The need for a multilayer cyber security plan has never been more important for businesses and healthcare organizations. An estimated 43% of cyber attacks seek to infiltrate small businesses1, with the average victim paying around $200 thousand to fix the problem caused by that breach–which isn’t always 100% resolvable. As a small or smaller business, that’s money you can’t afford, and lost customer trust can make matters even worse.
You may think that having a good anti-virus will protect you 80% or more of the time. But the truth is this: cyber criminals are clever and organized. They know how to exploit the weakest link in your security. That’s why a layered cybersecurity plan that includes some redundancy is your best bet to survive an attack unscathed.
When a defense is strategically layered, it can be both cost-effective and efficient.
1. Annual Employee Education
Cybercriminals turn employees into weapons against your company without the employee even knowing they were used for nefarious purposes. They often target them unaware with communications that appear to be from you, a client, customer, or co-worker urging the employee to take an action. This could be something as simple as downloading an invoice that is really malware. Or it could be more involved, like convincing them that they are supposed to wire money somewhere to pay a big invoice.
Educating and reinforcing with employees that these schemes exist and how to spot them is your first, and arguably, your most important defense.
2. End Point Protection
Endpoints are places that people access your systems, servers, software, SaaS. This primarily means protecting devices like tablets, smartphones and computers with malware protection, but it can also include more advanced security services like AI-powered, real-time monitoring for suspicious activity.
3. DNS Protection
What is DNS (Domain Network System)? It’s the technology that translates a website address like business dot com into the string of numbers that actually identifies what website someone is trying to visit. Criminal organizations can attempt to hijack the translation process so that your website address goes somewhere else.
That would allow these hackers to trick your customers or employees into giving private information because they think that they’re on your site. DNS protection is an important part of the layered cybersecurity plan that employs several cohesive strategies to ensure that people with ill-intent do not alter that experience when someone tries to visit your business online.
4. Backing Up Your Data
Let’s say someone were to get through your layers of protection. They could hold your customer data for ransom. In the modern age, data is priceless. And no one is immune. Hospitals, churches, charities, insurance companies, and even the city of Atlanta have found themselves in this predicament over the past couple years.
You could be at their mercy and forced to pay them in cryptocurrency to get your system restored. Or, you could have a seamless backup system that can quickly restore any data if a ransomware attack does occur.
Ransomware is big business for cybercriminals, and many people do pay up, sadly. That money goes on to support a criminal enterprise that invests that money to target other businesses.
Don’t get stuck between a rock and hard place. Prepare for this possibility. Data backup and recovery testing to make sure your plan works are a must for your business continuity and layered cybersecurity plans.
5. End User Access Tiering
Tiered access reduces the number of people who have access to your most sensitive data. Information is tiered on a “need-to-know” basis with various security levels. In industries like finance, healthcare, and education, this is absolutely critical because of the regulations and legal concerns. But tiered access is easy to set up, and any business with more than a handful of employees could benefit from it.
Getting Started with a Layered Cybersecurity Plan
Every business is different, and these are just examples of types of cybersecurity that most businesses, large and small, need. At Technology Crossing, we can help you assess your security structure vulnerabilities and build out a plan that works for you and your budget. We are a Dallas, TX-based company that provides managed IT services in several areas in Texas and Florida. We invite you to drop us a line at (972) 919-6196 or send us an email to ask about our cyber security services. We look forward to hearing from you.
- “2019 DBIR Summary of Findings”, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. Cited March 25, 2021 from https://enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/dbir/2019/summary-of-findings/