Written by: Jenni Barber, Sterling
With cyberattacks increasing at an exponential rate from 2020 to 2021, make sure you are proactive and prepared, with risk mitigation, incident-response plans, and a Zero-Trust cybersecurity model in place. Don’t fall into the ransomware trap and become a statistic of cyber breach.
Three starting points to protect your organization with a zero-trust road map:
1. Multifactor authentication
Simply put, multifactor authentication (MFA) is an electronic authentication method that will not permit a user to access a website, application, or data without first successfully verifying at least two pieces of independent credentials.
There are three main authentication methods: knowledge, possession, and inherence. Knowledge factors are generally passwords, pins, or information such as your pet’s first name. Possession factors are specific to something within the user’s ownership, such as a security token, badge, or mobile phone for authentication. The third factor, inherence, uses biological traits of the user to confirm validity for login (fingerprint scanning, voice recognition, or retina scans, for example).
Multifactor authentication adds layers of security to hardware and software and can be easily set up by users, providing a flexible, affordable option for businesses. MFA can reduce security breaches by up to 99.9% over passwords alone.
Sterling recommends three different MFA solutions for getting started [click each for more information]:
2. Employee/end-user security-awareness training
According to Cybint, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Don’t let your company get caught up in that statistic when it comes to cyber-preparedness.
It’s critical to train employees and any end-user on best practices when it comes to company data and cybersecurity. It is a not only a good idea to train new hires but to have ongoing refresher courses to keep staff up with trending threats. Empower your employees to recognize and report common cyber threats such as email phishing and social engineering, along with upholding password and document-management best practices.
Click below for more information about opportunities to protect, train, and arm your employees in handling cyber-attacks.
3. Do a cybersecurity assessment
Evaluate. Review. Repeat. Have you looked at your organization’s risk factors lately?
Do you know your vulnerabilities? Are you prepared to recover if a cyber breach occurs? Assess system architecture, network configurations, client devices, and business processes often.
It doesn’t stop there – use these resources to continuously monitor and detect threats:
- Self-assess your organization– cybersecurity preparedness self-assessment survey
- Cybersecurity Checklist– 15 ways to protect your organization
Although MFA, end-user training, and assessments are a good start, your zero-trust model doesn’t stop there. Data protection and recovery should always be on your organization’s mind, continuously assessing and monitoring the threat landscape.
Once you have these pillars of cyber hygiene in place, it’s imperative you optimize. Sterling is your resource for client-to-cloud protection as you build out a custom cybersecurity zero-trust roadmap. Talk to a Sterling expert for answers to your questions and additional ways to implement a zero-trust model quick and efficiently.