As you plan for 2023, we invite you to consider what’s worked for you before, what might not be working moving forward, and then consider these advanced IT security layers of protection.
Business trends come and go, along with blog spaces just like this that purport to know the ones we should be watching for in the coming year. Here’s a safe bet, though. One trend that stands immune to whatever else comes our way in 2023 (inflation, staffing issues, remote work, etc.) and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon? Security vigilance.
In its “Planning Guide 2023: Security and Risk” whitepaper, Forrester puts it like this.
“Cyberattacks and data breaches don’t pause with an economic slowdown. When prioritizing security investments, security leaders should continue to invest in security controls and solutions that protect the organization’s customer-facing and revenue-generating workloads.”
In other words, even with economic uncertainties still looming, organizations literally cannot afford to roll their shoulders back and rest on IT security initiatives. Remote work, paired with the spread of Internet of Things (IOT) into the workplace (43 billion IOT devices in the world in 2023, Garner predicts), makes a lax approach to security even riskier.
Here’s the kicker. Bad actors (and their strategies) are becoming increasingly elusive and sophisticated. The traditional means of security (firewall + antivirus) often fail to fully protect against advanced threats. As you plan for 2023, we invite you to consider what’s worked for you before, what might not be working moving forward, and then consider these three advanced IT security layers of protection.
1. Multifactor Authentication.
It’s simple, really. But it’s simply an essential security tool for organizations moving forward.
You’ve likely used it already. Multifactor authentication is a layered approach to securing data and applications where a system requires a user to present a combination of two or more credentials to verify a user’s identity for login. By adding a required physical element to gain access (a la the smartphone in your hands), you’ve stopped even the most advanced cybersecurity threat dead in its tracks.
2. Sandboxing Endpoint Security.
A sandbox is an isolated online environment that enables users (or in this case security systems) to run programs or open files without affecting the application, system, or platform on which they run.
How does it work? Suspicious files are analyzed in-depth by detonating payloads in a cloud platform, or in a secure customer virtual environment. The sandbox technology observes malware behavior by simulating a ‘real target’ so that the malware will act as it would in the wild. Post analysis, appropriate actions are taken to effectively neutralize the threat.
3. End User Training.
Your weakest link isn’t a link at all. It’s the human(s) that utilize technology every day.
Forrester says this in its report: “It’s tempting to cut spending in these areas (Staffing and security awareness/training) when the economic picture darkens, but it won’t save much compared with other expenditures, and it will exacerbate the skills shortage and sacrifice the ability to instill trust just when borderless, anywhere work organizations need it most.”
How well have you equipped your employees to investigate and properly avoid phishing scams? Do they have good password hygiene?
According to KnowBe4, only about 3% of malware tries to exploit an exclusively technical flaw. The other 97% instead target users through Social Engineering. Case in point: Your users need to be trained. It’s up to leadership to plan for and properly outsource a partner who can provide such services.
4. A Trusted Partner.
Are you still relying on one internal IT person to keep up with the evolution of cyber criminals? Do you own the expertise to properly vet and onboard advanced security tactics like the ones listed above? Consider that, according to Cloudwards, 37 percent of businesses were hit by Ransomware in 2021. On average, it costs businesses $1.85 million to recover from an attack in that same year.
It might be time to pick a partner. For more about picking the RIGHT one, click here.
Want to sleep a little better at night in 2023? Tired of either pleading ignorance or holding your breath at the thought of security flaws in your organization? We’d love to visit about TechCare, our signature Managed IT Services Program that gives you the freedom to focus on your forte. We’ll handle the security.