Cybercrime is currently one of the most potent threats to businesses. The global cost of cybercrime is expected to rise to $6 trillion in 2021, so investing in security is vital for business owners.
If you have concerns about your current security measures, or you’re interested in more robust cybersecurity, it’s beneficial to think about your existing security stack. In this guide, we’ll explore what a security stack is, what it should include, and how you can go about strengthening your cyber defenses.
A security stack is an arsenal of cybersecurity tools and solutions, assembled based on your business’s personal risks and requirements. A stack is a multi-layered form of defense, which combines different elements to provide organizations with an effective, robust shield against cyber attacks and security breaches.
The individual layers of the stack can work independently to reduce the risk of danger, but the primary aim is to integrate different layers to provide more depth and defend the system using a series of different cybersecurity measures.
According to a 2019 study, security breaches have increased have increase by 11% over the past year and 67% over the past five years. During that time, the average cost of cybercrime increased by $1.4 million up to $13.0 million. Cybercrime is a genuine risk for all businesses, which is why we strongly recommend ensuring your business is protected by a tailored security stack.
An effective security stack can help to shield your business, protect your reputation, and minimize the risk of downtime and losses. The multi-layered cybersecurity approach creates a more robust defense which is capable of stopping an array of threats. It also employs different tools to identify and address specific risk factors.
A security stack should consist of a series of elements, including:
Before you invest in new security measures, it’s incredibly beneficial to analyze and evaluate the systems and tools already in place. Carrying out a detailed assessment will enable IT experts to detect weaknesses, spot holes in your defenses, and identify suitable solutions. In fact, for many industries this is even an annual requirement and the failure to complete regular assessments could result in fines or loss of accreditation.
Securing IT networks and systems is not a job that can be completed and crossed off the list after an initial assessment and the implementation of new measures. Risks are ongoing and threats evolve, which is why 24-hour monitoring is crucial.
With monitoring services, business owners can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that any suspicious activity will be identified proactively, minimizing the risk of disruption and data breaches. The earlier the intervention, the better. This can include traditional solutions like anti-virus, but in recent years additional tools have come to market which monitor additional aspects of the operating system beyond actively running software. Some of these tools are even able to intervene automatically to plug holes immediately for safety sake, before alerting IT staff for further review.
Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, allowing or prohibiting access to data based on security guidelines. However, compared to firewalls of the past which relied on simple tables of allow/deny entries to separate networks from each other or the public internet, newer "next-generation firewalls" can monitor and block traffic based on parameters such as geographical location, provide content filtering to block undesirable content, or can even identify unexpected changes in normal patterns which may indicate something like malware offloading stolen data from the network.
It is estimated that around 60 billion spam emails are sent per day! Spam messages clog up your inbox, which affects productivity and efficiency, and they can also pose a security risk. Phishing emails masquerading as fake voicemail notifications or password reset prompt can steal credentials and compromise accounts in moments. Installing spam filters is an effective way to clean up your inbox and prevent users from ever seeing these dangerous messages.
Cybersecurity should be a priority for every organization, and employees should be aware of the risks involved in using computer networks and devices. Employee are one of the largest targets in an organizations, often receiving the brunt of attacks like the phishing emails mentioned above or other social engineering methods. Training empowers teams to learn about threats, identify suspicious messages or sites, and take steps to reduce the risk of data breaches. It also keeps everyone up-to-date on company policies regarding things such as multi-factor authentication and the use of personal devices.
There are a lot of great, free resources available for getting started with cybersecurity. Places like the cybersecurity section on Reddit can get you up to speed on current threats or point you towards educational resources. Or a quick Google search for "cybersecurity tools" will give you plenty to look at in regards to the many solutions and services available.
Cybersecurity can seem daunting, but it has never been more important than it is now. At the very least, finding and completing an assessment as we mentioned at the beginning of this post is a great jump-off point for getting started. Don't be afraid to enlist outside help if you're not confident answering some of the questions you encounter or think there may be a conflict of interest in self-reporting.
If cybersecurity hasn't been a topic that you've given much thought in the past, please consider taking the steps to protect your organization, your team, and yourself sooner rather than later. This is definitely an area where the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" rings true.