Low-cost IT security

5 low-cost ways to boost your IT security

* Originally posted in BellMTS Business Hub *


Recent information security numbers from Gartner include some eyebrow-raising figures when it comes to cybersecurity. The technology research and advisory firm indicates that IT security spending is expected to top a record $114 billion in 2018. This includes security services, network security, risk management, cloud security and a host of market segments.

When it comes to IT security, it’s really about the journey and not the destination. While the obvious end-goal is 100 per cent security across the organization, having a realistic understanding of all the present and future cybersecurity threats is an ongoing and virtually unceasing endeavour.

However, this scenario doesn’t need to present a bleak reality, but rather a practical and pragmatic one. So to help you on your way, here are five tips to boost your IT security.


1. Avoid tool bloat

It’s a given that today’s organizations place a high priority on cloud and digital technologies. The side effect is that organizations are highly exposed to security threats. This is thanks to an array of virtual endpoints, IoT devices and mobile devices that include phishing, ransomware and other exploits.

In the face of this, it’s easy to simply adopt point products to address incoming threats, leading to added (and expensive) complexity and tool bloat. It’s important to establish a streamlined, coordinated security strategy — one that establishes a defined goal, audits the current IT tool environment and consolidates the security environment with integrated products that share threat intelligence.


2. Boost cloud security

Make no mistake, cloud computing is critical for any type of digital transformation strategy moving forward, and it has been for some time. But with reliance on the cloud comes increased security risks and challenges — think information breaches and vulnerabilities.

Ensuring proper cloud hygiene means establishing a consistent approach to the cloud, including mapping out processes to establish and maintain standardized security rules around the folders and databases where information is stored and shared.

It also includes encrypting and securing all data transfer between the network and cloud, increasing data protection by monitoring audit logs and backups, and incorporating a disaster recovery strategy that involves regular automated backups and saving data in more than one physical location.


3. Monitor mobile threats

Managing mobile device security across the business is perhaps one of the more challenging projects for today’s organizations. As employees use their mobile tools to access data, applications and systems, establishing a security platform that incorporates content filtering and threat management, spam and content filtering is no easy task.

An effective strategy requires security controls that incorporate customized firewalls by way of gateways that use protocol and data loss prevention platforms. This will mitigate risk and establish parameters and guidelines to employees around what can and shouldn’t be accessed on the enterprise network.

This strategy also involves regular network auditing and penetration testing to establish mobile best practices across the business.


4. Strengthen incident response tactics

If your organization hasn’t established an effective cyber-incident detection and response mechanism, make haste!

Alternatively known as threat detection and response, incident detection and response involves establishing a methodology around identifying intruders in your IT infrastructure. The aim, of course, is to swiftly monitor threats and respond to security incidents to minimize organizational risk.

It’s often a matter of when, not if, a security breach will occur. So think about incorporating or updating real-time threat intelligence tools and education programs across the business to mitigate employee negligence.


5. Future-proof the business

When it comes to security, the future is now. It’s a reality that today’s hackers increasingly use malware tactics that incorporate bots, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve their nefarious goals.


The good news is that organizations can step up their security game using these same tools. Consider moving beyond traditional on-premises and hardware-based security to a proactive approach involving managed security partners. In this way, organizations can take advantage of machine learning tools that quickly identify automated threats and scale to protect both on-premise and cloud assets.  


* Originally posted in BellMTS Business Hub *