How to protect business assets in 2017

Security came a long way in 2016, and will continue to evolve in 2017 – but detecting and responding to threats isn’t going to get easier

 How to protect business assets in 2017

‘The reality is 2017 will bring new attacks. Businesses need to accept and prepare for this’

 

Over the past few years, cyber security has been in the spotlight, capturing the attention of business leaders and media alike.

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to consider what companies need to do to better protect themselves.

The reality is 2017 will bring new attacks. Businesses need to accept and prepare for this. With the attack surface expanding, cybercriminals will have more chances to launch attacks. So, it’s important that companies prepare their security posture.

Businesses should follow these five tips to help protect themselves from threats.

>See also: 10 cyber security trends to look out for in 2017

1. Be responsible for your cloud

When companies transition to the cloud, many assume their security is now in the hands of their cloud service provider. It’s not.

Cloud companies concentrate on providing their customers with an agile, adaptable, high-performance platform.  They are not security companies. And they don’t have the expertise or resources to protect your systems. Instead, you have to self-evaluate your exposure and take the steps needed to provide security for your business in the cloud.

2. Get serious with your patch management

A software patch is a ‘security plaster’ that fixes weaknesses criminals can abuse to gain access to or control a computer system. Patches provide a quick- ix, but it can be difficult and time-consuming for businesses to choose the best patch for them. Also, installing the patches and then testing them across a corporate network can be difficult.

As a result, it’s important as a business you have a solid patch strategy. Businesses need to ask the following questions: How will you keep up with the huge volume of necessary patches? How will you know what you have patched and what needs patching? How will you patch BYOD devices and IoT endpoints?

3. Strengthen your monitoring capabilities

The volume of security alerts and the difficulty of threats is overwhelming. This is where machine learning comes in to complement human security experts.

For example, by adding machine learning to its cyber security strategy,  AT&T can process countless data points.  It can also better detect and respond to threats by teaching systems to identify new threats on its own and alert it. Few companies have the resources to do this well in-house. Yet, a reliable managed security service will be able to handle this.

>See also: Top 10 security predictions for 2017

4. Invest in your security roadmap

It may seem obvious, but more security does not always mean better security. To maximise security budgets, companies need to understand where their weaknesses lie. As such, a security roadmap will guide organisations in optimising their IT spending. This will also help businesses avoid unnecessary outlay and reduce the complexity of security systems.

5. Tighten up your authentication process

Many businesses rely on usernames and passwords to regulate access to their systems and applications. These are vulnerable to hacking and can provide attackers with an open door to the network. A stronger authentication mechanism can help reduce your exposure to risk.

 

Sourced from John Vladimir Slamecka, region president, EMEA, AT&T

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