From operating under an assumed breach mind-set to dynamic environments to adopting zero-trust security models, IT leaders and the industry at large need to take action to decrease vulnerabilities as they consciously move toward becoming more secure by design.
Even before the rapid adoption of remote work worldwide, businesses had to face an increase in phishing attacks, ransomware, and the professionalization of hacking groups. Dispersed workforces have also rapidly expanded threat surfaces with sophisticated cybercriminals constantly taking advantage of the challenges of remote work for financial gain, including committing supply chain attacks and stealing intellectual property, among other things.
Here are a few steps enterprises can take to mitigate vulnerabilities and become more secure by design:
Restrict Shadow IT
Control and visibility over every component of a network are essential. It entails knowing what employees do and what resources and data they access. Unfortunately, distributed modern workforces make this especially difficult because of shadow IT.
Although employing productivity apps may appear to be a harmless habit at first glance, shadow IT hinders teams from having visibility and control over their systems, which can lead to data loss and expand the number of apps and services that attackers can use to target.
Embrace Zero Trust
Businesses must closely monitor and secure their employees and their data and resources as they adopt long-term hybrid and remote work practices. Enterprises can utilize zero-trust principles to block or flag irregular or unauthorized access of enterprise resources depending on user identity, location, and other crucial factors through multifactor authentication, policy management, and consistent network monitoring. Zero trust is a potent tool to help accurately identify threats, enhance visibility, and reduce vulnerabilities at a time when more employees are accessing more data in more locations than before.
Enhance Software Development Methods
Although money, data, or intellectual property theft is the primary goal of the bulk of cyber-attacks, software development businesses also have to guard against supply chain attacks, which pose a unique threat. These attacks occur when threat actors access and modify code that can affect users of the impacted software. The integrity of the software build environment and process must be of the utmost significance to software development organizations to help prevent and provide resistance against attacks.
By implementing dynamic environments, businesses can strengthen their software development process. These dynamic settings are essential because they make it impossible for attackers to enter and stay inside a network.
Utilize Red Teams
Assessing risks and identifying vulnerabilities doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Employing red teams, which look for network vulnerabilities and simulate attacks in real-time, is one strategy businesses can utilize to lessen the need for IT teams to identify every threat. These simulations can take the form of brute-force attacks or phishing campaigns. These red teams can keep the skills of the IT team up-to-date, ensuring they are prepared to adapt and stay ahead of threat actors and counter breach attempts. Red teams attempt intrusions and record every stage of the process to dissect attack strategies and implement preventative measures.
People Should Be Part of the Defense
An organization’s technology and automated processes play a significant role in maintaining security and preventing breaches. The vast array of tried-and-true defenses that security teams have created to thwart cybercriminals is nothing short of extraordinary, yet despite the technology at their disposal, humans and their actions still pose a significant risk. Enterprises must treat each employee as if they are a member of the security team if they are to become truly secure by design. Businesses must have regular training sessions to ensure that the workforce follows proper cyber hygiene and are knowledgeable about the latest hacking techniques.
Being secure by design is now a priority at the C-level and is not only the IT department’s responsibility anymore. Community vigilance across the enterprise and industry at large is necessary to defend against these issues since the threat landscape is continually changing. It is now the new reality that any business, no matter how big or small, will encounter new and sophisticated challenges and attacks.
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