on the radar blog

on the radar

The latest on cybersecurity threats and trends you need to know about

Avow InsightsApril 12, 2018

Proactive v. Reactive Cybersecurity: Best Practices to Stay One Step Ahead of Cyber Threats

Imagine that you’re making a plan to protect your home against burglars. You wouldn’t just wait for them to break in and then call the police; instead, you would first invest in tools such as a security system, automatic alarms, new locks, or motion sensor lights. Why? Because proactively deterring a break-in is much safer than stopping one that’s already in progress.

The same principle applies to cybersecurity. A proactive cyber defense strategy prevents threats from accessing your business’ network in the first place and ensures that you won’t need to rely upon a purely reactive approach, which only kicks in once a cyberattack is underway. This preemptive protection model allows SMBs to avoid the rapidly rising costs of cybercrime damages altogether.

Many SMBs, however, are still approaching cybersecurity with a reactive mindset. 51% of small businesses aren’t allocating any budget towards cyber risk mitigation, opting instead to rely on incident response—but the process of even identifying data breaches still takes, on average, a staggering 191 days. The good news is that an estimated 93% of data breaches are preventable, and with the right solutions and practices place you can preempt attackers before they have the chance to infiltrate your network or exfiltrate any of your data. In order to establish a truly proactive cybersecurity strategy that keeps your SMB secure, start with these key steps:

1 | Use Synchronized Security to auto-isolate endpoints containing suspicious activity.

The ability to automatically detect and isolate devices that may be compromised by a cyber threat is crucial to preventing the spread of potential cyberattacks. It’s also a capability of next generation firewall-endpoint synchronization, an innovative approach to preventive cybersecurity. Some harmful programs can begin to wreak havoc across your network in just minutes, and without such a synchronized response, it could take days or weeks to identify the compromise. In a synchronized security framework, the firewall instantly isolates affected endpoints the moment a breach or health issue is detected, sending a prioritized alert to the administrator and keeping the endpoint blocked until its issue can be properly remediated.

2 | Mitigate the potential for software exploits with automated Patch Management.

With new PC, laptop, and server operating systems vulnerabilities constantly being identified and hundreds of patches released each month, keeping up with software fixes can seem overwhelming for SMB teams. But, simply forgoing these updates leaves holes in applications that hackers can readily exploit. By automating and centralizing patch management activities, you can significantly streamline and simplify patching processes. Not only does automated patch management save time, but it can also proactively prevent 90% of software attacks by continuously addressing software fixes as they arise.

3 | Teach employees to recognize and report cyber threats.

Set up cybersecurity training sessions to teach employees how to implement secure online behaviors, identify potential cyber threats, and quickly report suspicious activity via the correct avenues. Employee awareness is of particular use when it comes to preventing ransomware scams—according to a recent survey of security professionals, the No. 1 most effective tactic for preventing ransomware attacks is User Awareness Training.

4 | Regularly scan your network for vulnerabilities.

Over the course of March 2018 alone, the National Vulnerability Database recorded 1,286 new network vulnerabilities that could harm U.S. companies. Cyber criminals are constantly searching SMB networks in order to exploit these weaknesses; by scanning your network to find the vulnerabilities before they do, you have the opportunity to prevent potential data breaches.

Achieve Proactive Protection with Avow Security

At Avow, we believe that a proactive cybersecurity model is the most effective approach to cyber protection. That’s why our Managed Cybersecurity Program offers preventative tools such as 24/7/365 Next-Generation Firewall service with synchronized endpoint coordination, Patch Management Security Awareness Training and Vulnerability Scanning.

Want to start mitigating tomorrow’s cyberattacks today? Schedule a conversation with Avow to learn more.