access to your systems and slowly and carefully extract data until they get caught. If they don’t get caught, they’ll leave a backdoor so they can come in and out when they please. Regular threat hunting should be a part of your cybersecurity routine. Especially if you’re dealing with a lot of customers or sensitive data.
Last but not least, there’s training. A cybersecurity system is only as strong as its weakest link. And that’s human. There’s no limit to mistakes, and employee negligence causes 95% of all breaches.
Every employee becomes a dual-edged sword. They can be your greatest strength or your biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity.
Training them to notice phishing attacks is much better than paying a hacker that has infiltrated your databases through a phishing scam.
Socially engineered scams are on the rise, and there’s no way to stop them. Cybercriminals will go with any means necessary. Often, they will create fake companies and send PDF job proposals laced with malware. All it takes is one of your employees to fall for a scam, and all of the sensitive info you’re keeping under lock and key goes on sale on the dark web.
Make sure you’re operating at the highest cybersecurity standards.