It’s no secret that security risks keep increasing. The 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found a 13% year over year increase in ransomware—a surge that was greater than the past 5 years combined. Executive teams now recognize that successful cyberattacks can be devastating to any organization, as evidenced by the 2022 Gartner Board of Directors Survey that found 88% of board members note cybersecurity risks as business risks. With an increasing number of contractual cybersecurity requirements from cyber insurers, partners, and customers, it’s more important than ever to ensure your organization has an efficient and effective cybersecurity program. To help you balance your budget and cybersecurity needs, we’ve compiled a list of the top security tools and some additional resources to help your organization select the technologies that will deliver the biggest bang for your cybersecurity buck. Let’s get started!
5 Tools that Deliver the Biggest Bang for Your Buck
While there are a broad range of fantastic cybersecurity solutions on the market, our team has compiled the five crucial security tools that every organization should have in 2022. We hope you can check all of these off your list!
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an added layer of protection to verify it’s really you who is accessing your account and not a hacker. With the continued popularity of phishing attacks, MFA takes the #1 position in our top security tools list for 2022. MFA is one of the simplest, most cost-effective strategies organizations can use to reduce risk in a variety of areas. In fact, two very popular MFA options are free! You should enable MFA on every internet-facing account and device possible. However, not all MFA is equally effective. For example, text message (SMS) MFA is much less secure than smartphone apps or hardware tokens. In addition, try not to use email as a backup authentication method. If criminals are already in your email, they can use the email backup to capture your authentication code. Many organizations now use authenticator apps, issue hardware fobs such as the Yubikey for authenticating employees, or set up biometric authentication using fingerprints or facial recognition. However, any type of MFA is better than no MFA.
- Get started today with free MFA implementation videos that provide step-by-step instructions for deploying popular MFA services from Microsoft 365, G-Suite, and Duo (which supports SSO and has advanced management capabilities). If you are looking for best practices and advice on what solution is best for your organization, read this MFA tip sheet.
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a more robust endpoint security solution than traditional antivirus (AV). Leading EDR tools offer a robust integrated threat intelligence solution with continuous real-time monitoring and behavioral detection as well as immediate mitigation and response, threat hunting, and historical forensic data collection capabilities. EDR lets you quickly investigate and respond to incidents in a way that AV cannot. With EDR, the solution not only detects and immediately quarantines threats, but also provides the information you need for threat hunting and includes response capabilities. This earns it the second spot on our list of crucial security tools for 2022—this is the year to upgrade to EDR to replace or augment your AV solution. To learn more about EDR, watch this 6-minute EDR video.
- Patch Management tools and implementing strong software patch management policies are crucial to counter zero-day vulnerabilities. According to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 42% of the respondents that had been breached stated that the cause was a known, unpatched vulnerability for which a patch was available but not applied. Many organizations have a patch management policy that calls for monthly or bimonthly patching cycles. But when a critical vulnerability is announced, hackers may actively try to exploit your server within hours or days, not weeks. You need to update your patch management policies and procedures to ensure quicker patching for critical vulnerabilities and ensure strong patch verification. Consider using an automated patch management tool or use a continuous vulnerability management solution. This will enable you to catch the systems that are out of date for patches, and don’t forget to verify that patching was successful. Many organizations think they have successfully patched their software, only to find out later the patch failed. Finally, you need to inventory all of your operating systems and 3rd party apps, so you know which patches you need to apply. Read this blog on software patch management tips for more information.
- Effective Backups are a crucial part of your cybersecurity program. Start by ensuring that you are backing up ALL your data – onsite, cloud, BYOD – everything you may need to recover. But backing up your data is not enough. How you maintain, test, and configure your backups can make a big difference in whether your backups have what you need. Here are important factors to consider:
- Immutability - Make sure your backups cannot be changed or altered for an appropriate period of time
- Retention time - Store your backups for an appropriate time which is in line with your legal requirements and business needs
- Scope – Ensure your backups cover all necessary data, including cloud apps and remote data repositories, as appropriate
- Testing - Establish a routine testing schedule and restoration plan
Watch this video case study on how backup policies and testing can be critical after a data breach.
- On-Demand Employee Cybersecurity Awareness Training is crucial to make everyone in your organization part of your first line of defense against cyberattacks such as phishing, business email compromise and more. Ensure you routinely communicate cybersecurity policies, procedures, and best practices to stakeholders, including IT staff, security team members, legal counsel, general employees, and the leadership team. The on-demand format can ensure that you effectively reach key stakeholders, while offering flexibility to meet their schedules. Read this blog for more details. Don’t forget to account for specialized training that might be required for your cybersecurity and executive teams.
Don’t Get Distracted by the New Shiny Solution
With the tremendous amount of cybersecurity solutions on the market, it’s important that you implement the foundational tools and strategies (including the five top tools in this article) first—don’t get distracted by shiny new security technologies. Start with these low hanging fruit strategies and tools, and invest in the people and necessary employee hours to build a strong cybersecurity foundation. Save the new, shiny solutions for consideration as your cybersecurity maturity grows. For more information, read these blogs on creating an effective cybersecurity plan and planning your cybersecurity maturity gains.
If you are not sure where to begin, contact the team at LMG Security and they will be happy to answer any questions.
This blog is distributed with the permission of LMG Security.