Cyber security: Three solutions to prevent an attack

In today’s ever-vulnerable digital landscape, ensuring your organisation’s cyber security is paramount. Are you confident in your ability to withstand an attack? What tools do you have at your disposal? This blog explores the concept of cyber resilience and provides practical steps you can take to enhance it. 

A man at keyboard with computers and data to show the importance of cyber security

What is cyber resilience? 

Cyber resilience allows organisations to prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks and ensure operational continuity across essential functions.

With threats growing more sophisticated, protecting the exploitation of critical systems with defensive measures is not enough. 

Organisations must think proactively, demonstrating and achieving an appropriate level of cyber resilience. This is why Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and Operators of Essential Services (OES) implement the Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF).  

The CAF has been developed to meet the following set of requirements:

  1. Provide a framework to assist in carrying out cyber resilience assessments
  2. Maintain the outcome focused approach of the NCSC cyber security and resilience principles. Discourage assessments from being carried out as tick-box exercises.
  3. Be compatible with the use of appropriate existing cyber security guidance and standards
  4. Enable the identification of effective cyber security and resilience improvement activities
  5. Exist in a common core version which is sector-agnostic.
  6. Be extensible to accommodate sector-specific elements as may be required.
  7. Enable the setting of meaningful target security levels for organisations to achieve. Possibly reflecting a regulator’s view of appropriate and proportionate security.
  8. Be as straightforward and cost-effective to apply as possible.

With objectives and guidelines within the framework, organisations can build their cyber resilience and gain greater end-to-end protection.

This blog examines three tools; Managed Vulnerability Scanning, Managed Detection and Response (MDR), and Immutable Backups. 

We are committed to ensuring the UK continues to be a leading global cybernation, which is why we have supported the development of the Cyber Assessment Framework to improve the security of our most critical information systems.

The government’s adoption of the Cyber Assessment Framework through GovAssure will significantly improve resilience.

Lindy Cameron, CEO, National Cyber Security Centre

Three tools to help with cyber security best practices 

Best practices help organisations achieve greater cyber security. Thanks to prevention and the ability to respond quickly and effectively when needed.  

Manged Vulnerability Scanning

A crucial component in proactively enhancing cyber resilience, managing security risk, and protecting against cyber attacks. Which aligns with the CAF objectives Managing Security Risk and Protecting Against Cyber Attack. Regular scanning of systems, applications, and networks helps to identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses. And address, mitigate, and remediate them before they are exploited. With threats and emerging risks occurring quickly. Continuous scanning allows organisations to stay one step ahead and ensure a resilient security posture. 

Managed Detection and Response

Allows for proactive and rapid threat detection and incident response. By combining advanced technologies with Security Operations Centre (SOC) expertise. This defence combination strengthens an organisation’s cyber resilience. Aligning with the CAF objectives around Protecting Against Cyber Attacks and Detecting Cyber Security Events. SOC identifies malicious activities and potential indicators of compromise within the organisation’s network. Minimising the potential impact and mitigating risks before they can escalate.  

Vulnerability scans and MDR complement each other to strengthen an organisation’s cyber resilience. Correlating vulnerability results with real-time threat intelligence and security logs can help prioritise vulnerabilities based on their potential impact and potential for exploitation.  

Immutable backups

Strengthen data protection and mitigate the impact of attacks on your organisation’s data. Many threat actors use ransomware attacks to encrypt and hold critical data hostage. Whilst also targeting back-ups until a ransom is paid, immutable backups add an extra layer of protection. Ensuring backup data is unalterable and separated from the network reduces the risk of data loss or corruption. Enabling organisations to restore their systems and data from a known and secure state. This also supports organisations in meeting the CAF objective of Minimising the Impact of Cyber Security Incidents.  

Five Steps for strengthening cyber security

  1. Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment: Evaluate your security measures, identify potential vulnerabilities, and prioritise them based on their potential impact. This assessment will provide valuable insights into areas that require immediate attention. 
  2. Develop a robust incident response plan: Create a detailed plan outlining the steps to be taken in the event of a cyber attack. Define roles and responsibilities, establish communication protocols, and conduct regular drills to ensure a smooth and coordinated response. 
  3. Educate and train your employees: Human error is often a significant factor in cyber incidents. Provide comprehensive cyber security training to all employees. Raising awareness about best practices, potential threats, and how to identify and report suspicious activities. Encourage a culture of vigilance and accountability. 
  4. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): Strengthen your access controls by implementing MFA across your systems and applications. This additional layer of security significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access, even if passwords are compromised. 
  5. Regularly update and patch systems: Keep your software, applications, and operating systems updated with the latest security patches. Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities, so timely updates are crucial in closing potential entry points. 

Taking these five steps, you’ll proactively enhance your organisation’s cyber security and reduce the likelihood and impact of cyber attacks. Remember, cyber security is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, evaluation and adaptation to stay ahead of evolving threats.  

Empower your organisation with a robust cyber security strategy, knowing you are well-prepared to face any cyber challenge. 

Are you ready to improve your security posture?

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