Enterprise cybersecurity protects company applications, data, and infrastructure from online threats. It protects local networks, cloud assets, and remote devices and aims to bolster enterprise security by countering hackers. By doing so, it minimizes the risk of data breaches.
This article will explain the scope and role of enterprise cybersecurity. We will look at some of the most recent cyber threats, as well as best practices to neutralize those dangers. And we will finish with a quick cybersecurity checklist to make implementing changes easier.
Why is enterprise security important?
Enterprise cybersecurity matters because companies must focus on data and network protection. Aside from that overarching need, there are several reasons to make cybersecurity a corporate priority:
Data breaches. Recent years have seen a rapid acceleration in the frequency and scope of data leaks. Countless small businesses have suffered, and many have gone out of business. Enterprise security excludes malicious actors and reduces financial and reputational damage.
Multi-layered protection. Enterprise cybersecurity creates a series of connected enterprise network defenses. This makes life far harder for would-be attackers. The more time it takes to access critical data, the lower the chances of hackers succeeding.
Risk management. Cybersecurity strategies systematically consider every aspect of data protection. Planners gain maximum awareness of network architecture. This includes connected devices, user behavior, identity management, threat detection, and data integrity.
Secure business growth. Enterprise cybersecurity helps businesses scale safely. Adding new branches, employees, and applications can compromise cybersecurity. Robust security measures accompany every network expansion, allowing stress-free long-term growth.
Third-party management. Enterprise cybersecurity assesses and manages third-party risks. Companies can choose secure partners and work safely to achieve their business goals.
Company-wide learning. A solid strategy for cyber security companies educates employees and strengthens the overall security posture. Without an enterprise-wide security plan, employees may miss phishing or authentication training.
Overview of common cyber threats for large organizations
The first step in solving enterprise cybersecurity worries is understanding critical threats.
An effective cybersecurity strategy assesses the risks from critical threats and implements controls to neutralize them.
Social engineering (Phishing)
Most data breaches start with a social engineering attack. Attackers persuade their targets to click malicious attachments. Or they entice users to visit websites infected with malware. They might send emails purporting to come from trusted co-workers or trusted partners. In some cases, phishing attacks involve phone or video conversations to build trust and plan attacks.
Phishing attackers work hard to create believable personas and stories. Only well-trained employees can spot their activities, which are hard for automated tools to detect. So building phishing awareness is an enterprise cybersecurity priority.
Malware is malicious software that disrupts networks and extracts valuable data. There are many different forms.
Ransomware locks applications until targets pay attackers. Spyware infects networks and sends information to malware operators. Trojans look legitimate but actually implant hazardous code. And worms replicate automatically throughout your network, causing havoc as they spread.
Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
APTs are a specific form of malware with special relevance for enterprise cybersecurity. These threats remain resident on network infrastructure for long periods. For instance, the APT in the 2018 Marriott data breach was present for four years. In that time, it extracted vast amounts of sensitive information, with catastrophic results.
APTs are harder to detect than most malware agents. Companies need advanced detection systems to block, discover, and neutralize persistent threats.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
DDoS attacks use bots to direct huge floods of traffic at network devices. Sudden traffic bursts can override network defenses and take down hardware. This results in downtime and lost activity. But the effects can be even worse.
In some cases, these attacks cover malware attacks. Attackers use the traffic flood to enter networks undetected. Enterprises need ways to cut the risk and consequences of botnet attacks.
Company insiders also pose an enterprise cybersecurity risk. Employees can assist phishers by providing information such as personal data or contact details. Many “whaling” attacks on executive-level targets start this way.
Disgruntled workers can extract data and sell it on the dark web. They could send project files to competitors or disrupt workflows via sabotage.
Third-party risk management
Most companies work with third parties to run their infrastructure and deliver services. But any third party could become an enterprise cybersecurity problem.
Third parties could use excessive privileges to extract sensitive data. They could accidentally provide login credentials for malicious outsiders. Both are potential security disasters.
Risk management is essential. Assess third parties and make them follow company security policies. Be careful when acquiring overseas assets. Acquired divisions or smaller companies could pose a security risk.
Best practices for enterprise cybersecurity
Protecting enterprise networks can seem overwhelming. But managing security is much easier with an enterprise cybersecurity strategy. Follow the enterprise security best practices below to develop a strategy that works.
Use MFA for all users
The first critical enterprise security measure is robust authentication. Ask for more than one authentication factor when users log in. You could use biometric scanners, one-time password tokens, or smartphone authentication. Find a style that fits your workforce needs.
Prioritize administrative accounts with the greatest privileges. When attackers access them, they can roam freely and inflict the greatest damage. Make high-privilege accounts as hard to access as possible.
Extend MFA to mobile apps and remote access APIs. Enforce strong passwords for every user. Deliver password policies to all devices when they come online. Automate offboarding procedures to delete accounts when employees leave.
Use IDS/IPS to detect threats
Add another enterprise cybersecurity layer by installing Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) or Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). IDS and IPS perform roughly the same role. They operate continuously and track traffic flowing through the network. They detect threats rapidly by comparing traffic to global threat databases.
IDS/IPS tools also alert managers about unauthorized file transfers. They flag unusual changes in administrative privileges. And they determine whether sudden network slow-downs are connected to cyber attacks.
Prevention systems powered by machine learning let you automate threat detection. They are not a replacement for firewalls and antivirus tools. Instead, IDS/IPS tools are valuable to the enterprise security arsenal.
Carry out regular security assessments and penetration testing
Enterprise security requires testing to make sure security systems are effective. Regularly monitor and test your security systems to uncover network vulnerabilities.
Check endpoint security. Are remote devices covered by VPNs and authentication systems? Do you have full awareness of all connected endpoint devices?
Check web assets for code flaws. Any minor mistakes could enable SQL injection attacks.
Assess updating policies. Are critical apps and devices updated in a timely fashion? If not, you could face a higher risk from Zero Day Exploits.
Assess partner organizations carefully and vet their security processes. Put in place systems to detect suspicious activity, such as “impossible logins” from many locations.
Audit privileges management systems. Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) segment networks and limit access to critical data. Regularly assess user permissions to avoid privileges creep.
Penetration testing also helps you understand how attacks occur. They simulate intrusions, providing insights about weaknesses and areas to improve.
Implement data encryption
Encrypt confidential data at rest on your network and in motion between network endpoints. Use a Virtual Private Network to protect remote access devices and encrypt data flows. Leverage encryption tools provided by cloud service providers.
For watertight data security, consider using end-to-end data protection software. Data security tools encrypt files wherever they move. Systems track the location of data and who is accessing it. And they block unauthorized removal from network settings. This level of protection makes it far easier to comply with data security standards like CCPA or GDPR.
Prioritize crisis management
Planning for emergencies is a core part of enterprise cybersecurity. Assume that data breaches will happen. Put procedures in place to respond and restore network operations as quickly as possible.
A good approach to crisis management is to identify, react, and rebuild:
Identify threats immediately with cutting-edge threat detection software
React straight away. Inform clients if their data is at risk. Quarantine malicious agents and assess the scope of any data breaches.
Rebuild business operations safely. Use data backups to restore web portals and SaaS apps to their previous state. Audit security weaknesses and check for APTs. Communicate clearly with customers. Be transparent about the measures you are taking.
Data backup and post-incident reviews
Data backups restore operations and safeguard customer data. Choose a secure cloud or off-site backup provider to store critical data. If possible, store more than two copies of high-priority files, and make daily backups of the most valuable data.
Enterprise cybersecurity does not need complete backups of other company data. That would become hard to manage at scale. But it’s a good idea to incrementally back up critical application workloads. Store enough data to restore systems following a security incident.
It’s also important to review disaster recovery processes after cyberattacks. Assess whether data backups were effective and secure. Track the speed of system restoration and any data corruption following restart.
Solutions for enterprise cyber security
What are the best solutions to the enterprise cybersecurity dilemma? It makes life easier if we break down enterprise security into three core areas.
Companies need to ensure secure access to network resources. Network security solutions include:
End-to-end encryption of all critical data
Endpoint protection via remote access VPNs
Single Sign On and MFA systems to exclude unauthorized users
Antivirus and antimalware tools
Password management to strengthen credentials
Employee training to detect phishing
Security policies are distributed to every endpoint
Cloud security and data protection
Enterprise cybersecurity must lock down cloud assets and the data held in cloud environments. Solutions here include:
Privileges management to limit access to resources employees need
Cloud VPN systems anonymize users and encrypt data in motion
Cloud-native firewalls regulate access and block threats
Use of encryption provided by CSP
SD-WAN architecture covering all network assets
Use of security information and event management (SIEM) systems
SIEM tools proactively track threats across enterprise networks. This extends beyond basic network security. SIEM solutions include:
IDP/IPS systems to actively detect threats
Use of global threat intelligence to combat the latest vulnerabilities
Machine learning to achieve granular threat detection
Forensic dashboards for full security visibility
In-depth reporting for security development and compliance audits
Cybersecurity checklist for enterprises
A comprehensive enterprise security plan includes best practices and the latest technological solutions. Consult this checklist to cover every critical area:
Use MFA to regulate network access
Add extra authentication factors for admin accounts
Assign minimal user privileges in line with Zero Trust ideas
Secure remote devices with VPNs
Require strong, regularly-changed passwords
Encrypt all high-value data
Use DLP tools to track valuable data
Use IDS/IPS tools to track threats in depth
Back up data regularly
Audit backups and threat responses to ensure quick disaster recovery
Regularly test your security systems
Risk assess core threats and create response plans
Train all staff to detect phishing attacks
How can NordLayer help with enterprise security?
Enterprises face a complex range of cybersecurity threats. They need trusted cybersecurity partners to protect data and manage access. Nordlayer will help you put in place the correct security tools to protect business networks.
Our Cloud VPN service enables secure access to SaaS apps anywhere. Secure remote access management tools make segmenting network resources and assigning privileges easy. And threat detection systems at the network edge block potential threats before they breach network perimeters.
Strengthen your enterprise security today to avoid financial damage. Contact NordLayer and build an enterprise cybersecurity strategy that suits your business needs.