Not all cybersecurity tools and solutions get the recognition they deserve. In addition to antiviruses, firewalls, and threat detection systems, there are many cybersecurity solutions that get overlooked. Unfortunately, this means the vulnerabilities they address are also overlooked, bringing harm to individuals and organizations alike. Learn more about these underrated cybersecurity tools and methods, and how they can protect your organization by reading this article.
Why do some cybersecurity solutions get overlooked?
Many cybersecurity solutions are underrated because far too many organizations follow a “one solution fixes everything” approach, wherein they rely on a handful of security tools to protect their entire system. While such tools can be effective at their intended tasks, they rarely, if ever, cover all the vulnerabilities within a system. In addition, there are some cybersecurity measures that are not technology based, further contributing to why they get overlooked.
Standardized encryption policy
While data encryption is widely recognized as a vital security measure, organizations often make the mistake of assuming their existing encryption practices are foolproof. Using outdated encryption methods, conducting inadequate decryption key management, and neglecting data in transit (such as data being emailed) are common vulnerabilities that can put sensitive information at risk.
By implementing a standardized encryption policy, you can strengthen your data protection posture. This policy should define the type of encryption to be used, ensure consistent decryption key management practices, encompass both data at rest and in motion, and keep both IT teams and management informed of evolving encryption standards. Furthermore, adopting international standards such as NIST FIPS 140-2 and the Common Criteria can provide a robust framework for secure data encryption.
While some regard it as extreme or overly complex, whitelisting may be necessary in the face of such a rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. As a cybersecurity strategy, whitelisting only permits users to take actions, access websites, or utilize applications that have been authorized by an administrator. This works in contrast to more traditional filtering methods that block recognized malware and dangerous coding.
Though whitelisting may seem restrictive, by only allowing recognized traffic and programs on your systems, you cut down the possibility of unknown code and programs getting into your system. This is especially useful against ransomware and keylogger attacks that tend to hide within systems. If such programs are not approved, they cannot be executed. As an additional benefit, whitelisting also prevents incidents of shadow IT — wherein employees use unauthorized and potentially vulnerable IT solutions and applications — from occurring.
Open-source content management systems (CMS) make website design and development convenient and cost-effective for businesses. However, some organizations are rightfully concerned about the security vulnerabilities of such a publicly available tool. The good news is that these concerns can be effectively addressed through proactive measures.
Implement secure coding standards to establish clear guidelines for coding designed to address potential vulnerabilities. Hire skilled IT to apply the secure coding practices and utilize CSM-compatible security tools. Furthermore, provide additional layers of protection by implementing diligent privacy policies and regular security assessments.
Secure data disposal
One of the biggest challenges for organizations is managing sensitive data. While data protection is crucial, secure disposal of outdated or unnecessary information is equally important. In many security breaches, attackers exploit discarded data, highlighting the need for robust disposal methods. Such methods need to ensure data is encrypted even during disposal, and that discarded storage devices are effectively wiped clean of all data.
In addition to digital data, you also need to dispose of physical data in a secure fashion. Use paper shredders to destroy documents before throwing them out, making it impossible for malicious actors to exploit any information on them.
Phishing prevention policies
Phishing remains the most common tool in a cybercriminal’s arsenal. It is the method wherein cybercriminals send fraudulent emails, pretending to be a legitimate organization to convince a target to share private information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers. In some cases, the phisher will even disguise themselves and their email as from the target’s own organization. The reason why phishing continues to be such an issue is that it completely circumvents most forms of cybersecurity technology by exploiting human error.
To prevent phishing scams from affecting your organization, you need to implement regular employee training in data security measures, phishing identification, and reporting procedures. Distribute educational materials, conduct simulated phishing attacks, and foster open communication between employees and the IT department. Remember, no one is immune to phishing, so creating a culture of awareness and vigilance is key.
Employees themselves can also contribute to a more robust defense by recognizing potential compromises. Train and support employees to report:
- Unexplained system slowdowns
- Suspicious pop-ups
- Drastic storage changes
- Unidentified files
- Unexpected browser redirects
These often missed indicators can alert you to a potential phishing attempt before it causes significant damage.
Comprehensive employee exit processes
When employees leave an organization, it is normal to deactivate their access privileges. However, it’s important to ensure that all access points are fully addressed, including social media accounts and other potentially overlooked areas.
Perform regular reviews and updates to offboarding procedures to prevent any lingering access vulnerabilities. You can further enhance security by implementing single sign-on (SSO). This authentication solution automatically deactivates all associated access points upon profile deactivation. By taking a comprehensive approach to employee exit processes, organizations can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
Properly protecting your organization’s systems demands a holistic approach to cybersecurity that incorporates multiple different tools and policies that work together, not just high-end technological solutions. Implement these underrated cybersecurity technologies and measures to improve your security posture.
Get comprehensive cybersecurity solutions for your organization by contacting predictiveIT and speaking with one of our experts.