What Areas of Our Cybersecurity Should We Strengthen in 2021?

What Areas of Our Cybersecurity Should We Strengthen in 2021

One thing that can be both exciting and frustrating about technology is that it’s always changing and evolving. The software we use gets continually updated, new platforms continue to be launched, and IT security threats also get more sophisticated.

Without the right Fresno IT consulting and guidance, companies can get left in the wake of all these technology upgrades. One of the most dangerous places to get left behind is in your cybersecurity strategy.

The antivirus and firewall that you put in three years ago might have been fine back then, but be completely insufficient to catch today’s threats, such as fileless malware.

That makes it important to work with an IT pro that has their “ear to the ground” when it comes to new and emerging threats out there. This is something Unity IT watches regularly by monitoring important reports, such as the Sophos 2021 Threat Report and a McKinsey report on where companies plan to increase IT security budgets this year.

We’ve read the cybersecurity tea leaves for this year and have put together a list of areas where you should focus your security upgrade efforts throughout 2021.

Protection from Ransomware

Ransomware has gone from something you see in the news every now and then to one of the top threats to business operations.

Ransomware-caused downtime has continued to rise drastically each year, going from $141,000 in 2019 to an expected $380,000 per incident this year.

The rise in ransomware for both cost and volume is largely due to it being taken over by large criminal cartels that have institutionalized ransomware into a profitable business venture.

Some of the safeguards to consider for protection from ransomware and to mitigate any attack costs include:

  • Email spam and phishing filtering
  • DNS filtering
  • Employee security awareness training
  • Data backup and recovery 

Identity & Access Management

One area where both small businesses and large enterprises are planning to increase cybersecurity spending this year is for identity and access management. 

The pandemic has driven most processes and data to the cloud that weren’t already there. The need for anywhere access means that much of a company’s digital assets are only being protected by the least strong employee password.

Insider threats pose a serious risk to businesses. All it takes is one compromised Microsoft 365 password and a hacker can take over a user email account, access cloud files, and infect cloud storage with ransomware.

77% of cloud account breaches are due to compromised logins. 

Ways you can boost your account security include:

  • Enacting multi-factor authentication on all accounts
  • Using geo-based identity authentication
  • Ensuring that users have the lowest privilege level needed for their duties
  • Use a cloud access security broker (CASB) to track device access to company cloud accounts

Endpoint Device Management 

One of the emerging threats noted on the Sophos report was that attackers are now taking advantage of “nontraditional” platforms. This includes attacking through mobile malware and IoT devices.

There are many more devices accessing company data and connecting to company networks than a decade ago. Most of these new additions are mobile devices and smart gadgets (smart speakers, security cams, etc.).

It’s vital to keep track of endpoints because attackers are going after them as an entry into a network. What makes it even more challenging is that mobile devices are by definition mobile, and not in the same place all the time.

One of the best ways to monitor, manage, and secure endpoints is through an endpoint device manager. This allows you to push through security updates, monitor which endpoints are connecting to which company assets, and keep out any non-managed devices, so they can’t be used to login to your accounts.

Work-From-Home Security

The pandemic has completely changed the way companies in Fresno and the rest of the world work. This year, the number of permanent remote workers is expected to double

Remote teams pose a security risk to organizations that aren’t prepared and haven’t updated their network security to expand and protect those employees working from home. 

It’s especially vital to put WFH security safeguards in place now because hackers have been going after those home networks since the pandemic began. These “home” networks are now actually “business” networks and need to be secured as such.

Some of the safeguards to put in place for remote teams include:

  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Managed IT services for automated updates and monitored security
  • Endpoint device management
  • Device protections like email security, antivirus, backup, and DNS filtering

Need Help Upgrading Your IT Security to Stay Protected?

Unity IT can help your Fresno area business assess where IT security vulnerabilities may be and address those to ensure your technology and data are completely protected. 

Contact us today to schedule a technology consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.