Sensible Cybersecurity: High-Impact Practices to Keep Your Data and Systems Safe Webinar Summary

Thank you to those who attended the webinar we hosted recently with RealCISO and SideChannel Security. We were joined by Brian Haugli and Bill Roberts, both cybersecurity experts with deep experience advising businesses. We appreciate the interest and questions you brought with you. For those who weren’t able to join, below are some of our key takeaways. You can view a recording of the webinar here and we welcome any questions you have.

The Threat Environment

Who are the threats? Organizations face a highly sophisticated group of threat actors. Governments and major corporates are targeted by state-sponsored groups from Russia, China, and North Korea. For mid-market businesses, highly organized criminal organizations operating out of hubs in Eastern Europe and elsewhere pose ongoing threats. These actors are more organized and effective than the imagined “bored hacker in a basement.”

What to worry about? Business email compromise is a large and growing threat, and probably the most significant concern for most mid-sized businesses. Email is the entry point for most types of cybercrime. The Microsoft Exchange cybersecurity attack will provide fuel for months or years of email-based fraud. Companies need to be as vigilant as ever in training employees on email security and using effective tools to monitor potential problems.

What do they want? Many companies don’t fully realize the black market value of the data that flows through their environment. Information about employees, customers, suppliers, financial condition, and intellectual property might seem to be of limited interest, but can often be part of a broader mosaic that cybercriminals or state actors are trying to build.

Managing Security

Know what you have: The first step to managing security is knowing what you need to secure. Rigorously maintain an up-to-date inventory of your environment. Keep track of every device that can access your network, all software, your users, and any systems that house data.

Keep things organized: Wherever possible, limit the number of systems and data environments that you utilize. Data can be held in email, accounting systems, HR systems, shared servers, and a multitude of other settings. Each environment has its own vulnerabilities and requires tailored cyber defenses. The more complex your environment, the more opportunities for intrusion.

Get the basics right: Tools and processes such as multi-factor authentication, advanced anti-virus, and regular implementation of software patches are relatively straightforward to implement and highly important. Hackers can typically identify which organizations are using these processes and are more likely to focus their efforts elsewhere when they encounter these protections.

Use validated tools to support your security: While the panelists did not make formal recommendations for specific tools, a few resources they referenced include: Wizer for employee cybersecurity training along with Mimecast and Proofpoint for advanced email protection. They also advised referencing the Center for Internet Security’s Top 20 Security Controls and the NIST Cyber Security Framework.

Sound cybersecurity practices are an important risk mitigator for any organization. Because every organization has a unique environment and set of risk factors, one-size-fits-all recommendations are not sufficient. RealCISO.io provides an assessment tool that can help you manage this process. If you’re interested in learning more, visit their site directly or reach out to your RBN team and we can put you in touch.

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