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A Call to Action: Cybersecurity Audit

Cybersecurity audit refers to an assessment of an organization’s cybersecurity policies and procedures and their operating effectiveness. It helps the organization manage cyber threats, monitor security operations and takes actions if needed. Additionally, a cybersecurity audit provides a higher level of security because it vigorously inspects your digital infrastructure to find weak spots.

The U.S. government spends about $18 billion per year on cybersecurity but warns that cyber-attacks continue to advance at a rapid speed. Cybersecurity threats affect everyone regardless of industry or size. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated constantly changing their pattern and strategy of attack. Below are the 6 most common cyberattack methods hackers use to attack your business:

  • Malware- cybercriminals continue to steal data from victim’s computers most commonly using spyware.
  • Social engineering- developing new methods to manipulate users into believing a message, link or attachment is from a trusted source and then infecting targeted systems with malware.
  • Hacking- exploiting vulnerabilities in software and hardware.
  • Credential compromise- while enterprise users increasingly look to password managers for storing and keeping track of passwords theses managers can also be vulnerable to attack.
  • Web attacks- cybercriminals can extort website operators for profit, sometimes by threatening to steal client databases, etc.
  • DDoS- these attacks typically hit government institutions and political events are a major driver. DDoS tend to be the weapon of choice for business rivals, disgruntled clients and hacktivists.

With technology constantly advancing and society becoming more reliant on the use of computers performing one cybersecurity audit is not enough; but rather annually if not at least on a monthly basis. Involve people with the necessary experience and skills to evaluate the full cybersecurity framework of your business. Below are 6 ways to prepare for a cybersecurity audit

  • Inventory of what is connected to your network- create a network device inventory, review at least monthly to look for new devices or devices that are no longer connected so you can update your inventory.
  • Determine what is running on all your network devices- tools such as Nessus can be used to run inventory on the software of each computer as it scans the network to perform the device inventory.
  • The Principle of Least Privilege- never give a user or device more rights on the network than they/it needs to perform their assigned tasks.
  • Use secure configurations- all operating systems, web browsers and many other networked devices have secure configuration settings. The Center for Internet Security provides benchmarks for just about every conceivable device.
  • Set up a policy and procedure for applying security patches-New vulnerabilities are discovered every day and as a result, vendors release updates or patches to mitigate the vulnerability.
  • Create an incident plan- once you determine potential risks you will need to create policies and procedures and also train employees on what to do.

According to Silent Breach, more than half of the cyberattacks rely on social engineering or email phishing taking the step to train employees on internet safety is just as important. Also, become aware of the threat cyber hacks now pose to the world and taking the necessary steps to improve our defenses. With so much at stake, it is important to take action now. Continued awareness and preparation may be the key to your company’s future.

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