Cybersecurity for enterprise: essential guide to protect your business

Cyber Security for Enterprise web

Enterprise cybersecurity protects company applications, data, and infrastructure from online threats. It shields local networks, cloud assets, and remote devices and aims to bolster enterprise security by countering malicious actors. 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 and best practices to neutralize those dangers. And we will finish with a quick cybersecurity checklist to make implementing changes easier.

What is enterprise cybersecurity?

Enterprise cybersecurity is an integrated approach focused on minimizing vulnerabilities, hardening systems against known threats, and ensuring continuity of operations even if attacks succeed.

It involves implementing multi-layered security controls across networks, endpoints, applications, and data to counter a wide range of cyber risks facing large organizations. An effective enterprise cybersecurity strategy leverages the latest technological solutions as well as policies and training to develop a strong security posture.

Why is enterprise cybersecurity 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 more challenging 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. Phishing attacks sometimes 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 particular 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. It extracted vast amounts of sensitive information then, with catastrophic results.

APTs are more complex 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 vast 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.

Insider threats

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. However, 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

best practices for enterprise cybersecurity table

Protecting enterprise networks can seem overwhelming. However, 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 most significant privileges. Attackers can roam freely and inflict incredible damage when they access them. 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. Do VPNs and authentication systems cover remote devices? 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.

An excellent 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. Keep more than two copies of high-priority files if possible, 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 back up critical application workloads incrementally. Store enough data to restore systems following a security incident.

It's also essential 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 cybersecurity

Enterprise cybersecurity can seem like a complex puzzle. Let us break it down into three core areas to make it easier. Each area focuses on a different security aspect, offering a comprehensive approach to protect your business. 

Here's an easy-to-understand breakdown:

Network security

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 data 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 complete security visibility

  • In-depth reporting for security development and compliance audits

Cybersecurity checklist for enterprises

Cyber Security checklist for Enterprise table

A comprehensive enterprise security plan includes best practices and the latest technological solutions. Consult this checklist to cover every critical area:

  1. Use MFA to regulate network access

  2. Add extra authentication factors for admin accounts

  3. Assign minimal user privileges in line with Zero Trust ideas

  4. Secure remote devices with VPNs

  5. Require strong, regularly-changed passwords

  6. Encrypt all high-value data

  7. Use DLP tools to track valuable data

  8. Use IDS/IPS tools to track threats in depth

  9. Back up data regularly

  10. Audit backups and threat responses to ensure quick disaster recovery

  11. Regularly test your security systems

  12. Risk assess core threats and create response plans

  13. 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 use 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—threat detection systems at the network edge block potential threats before they breach network parameters.

Strengthen your enterprise security today to avoid financial damage. Contact NordLayer and build an enterprise cybersecurity strategy that suits your business needs.

Share article


Copy failed

Protect your business with cybersecurity news that matters

Join our expert community and get tips, news, and special offers delivered to you monthly.

Free advice. No spam. No commitment.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.