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Best Cybersecurity Practices for Midsize Businesses and Enterprises

While core cybersecurity principles like multi-factor authentication and software updates remain crucial for all organizations, their implementation takes on a new dimension for midsize businesses and enterprises.

These entities manage complex IT infrastructure, vast data volumes, and stricter regulations. To ensure security and compliance, they need a comprehensive, proactive approach.

Why Partner with a Trusted Cybersecurity Service Provider?

Cyber attackers constantly evolve tactics. Partnering with a trusted cybersecurity provider like CyFlare ensures you stay ahead of the curve. Our 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) actively monitors, detects, analyzes, and responds to threats targeting midsize businesses and enterprises.

Common Cyberattacks Targeting Midsize Businesses and Enterprises

According to Dan Lennon, the Director for SOC operations at CyFlare, the most common attacks witnessed against midsize businesses and enterprises include:

  • Phishing: Emails disguised as legitimate sources aim to steal sensitive information.
  • Malware and Ransomware: Malware disrupts systems, while ransomware encrypts files and demands a ransom for decryption.
  • Password Spraying: Attackers systematically try common passwords against multiple accounts.
  • Non-Permitted Scans: Unauthorized network scans can reveal vulnerabilities for future attacks.

best cybersecurity practices for midsize and enterprise businesses, CyFlare

7 Best Cybersecurity Practices for Enhanced Security

Here are Dan Lennon’s recommendations to safeguard critical IT infrastructure:

1. Deploy Endpoint EDR

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a cybersecurity solution that protects endpoints such as servers, desktops, laptops, and portable devices from advanced attacks. According to Dan, having an EDR solution on every endpoint (server, desktop, etc.) offers the best defense against malware and ransomware. It takes preventative measures to stop compromise and lateral movement, preventing phishing attempts targeting existing users.

2. Implement XDR

Complex environments often involve multiple security tools for endpoints, networks, applications, and cloud environments, and monitoring them all can be overwhelming. XDR consolidates data from these tools, providing a unified view for comprehensive monitoring, threat identification, and rapid response. Choose an Open XDR solution that integrates with your existing security tools for vendor flexibility.

3. Enforce Strong Password Policies and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

This might sound like an obvious cybersecurity tip repeated too many times. But did you know the 2021 Colonial Pipeline hack, which led to a seven-day shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, happened because of a lack of multi-factor authentication?

Based on what has been observed in recent cybersecurity attacks, enterprises need to pay attention to password security. A good place to start is by requiring complex passwords, banning common passwords, encouraging users not to recycle passwords, ensuring no default passwords are used in the system, and enforcing multi-factor authentication.

Consider alternatives to forcing frequent password changes, which can lead to predictable passwords. Microsoft discourages this because it makes users use predictable passwords that are easy to remember. Instead, only require password changes when you suspect they might have been exposed.

4. Enhance Data Protection Measures

Due to the high volume and sensitivity of data handled, data protection must be prioritized. This includes encryption (in transit and at rest), data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to prevent unauthorized exfiltration, and robust backups and recovery processes for ransomware and data breaches.

5. Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Proactively identify and address vulnerabilities before attackers exploit them. Leverage cyber risk intelligence tools for vulnerability scanning, threat analysis/reporting, threat hunting, and incident response support.

6. Implement Incident Response Plans

Even the most secure systems face potential compromise. Develop and regularly test incident response plans to ensure a swift and effective response to security incidents. These plans should define roles, responsibilities, communication channels, and procedures for containment and mitigation.

7. Conduct Regular Security Awareness Training

A common consensus in cybersecurity is that the human element is the weakest link in cybersecurity. According to the Psychology of Human Error study by Tessian and Stanford University professor Jeff Hancock, 88 percent of data breach incidents are caused by employees’ mistakes. Human beings are prone to error and poor cybersecurity habits. To avoid being a victim of this, organizations must invest in regular and effective cybersecurity awareness training to mitigate the risk of human error. Employees must be educated on common cyber threats, secure remote work practices, and incident reporting procedures.

By following these best cybersecurity practices and partnering with a trusted cybersecurity service provider, midsize businesses and enterprises can significantly enhance their security posture and protect their valuable data.