Cyber-attacks come in many different forms. Keyloggers mine your credential data while brute force attacks try to pop open your online accounts. And let’s not forget trojans, ransomware, and all the other threats.
There is an infinite number of types of cyber-attacks. For this reason, there’s no single piece of hardware or software you can use to thwart every threat.
That’s why cybersecurity experts have shifted into a layered approach to security. It prevents breaches through an onion design application. Each layer provides a different aspect of security. It creates comprehensive coverage every business needs.
Understand the risks data breaches pose to you and how to create a multi-layered security arrangement in this guide.
Cyber-Attacks are On the Rise
Hackers attack every 39 seconds on average. And that number and the complexity of data breaches are on the rise. Hackers are moving into newer areas like ransomware. Not only do they paralyze networks but also extort money from victims.
The right strategies and techniques have led to billions of these attacks getting blocked. But all it takes is one to go through to put your whole company at risk.
Hackers can stay embedded in networks for years without anybody noticing them. Take Capital One, Equifax, Marriott, or any of the biggest hacks, for example. Cybercriminals spent years harvesting data and damaging business networks before detection.
Adopting a Layered Approach
In the past, IT professionals focused on a “fortress-based” security mindset. The goal was to protect hardware and other assets in one set location, like a corporate office.
But business has evolved with the internet in the last ten years. Now so much work is done off-site and remotely; there is a much hazier perimeter. A layered approach doesn’t remove the protections around the original office. But it expands outward to include other aspects.
Each layer cannot provide complete security. But it improves each one’s efficiency to block entry into sensitive networks and resources.
What Does Layered Security Look Like in Practice?
Layered security is holistic. It begins well before a threat ever arrives in your inbox and continues across all aspects of device and network usage. Let’s take a phishing ransomware email as an example since one of these is enough to take down an entire system:
1. Email Security
More than 90% of attacks happen through email. Email filtering often blocks not only spam but also malware and viruses. The client should recognize suspicious email addresses or signs that the sender isn’t who they claim to be. It should either warn you or delete the email automatically.
2. Employee Education
Employees should know how to recognize social engineering attacks. The most important thing is not clicking on any link or download before scanning even if it’s from a trusted sender. Hackers often impersonate known contacts or create realistic-looking imitations to lure people into these traps.
3. File Security
Everyone in the company should encrypt files with the latest encryption software. Should any ransomware penetrate the network, data must be inaccessible. Along with this, there should be both cloud-based and hard-disk encrypted backups.
Both Mac and Windows have built-in encryption tools. You should also supplement them with third-party file security software. Be sure to encrypt all files before uploading them to the cloud.
4. Internet and Network Security
The internet is an essential tool for businesses. But open connections create enormous risks for companies. Fraudsters and other snoops can track internet activity, harvest user data, and launch attacks.
To prevent that, use an enterprise-grade VPN like NordVPN. It can protect connections of every device, including routers and IoT both at the office and while accessing remotely. And companies should still secure local networks with powerful software or hardware firewalls.
5. Practicing Strong Authentication
Password recycling is the greatest threat to the company. You can do everything right. But if a hacker can gain access through credentials acquired during a data breach, all have been for nothing.
Beyond using strong passwords and password managers, companies must use other security tools. These include multi-factor authentication, biometrics, hardware keys, and other technologies.
Layered Security Isn’t Hard
Adopting a layered security approach isn’t difficult. But it does take planning and investment in education and the right tools. Get your employees into the habit of practicing safe computer usage. Then this approach will become second-nature.
Begin with outlining your security priorities and assets. Start implementing these strategies. More than anything, reach out to IT experts. They’ll help you not only plan but also begin integrating the essential tools your business needs for a safer digital future.