Essential cybersecurity measures when scaling your business

Scaling Cybersecurity Take Care of Your Business Growth Security Cover

As businesses grow and expand in the digital era, their security must also advance. Business expansion brings more cybersecurity risks, including cyber-attacks and data breaches. Because the cost of data breaches is currently very high, businesses face a challenge: as they grow, they become more attractive to hackers.

This is why it's vital to consider boosting cybersecurity as your business grows. Let's explore how a strong cybersecurity plan can safeguard intellectual property, sensitive data, and other crucial business resources.

Key takeaways

  • As businesses grow and expand, their cybersecurity risks also increase

  • To safeguard against increasing threats, a scalable cybersecurity policy should be developed

  • Conducting an internal cybersecurity audit helps identify system strengths and  weaknesses

  • Strengthening IAM ensures users have appropriate access privileges based on their roles

  • Encryption and VPNs safeguard sensitive data, making it unreadable to unauthorized individuals, and prevent data interception

  • Aligning with compliance requirements helps businesses avoid legal complications

  • Network segmentation limits the extent of damage a cyber attacker can cause

Understanding cybersecurity for business growth

Ensuring your business runs smoothly involves giving your team access to networks and IT systems. But as you do this, you also make your business a bigger target for problems. When you have more devices to keep safe and lots of data to handle each day, the chances of a cyberattack increase as your business grows.

And it's not helping that cybercrime is on the rise. Different kinds of attacks can slow down or even stop your business. This can hurt how much your customers trust you, how people see your brand, and how much money you make.

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When the key to doing well in business is being able to bounce back, you can't forget about cybersecurity. These days, keeping your business safe from online problems is just as important as any other basic part of your business. The people who handle IT and the ones who run the business need to work together. If they don't, your business can't keep growing because it won't be safe from new kinds of problems.

What are cybersecurity threats that businesses may face when scaling up?

Expanding a business means making it bigger online, which can lead to more cybersecurity problems. Here are some specific security issues that a business might have while growing:

Cloud problems: When businesses get bigger, they use more cloud services. But these can be weak against cyberattacks. For instance, outsiders might access private data if cloud settings aren't set up correctly.

Increased attack surface: When a business grows, its networks, systems, and data increase. Attackers get more chances to break in, causing data leaks.

Insider threats: With more employees, there's a bigger chance of trouble from insiders. Some might want to intentionally harm the company (like unhappy workers), while others might accidentally cause problems (by clicking on bad links).

Phishing and social engineering: These types of attacks go up as businesses get bigger. Bad actors try to fool employees into sharing secret info.

Third-party vulnerabilities: Growing companies often work with more outside vendors. But these vendors might not have great security. They could open the door to attackers.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Some attacks never stop and keep trying to break in for a long time. Big companies are often targets for these attacks because they can lead to big rewards.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks: Bigger companies might get hit with attacks that flood their systems, causing them to crash.

More complications: Expanding often means adding new tech and software, making things more complex. This can make it tough to keep everything safe and organized.

Regulatory compliance: As businesses get larger, they usually need to follow more rules, especially if they operate in many places. They could expose data and get fined if they don't follow these rules.

Scaling security: the key to successful growth

When the number of threats increases and their techniques become increasingly sophisticated, this calls for a cybersecurity framework encompassing a scalability and growth plan. This means aligning with current requirements while considering infrastructure modernization for businesses.

Creating a scalable security system ensures that your cybersecurity program can grow with it as your business grows. A scalable security system can anticipate the changing landscape and proactively address potential security risks before they become an issue. Therefore, investing in a scalable and robust enterprise cybersecurity solution is critical to sustainable business growth.

Scaling your business safely: essential online security measures

As your business grows, it's important to approach cybersecurity carefully. This helps protect your company from online threats, keep your data private, and follow rules and regulations.

1. Conduct an internal cybersecurity audit

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Conducting an internal audit is a crucial first step toward scaling cybersecurity. It helps an organization gain a comprehensive understanding of its existing cybersecurity posture. This includes identifying strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities within the system. Without a clear picture of the current state, it's challenging to determine where improvements are needed.

The audit also helps to identify potential risks and threats. This involves analyzing the security infrastructure, data handling processes, employee practices, and more. The critical areas that need the most attention can be prioritized by knowing the risks. It ensures that resources are allocated effectively to maximize security.

2. Educate employees

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A "human firewall" refers to the idea that employees, through their awareness, knowledge, and actions, can play a crucial role in preventing and mitigating cybersecurity incidents. Employees who are educated about cybersecurity threats, best practices, and policies are better equipped to recognize and respond to potential attacks

Regular cybersecurity training can help them understand the latest tactics used by cybercriminals and how to avoid falling victim to scams, phishing attempts, and social engineering attacks.

Creating a strong cybersecurity culture within an organization instills the belief that every employee has a role in protecting the company's data and systems. The organization's overall security posture improves when cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility.

3. Strengthen Identity and Access Management (IAM)

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As an organization grows, so does the complexity of managing access to its resources. This growth introduces more employees, contractors, partners, and customers, each requiring different levels of access. Effective Identity and Access Management (IAM) becomes essential to handle this diversity.

Key to this is Workforce IAM, a specialized branch of IAM focused on employees. It manages employee access from start to finish. This ensures workers have access tailored to their roles, which is crucial in larger, more complex organizations. 

Effective IAM, therefore, meets varied access needs across roles and departments and safeguards against unauthorized access and excessive permissions. It’s a key piece in the cybersecurity puzzle, ensuring the right people access the right resources at the right time.

4. Use encryption and virtual private networks

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Using encryption and virtual private networks (VPNs) is a crucial cybersecurity measure. Encryption helps to safeguard sensitive data by converting it into an unreadable format that can only be decrypted with a specific key or password. This prevents unauthorized access to data, even if it's intercepted during transit or at rest. Without encryption, sensitive information such as passwords, financial details, and personal details would be vulnerable to theft or unauthorized use.

Meanwhile, a business VPN creates a secure tunnel between the user's device and a remote server, encrypting all data transmitted. This prevents hackers and cybercriminals from eavesdropping on the data being exchanged. It's particularly important when using public Wi-Fi networks, where data can be easily intercepted without proper security measures.

5. Step up your organization's compliance alignment

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Aligning with compliance requirements is a non-negotiable aspect of scaling cybersecurity. Laws, regulations, and industry standards dictate compliance requirements. Failure to comply leads to legal consequences, including fines, penalties, and lawsuits.

Compliance frameworks are designed to address specific risks and vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity landscape. Regulations like GDPR and HIPAA set certain data privacy and security standards that businesses must adhere to. By meeting these compliance requirements, your business avoids legal complications and demonstrates to clients and customers that you prioritize the security of their data.

6. Implement network segmentation

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Network segmentation involves dividing your network into multiple segments, each with its security controls. These segments are then isolated, creating barriers that restrict unauthorized access and the lateral movement of attackers within the network. It limits the extent of damage a cyber attacker can cause if they manage to breach your system. It's vital to a scalable security strategy, protecting your business scales.

Even if hackers access a segmented network, they cannot move laterally across the network. This means that the hackers are trapped within the network segment, giving companies more time to respond to threats and contain the damage.

Protect your business with NordLayer, your cybersecurity partner

As your business expands, keeping it secure becomes crucial. You can take simple steps to ensure your growth is safe. Educating your employees and organizing your network are some of these steps. Working with partners who can grow with you is also smart.

NordLayer is here to help when your business is growing fast. No matter what is your business size or work model, you can keep your network security up to standard.

With NordLayer, you can enable secure access to your cloud platforms. Additional controls and ZTNA-focused contextual checks can be implemented to further improve the organization’s security posture. 

Organizations using NordLayer can set up resource access policies with SSO, network segmentation, site-to-site tunnels, and more. There is an audit log for all actions completed within the Control Panel, including gateway connection timestamps, which help you keep track of what’s happening within your network.

NordLayer makes your business more secure. Want to know more? Get in touch with our sales team to learn more about our offerings.

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