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Essentials of a multilayered security program

It has become all too common to hear about damaging cyberattacks and data breaches in today's cybersecurity environment. Ransomware continues to dominate headlines, inflicting financial losses, disruptions, and downtime. New threats, commonly known as zero-day threats, constantly emerge as cybercriminals change their attacks to avoid detection and exploit traditional security measures. 

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are becoming cybercrime’s primary and most profitable targets as cyber threats increase in volume and sophistication. It is critical to mitigate your organization’s risk and improve your cyber status by employing a multi-layered security approach. 

What is layered cybersecurity?

A multi-layered security approach can also be related to the term defense in depth and is the deployment of multiple security controls to protect the most vulnerable areas of your technology environment where a breach or cyber-attack might occur. 

Each component of your cybersecurity plan has a backup to counteract any flaws or gaps in your security systems. Working together, these layers bolster your defenses and build a strong foundation for your cybersecurity program. 

Cybersecurity layers are best practices

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which is a framework that brings together industry standards, guidelines, and best practices to help organizations manage their cyber risks, supports this multiple-layer approach to security. 

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework includes five vital functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recuperate. You should be able to identify and protect your company from cyber risks, detect when a cybercriminal breaches your defenses, and respond and recover optimally after a breach in the correct way. 

Defend your business with multilayered security

Deploying a multilayered security strategy is vital to ensure your network, users, and business-critical data is protected. Following are the essentials of multilayered security:

Firewall

A firewall is the first line of defense in network security, inspecting incoming and outgoing network traffic according to a set of rules. A firewall acts as a barrier between a trusted network and an unfriendly network, permitting only authorized network traffic into the system. 

Multifactor authentication 

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a form of authentication that requires multiple types of verification to access an application, account, or corporate network. After you enter your password, you might be asked to enter a one-time code delivered via text message or push notification. This prevents malicious actors from exploiting compromised or weak end-user credentials to access your network.

Patch management

Old software is full of vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to get into your network. The process of distributing and applying updates to software and firmware is referred to as 'patching'. Patches resolve bugs or functionality problems, boost performance, and close the security gaps that would otherwise leave your systems, applications, and software vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Endpoint protection

The devices your business needs to function—not only computers, workstations, and mobile devices but also printers, scanners, copiers, security cameras, and smart devices—can be one of the weakest links in your security. Endpoint security solutions can prevent unauthorized access to your network through these devices and should be included in your organization's cybersecurity plan. 

Security awareness training

Human error is one of the biggest causes of cybersecurity incidents, and according to data breach reports, more than 30% of incidents involve phishing emails. Comprehensive security awareness training is crucial for educating end-users on cybersecurity basics so they can identify phishing emails and other common cyber threats that jeopardize network security. Phishing simulations, which test users on their vigilance in recognizing suspicious emails, can be used periodically to further reinforce your defenses.

Strong password policies

Almost three-quarters of passwords in use today are duplicates, so if your password is leaked in one data breach, any other accounts using it would also be compromised. Password policies establish organization-wide policies concerning password strength and complexity (e.g., irregular capitalization and special characters) to prevent password reuse, prohibit weak passwords, and improve network security. 

Access controls

Organizations use secure access control to manage who has access to corporate data and resources. Access control is a data security process that verifies whether users are who they say they are and controls access levels appropriately. 

Vulnerability management

A vulnerability management program has one primary objective: to protect the organization from cyber-attacks and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive data. Vulnerability scanning is used to discover security issues in systems and software. It is an important part of vulnerability management programs. Through assessment, these programs measure security readiness and minimize risk, and vulnerability scanning is an important component of the cybersecurity arsenal. 

Understand your cybersecurity risk and build security layers

A layered security approach is vital in today’s fast-changing cybersecurity landscape, where new threats emerge daily. When organizations are not adequately prepared for a breach, it is frequently because they do not believe they are at risk. The ThreatAdvice Breach Prevention Platform can offer your organization the cybersecurity oversight it needs to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. Talk to the ThreatAdvice team today and build your multilayered security program.