Posted on Apr 21, 2021
The digital attack surface is growing for many organizations as businesses increasingly make the decision to move to permanent remote work environments, adopt cloud-based systems, and store data on the edge. These instances have caused cyber threats to grow in both volume and sophistication. Now, it’s more important than ever for IT security teams to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity as the overall cost and impact of data breaches and attacks continue to rise.
For many organizations, the first step to defending against these impending threats is to gain a comprehensive understanding of them, as this can inform teams about what to look out for and what may warrant a response. Let’s take a look at some of today’s most common cyber threats, and explore how organizations can leverage security intelligence to successfully manage an ever-growing digital attack surface.
A cyber threat is a malicious attempt to gain unauthorized access or steal, corrupt, or damage sensitive data. This can be carried out by a number of different attack vectors including computer viruses or data breaches, and typically include various IT assets such as critical networks or data.
Cybersecurity threats can originate from a wide range of sources, and this number is constantly growing. Some of the most common threat actors include:
One of the most important steps to building an effective risk management plan is to have a comprehensive understanding of the different types of cyber threats that your organization may be faced with. Common examples of cybersecurity threats include:
The cost and overall impact of a data breach are on the rise, reaching nearly $4 million according to Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report. This number can rise by more than $370,000 if the breach occurs due to a third-party vendor. With the number of organizations utilizing third- and fourth-party vendors on the rise, the need to proactively protect against cyber threats is becoming increasingly clear.
As cyber threats become more sophisticated and continue to grow in volume, organizations should consider the steps they can take to ensure their network is secure. Let’s take a look at best practices for protecting against existing and emerging threats:
Cybersecurity risk assessments are a critical piece to any comprehensive cybersecurity risk management program. The goal of a risk assessment is to identify any gaps in security, prioritize vulnerabilities, and determine a course of action for mitigating the threats. Organizations should consistently run risk assessments to ensure that their cybersecurity posture is up to industry standards, both for their own network and for their third-party vendors’ networks.
Cybersecurity threat intelligence is information that allows organizations to better understand past, present, and future cyber threats. IT security teams can leverage threat intelligence to gain a deeper understanding of the most common threats in their industry and insight into threat actor motivation, which can be used to make more informed decisions about how to effectively protect critical networks in the future.
With many industry regulatory standards growing both in number and severity, the need to consistently maintain compliance cannot be overlooked. Additionally, new privacy mandates such as the Data Security and Breach Notification Act introduce new challenges for organizations to consider. IT security teams should work to build a compliance management plan that can monitor their networks on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance is being maintained at any given point in time.
Continuous security monitoring is arguably the most important component of a successful cybersecurity risk management program. Today’s networks are rapidly growing in size and complexity, thus, point-in-time assessments are no longer sufficient for monitoring an organization’s cyber hygiene. Instead, IT security teams must continuously oversee the security solutions and policies that have been put in place to ensure that nothing goes undetected.
SecurityScorecard provides IT security teams with an advanced platform that enables the continuous monitoring of an organization’s cyber risk as well as that of its third-party vendors. By offering real-time visibility and a holistic view of the entire digital supply chain, SecurityScorecard allows organizations to dynamically evaluate their cyber health and make more data-driven decisions about how to improve security.
With security ratings, security teams can evaluate cyber risk across ten different groups of risk factors with an easy-to-read A-F rating. When combined with contextualized security data and threat intelligence, this objective evaluation can act as a stepping stone toward building a successful cybersecurity risk management program. By gaining complete visibility and a deeper understanding of the threats facing today’s digital landscape, organizations are empowered to confidently oversee their security posture, identify any gaps, and determine the best plan for mitigation.
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