Proactive VS. Reactive Cybersecurity
Most businesses don’t adequately prepare against cybersecurity incidents until it’s too late. Don’t wait for a cybersecurity incident to happen before your organization takes action. Here’s what your team needs to know in order to formulate a proactive cybersecurity strategy.
Why you need a proactive versus reactive cybersecurity approach
Proactive vs. reactive cybersecurity
A proactive approach to cybersecurity includes preemptively identifying security weaknesses and adding processes to identify threats before they occur. On the other hand, a reactive approach involves responding to incidents such as hacks and data breaches after they occur.
Tasks involved in reactive cybersecurity, such as patch management, log monitoring and SIEM, are primarily focused on rectifying immediate incidents and preventing repeat attacks or technology disruptions from happening in the future. However, a proactive approach utilizes tasks that allow your organization to identify and prevent incidents from ever becoming a threat.
Why proactive cybersecurity is better
There are obvious benefits of a proactive cybersecurity strategy. Most importantly, digital threats are becoming smarter and more complex, so more than ever, you need to stay ahead of these threats before they can damage your organization.
A proactive approach helps define a baseline level of cybersecurity consisting of the necessary starting point at which processes, software and professionals are needed to protect your business. Once that’s established, reporting potential threats and responding to incidents can be automated so your IT security team will immediately be notified and take action in real time.
Additionally, not shoring up your technological defenses as the value of data and digital information continues to grow can cost you. For example, harsher regulatory penalties are being doled out for not properly securing third-party data as politicians and regulators crack down on companies that don’t secure their data.
Establish a proactive cybersecurity defense
Transitioning from reactive to proactive cybersecurity involves incremental enhancements to your existing strategy. Ensure that these key features are included as part of the next steps:
- Disk encryption/protection. Encrypting hard drives enhances data security in the event that physical devices are lost, stolen or misplaced.
- Security awareness training. Training internal employees keeps your team informed of the latest security best practices and evolving security threats to avoid.
- Multi-factor authentication. Identifying and granting access only to the desired individuals and groups helps enforce data security, and a multi-step authentication process ensures proper access control.
- Cybersecurity risk assessment. In the modern technological environment, businesses must have a comprehensive plan to manage all cybersecurity risks.
- Vulnerability scanning. Vulnerability scanning software can automate the tasks of inspecting and identifying weaknesses and gaps in your existing cybersecurity defenses before an actual threat occurs.
- Managed security operations center. A managed security operations center (SOC) centralizes the essential monitoring and incident response functions to a team of experts that can best protect your company’s data assets.