Written by Lee Gatland, Head of Pre-Sales
It is October, and that means it is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Unlike an event put together by greeting card suppliers, this was launched in the US back in 2004 by Congress and the President to help individuals protect themselves online. So, it is with a sense of irony (or foreboding?) that as we progress through October 2022 the threat level is at an all-time high and, predictably, will continue to escalate.
The focus of the campaign, in the US, is “See yourself in Cyber”. Security may appear complex (and the solutions can be very complex), but the focus is, and always should be about the people. Helping drive awareness, and empowering people to protect themselves, will enable our businesses and our people to be more secure and more confident in their digital future.
We live in a time of uncertainty
We have geopolitical uncertainty, along with the war in Ukraine, and tension in Taiwan and North Korea, we have nation-sponsored cyber warfare targeting nations, enterprises, and individuals.
We have economic uncertainty, a world recovering from Covid lockdowns, rising energy prices, rising interest rates, and shrinking economies globally.
Covid has also driven uncertainty around our work patterns, and how we interact with colleagues, peers, and customers. Organisations and individuals are now working out what works for them while still delivering the best service to their customers. This, during covid, led to a massive increase in the attack surface of an organisation (even a very small organisation with 200 employees may have gone from a single hopefully well-protected site to 200 offices as everyone worked from home).
All these uncertainties, and many more, mean we are in a perfect storm. As individuals, we are at risk, and as businesses, we are at risk, not just from direct attacks, but also from those individual breaches, the targeted attacks.
Our Approach, the Zero Trust Approach
Which is why we take a Zero Trust approach to security.
At its basic level, Zero Trust assumes you will be attacked and most likely breached; therefore, it is imperative to ensure we are verifying everything and trusting absolutely nothing.
If you are an individual, an application or an IoT device you are provided with the least privileged access, just enough to do your role and nothing more.
It covers several core areas:
- Securing the user
- Securing the devices
- Securing the network
- Securing applications and workloads
- Securing information and data
- Visibility and Analytics
- Automated response
Each area is intrinsically linked to the other, providing a robust framework, that in the event of a breach the threat must penetrate several layers of protection before impacting your business and most importantly you have the visibility of the threat and can quickly secure and recover.
The focus should always be people, it should always start with people.
They are your most important asset, they hold the keys to your information, they hold the relationships with your customers, and they are the growth of your business. However, they are also only human, and unfortunately, we all make mistakes.
While the rest of a Zero Trust architecture is primarily focused on securing, providing visibility, automation and reporting, the focus on people is twofold.
Yes, we are securing the user through various means including implementation of multi-factor authentication, restricting access, monitoring, and controlling behaviours etc. But it is also important to ensure the user is cyber aware and can help in the fight against cyber threats. This brings us back to the theme of Cyber Security Month.
People must be aware of the risks.
Within a business environment typically this would be delivered through cyber awareness training, but also through simulated cyber-attacks. A well-planned simulation, run over several months will help identify those users who need increased awareness.
Users need to be aware of the risk not just of security in the business environment, but also outside of work. Credential theft is more common in non-work-related platforms. Educate to ensure that users are aware of how to implement MFA in environments such as Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
Subscribe to a service that will monitor the dark web for instances of credentials relating to your organisation. Users will typically use the same details for multiple sites, therefore if there is a breach in one, it could put your organisation at risk.
Most importantly, IT security should not be complex for the user. A user should be able to easily work with the security controls you put in place. They should be able to intuitively control the sensitivity of a document, they should be able to seamless connect to the information they need, from wherever they are, and they need to be able to complete their job roles without impact.
How can we help
Security is complex, the threat landscape is ever-increasing, and the portfolio of vendors in the security space is growing. Cisilion works with leading security vendors covering everything from physical security, network security and DLP to behaviour analytics.
Our security consultants will take you on the right path for security, focused on you, your environment, your data, and your applications. We will help you provide a secure environment for your people to grow and perform. We will also help you manage, monitor, and respond to breaches through our managed SOC services. Contact us below to see how we can assist you along your Zero Trust journey: