The endless arms race between cybersecurity professionals and their criminal adversaries has picked up pace dramatically in recent years. Threat actors such as sophisticated criminal organizations and nation-states are adopting new tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. The risk of cyberattack is increasing exponentially—and so too must your cybersecurity capabilities.
Business leaders today are adding layers to their IT networks to support their remote workforce, provide enhanced customer experience, and utilize the Internet of Things. All of this generates a tremendous amount of value, and it also creates a multitude of new potential vulnerabilities.
Here are five cybersecurity capabilities you should develop to be able to defend your organization from a disastrous cyberattack in 2023.
- Accurate and Comprehensive Visibility of Your Security Posture
A detailed risk assessment is your first necessary step in developing and maintaining a potent cybersecurity infrastructure. A complete inventory of all your technology assets must include all on-prem, cloud, mobile, and third-party assets. This will give you a clear idea of your organization’s existing security posture and expose any areas of weakness.
This evaluation should go beyond your standard policy and document reviews. It should probe into potential vulnerabilities such as weak firewall security rules, misconfigurations, and insufficiently rigorous monitoring. You will also want clear visibility of your security risks on an ongoing basis. This requires consistent monitoring and needs to be incorporated into your regular security protocols.
Risk monitoring empowers your organization to know your security status at any given moment with certainty. In place of a cybersecurity plan that is purely designed to react to threats, this is a proactive cybersecurity plan much more suited to the contemporary threat environment.
- A Zero-Trust Approach to Protecting Data and Multiple Endpoints
The ubiquity of remote work, mobile platforms, and cloud migration has transformed not only the cybersecurity landscape, but also the way we do business. With this digital transformation, virtually every organization is managing vastly more data than they did just a few years ago. Exposure to cyberattack can now lead to catastrophic results.
Developing a zero-trust architecture (ZTA) moves the focus of your cyberdefense beyond the perimeter surrounding your physical networks by continually validating every stage of every digital interaction.
ZTA, also referred to as Cloud Zero Trust Network Access, sets up strict “least access” policies that effectively limit the number of people who can be active in sensitive areas of your network. The zero-trust strategy requires strong authentication of a user’s identity, and verifies the integrity of every user’s device. This powerful security approach leverages network segmentation, prevents lateral movement within networks, and provides what is known as “Layer 7” threat prevention.
- AI, ML, and Automated Defense to Combat Frighteningly Sophisticated Cyberattacks
Cybersecurity in 2023 will absolutely demand the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and automated cyberdefense.
Cybersecurity professionals already use AI to crunch massive amounts of data from networks and devices. AI instantaneously analyzes the data to assess behaviors and events, correlates its findings to past behaviors, and reacts in real time—making decisions and proactively stopping threats immediately.
To do this, AI employs ML. Even without being programmed to recognize a particular threat, an ML-equipped cyberdefense system “knows” when an event falls outside of established pattern parameters. When that happens, it instantly triggers an alert.
Many of the bandwidth-burning activities associated with cybersecurity can now be automated. Necessary infrastructure tasks (including patching, configuration, and software upgrades to assets that are not in a high-risk area) can be carried out with automation. This is also true with activities such as identity and access management and reporting.
AI and ML can also be used together to track changing attack patterns and deploy automated responses to events, including ransomware threats.
- Workloads and Infrastructure Should be Safely Migrated to Third-Party Cloud Environments
In recent years, many business leaders have determined that cloud platforms can provide innovation, improved agility, resilience, and value. As it happens, taking advantage of various solutions offered “as a service” by third-party technology management companies could be your most important cybersecurity move in 2023.
These can include security-focused offerings such as Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) and Security Information and Event Management as a Service (SIEMaaS). However, more generalized solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) also provide significant security benefits.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktops as a Service (DaaS) solutions, which allow remote users to interact with applications as if they were on local machines, are also more secure than traditional desktops.
Cloud services providers routinely handle security, patching, and maintenance, and are better equipped to secure organizational resources. In general, working with a cloud management services provider can free your organization to focus on value and/or growth.
- Your First Line of Defense: Your Human Firewall
The most important key to developing a well-functioning cybersecurity approach is an educated and empowered workforce. That has been the case for a long time, and it will only become more so in 2023. It is surprising but true that phishing, where a cybercriminal tricks someone inside an organization into allowing them access to their network, is still the number one source of destructive cyberattack.
You must train your employees, including executive staff, and run regular tests to keep them aware of new threats. You can use computer-based training, social engineering activities, phishing training campaigns, and other tools to help with this.
I hope you found this information helpful. As always, contact us anytime about your technology needs.
Until next time,