We may enjoy a lot of conveniences in the modern digital age, but there are several security risks as well. The technology that stores our data in a convenient fashion also makes it vulnerable in new and unprecedented ways. Hacking is the most common risk, where a malicious user can steal data for their own benefit. There’s also the risk of someone deliberately creating a bug in the system. If nothing else, every data system could face a natural disaster at any moment.
In order to minimize these risks or at least prevent them from wiping everything out, most companies need some sort of security control. Security controls are safeguards that can help detect security risks along with avoiding or minimizing them. There are several varieties of these, which can each help out with specific attacks on your security.
Let’s find out how to implement the right security controls to safeguard your business.
Maintain An Inventory of Your Software
Whether your software is authorized or not, you should always maintain an updated inventory of your organization’s network. If you’re working as one of the IT personnel, you should know the kinds of software that are aligned with the company’s IT system. You should also have an updated database about the people who have access to it. This way, your organization will be equipped with complete information about the internal environment, making it easier to have quick responses against security incidents.
Configure Software and Hardware
When you’ve maintained the inventory of all your software (both authorized and unauthorized), you’ll want to secure your whole network. This will minimize the attack surface, making it harder for hackers to attack the system. You may also accomplish this by working on proper configurations between your software and hardware. This would strengthen security postures and avoid any unwanted exploitation.
To this end, you should remove any instances of insecure configuration. These include default passwords, outdated protocols, irrelevant software, and open ports.
Limit Administrative Privileges
Administrative privileges are unavoidable, but you should heavily restrict them. Make sure they’re granted only to employees who absolutely require them for carrying out their daily tasks. Even then, the employees should ideally exhibit a certain amount of loyalty to the company.
Applying this restriction will help you reduce the chances of common cyber attacks, which usually rely on any human errors. These errors may include opening malicious files or inadvertently outing their password and putting a computer at risk.
Analyze and Maintain Audit Logs
This security control deals with analyzing and gathering any evidence that will give you information on the performance of the overall IT operations in case something gets compromised. This way, any hacking or other security incidents wouldn’t leave you completely empty. You need to aggregate proper logs and regularly monitor them in order to detect an attack, understand it, and recover from it.
If this is the first time you’re going to implement this security control, it’s wise to hire staff with expertise in the area of managing audit logs. Also, don’t just keep the logs for maintaining the minimum compliance requirements, but use them to maintain your security in an exacting manner.
Protect Your Emails and Web Browsers
Several cyber attacks could come through email clients, web browsers, and similar programs. These are mediums that provide easy access to users, applications, and systems. Therefore, you need to make sure that there’s nothing malicious coming in through these portals.
You can accomplish this security control by only allowing updated, approved browsers or email clients. They should also be fully supported in order to avoid harmful coding or loss of data.
Protect Sensitive Data
Many organizations have a large amount of data on their servers, including that of their clients. If this data is manipulated, which is a possible situation with cloud storage, it could potentially break an organization. You hence need to update your techniques for data protection, especially when it comes to data in the cloud.
Regulations like HIPAA and NIST provide stringer compliance regulations, so you should strive to adopt a combination of these.
Keep Your Application Software Secure
When hackers want to infiltrate your system, they usually search out the weakest targets. These are usually the application software you use, whether it’s in-house or acquired for a third party. You hence need to prevent the security weakness inside your applications and then correct them. This means that you should focus on rectifying logic errors, coding mistakes, and outdated versions.
You can make your applications clean and secure by utilizing software updates, firewall deployments, and patch management. The result will be a secure application and almost no exploitation from attackers.
The right forms of security control will help you prevent attacks on your data and deal with them when they do happen. You also need to have the right approach to implementing security controls. These could be risk-based, ad-hoc, or compliance-based. Check out your budget as well as your security requirements so you can make the best decision.