9 ways to boost your cyber resilience

Adrian Edgar

Best practices to protect your organisation from security breaches

According to the UK Government Official Statistics, the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023 reveals that around a third of businesses (32%) and a quarter of charities (24%) have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. This accounts for approximately 462,000 businesses and 48,000 registered charities.

With data breaches dominating the headlines over the past few months, how prepared is your organisation in the event of a cyber attack? Discover our top 9 best practices to protect your most valuable assets from the threat of a security breach.

9 ways to build cyber resilience across your organisation

1. Use strong passwords

An easy way for hackers to breach networks is to guess usernames and passwords, and they use sophisticated tools to do this. Staff should be advised not to use common passwords, nor use the same password across multiple devices. We recommend deploying a password management tool which generates complex passwords which are harder to exploit. It should be noted that it is no longer recommended to enforce regular password changes as research shows this is counter-productive to good password hygiene.

2. Apply patches and security updates

Unpatched software is an easy way for cyber criminals to access networks. By applying patches and security updates to all systems and software, you can reduce the number of security vulnerabilities on your networks. You can even use a patch management system that automatically manages updates to maintain information security.

3. Install antivirus protection and firewalls 

Antivirus software and firewalls monitor, detect and block malware and suspicious viruses from entering devices and compromising data. They should be installed on every device and regularly reviewed to ensure they are all actively working and remain up to date.

4. Use multi-factor authentication 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) acts as an additional layer of security to protect users from cyberattacks. Users are alerted to any attempts to log in to their account – and it wasn’t them, they should be encouraged to immediately report it to the IT security team. MFA alone is the most effective first line of defence and should be considered compulsory for all organisations.

5. Staff training

85% of breaches involve a human element so effectively, your people are the first line of defence in preventing a cyberattack. End user education and awareness are critically important to prevent security breaches. All employees should receive regular cyber security training how to recognise phishing emails and other security threats – as well as how to report them to help the IT team identify the attack, remove intruders, and immediately secure all accounts. Microsoft 365 contains inbuilt tools to help spot weaknesses in the way staff detect and manage phishing attempts. Contact us to find out if this is included in your plan.

6. Know your network

Ensure you can identify all devices and users on your network to detect any suspicious activity, such as users accessing files they don’t need or moving files to other parts of the network. We suggest that you log activity for at least month to track activity to defend your network effectively.

7. Backup your network and test regularly

Regular backups and testing are vital processes to maintain cyber resilience and minimise disruption in the event of a cyber threat. One of the most effective data backup strategies is the 3-2-1 rule, where you should hold 3 copies of your data, with 2 copies stored on different media, and one at an offsite location.

8. Assess your vendors and monitor supply chains

You may allow external stakeholders and other third parties to have access to certain elements of your network. Remain up to date on users to ensure any access that is no longer required is removed immediately. It’s also worth looking at your suppliers’ security practices, as if their network is breached, yours could be compromised, too.

9. Create a solid cybersecurity policy

A clear cyber security policy provides essential guidelines and processes how to detect, respond and remediate in case of a breach. A comprehensive policy should include a disaster recovery plan, access management, security testing and an incident response plan so your staff and IT teams know the steps and procedures that should be implemented in the event of a cyber threat to ensure operations resume as quickly as possible.

How to improve your cyber resilience in 2023

More than 98.2 million individuals were impacted by the 10 biggest data breaches in the first half of 2021, with three of the 10 largest breaches occurring at technology companies.

Today, a cyberattack is no longer a matter of if for your organisation. It’s a matter of when.

The best way to ensure that your organisation is safe is by applying proactive measures. Now.

AspiraCloud can enhance your existing security processes or even design and implement a new cyber security solution for your school, charity or business. Simply visit our website to read more or contact us today.

Get prepared and get protected.