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What is cyber security posture?

What is cyber security posture?

Portia Linao Portia Linao
Updated on July 7, 2024, Post a comment

The risks of cyber threats are expanding every year. And as a business owner or decision maker, it’s essential to acknowledge the importance of a good cyber security posture (sometimes with the help of a managed cyber security solutions provider) to effectively fight off cyber risks and attacks that can disrupt your operations, steal your confidential data, or closely ruin your reputation. 

In this article, we'll explore cyber security posture, why you need it, and the best ways to improve your online defences.

What is cyber security posture?

Cyber security posture refers to the overall status of your computer systems and networks and how they can detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats.

There are many things involved in maintaining a cyber security posture. But the most important one is vulnerability management. It's the process that requires identifying and patching vulnerabilities in your network or systems and taking the necessary steps to mitigate them before hackers can exploit them.

One aspect of a cyber security posture you have to remember is it needs to be proactive rather than reactive. This outlook keeps up with the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats using the most up-to-date security strategies refining the overall security posture that will protect you from costly data breaches.

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Why is your cyber security posture important?

In business, know where you stand against your competitors. The same goes for cyber security, but the only difference is you’re fighting against hackers and cyber-related disasters. By acknowledging your cyber security posture, you will know your weaknesses and use them to establish a more robust security strategy against threats.

One of the most important things to do to keep tabs on your cyber security posture is to conduct regular monitoring and maintenance on your IT infrastructure to find and patch vulnerabilities before hackers find and use them against you because the consequences of a successful cyber attack can be devastating for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

On top of that, taking a holistic approach to cyber security can help you ensure that all areas of the business have the necessary solutions to prevent cyber threats. This approach includes various factors, such as policies, systems, software applications, employee awareness, and overall workplace culture.

Choosing not to or delaying investing in your cyber security can lead to significant consequences like data loss, bankruptcy, and reputation damage. Taking these proactive measures is better than waiting for disasters to happen in your business.

Cyber security posture assessment checklist

To ensure your cyber security posture is up to par with industry standards, your IT team or Managed Service Provider will need to conduct regular assessments to understand your vulnerabilities and risks so you can implement the best measures to mitigate them.

In your cyber security posture assessment, you will have to determine things such as:

  • How secure are your devices and networks?
  • Are you implementing the right security strategy?
  • How potent are your current security controls and policies?
  • Are you vulnerable to potential threats?

These starter questions will help you identify your assets and possible risks and evaluate the effectiveness and maturity levels of your existing security structure. Because once you’ve identified your potential threats and weak spots, you can develop a plan for addressing them.

How you can improve your security posture

Improving your cyber security is essential for safeguarding your business from potential data breaches and other cybersecurity risks. Here are some practical tips you can use to enhance your security posture.

Identify all assets

To effectively protect yourself against these threats, you need to know what you’re dealing with and what you’re up against.

By knowing what you have in terms of hardware, software, and data assets, you can classify which needs more attention and protection to allocate resources accordingly. Systematise these assets and evaluate their monetary impact on your business.

On top of that, make sure to evaluate access controls to determine which departments or individuals need it to perform their responsibilities and which do not. This step also helps you find employees with access to sensitive information which lack the proper security awareness training.

Evaluate current levels of protection

Identifying areas of vulnerability can help you assess the severity of your vulnerabilities. In this process, you will also understand the type and amount of data you have, such as financial records, customer information, and intellectual property you need to secure and allocate accordingly with the proper protection.

Evaluating your existing infrastructure will also provide ideas on the security controls you lack and those you need to implement.

Prioritise your risks and vulnerabilities

Nothing beats preparedness against business risks and vulnerabilities, especially cyber-related ones.

Classifying risks means identifying which areas are most likely to be targeted by attackers or more likely damaged by natural disasters. Once identified, you can allocate the necessary resources and develop a comprehensive plan for mitigating each risk factor based on its severity.

For example, flooding is a high-risk priority that can ruin your hardware and digital assets if you don’t have the appropriate disaster recovery solutions. These types of vulnerabilities are dangerous for your business if you operate in a disaster-prone area.

Addressing weaknesses within your organisation’s IT infrastructure helps you save thousands to millions in damages and lost revenue. You also get to establish your trustworthiness to your customers and vendors as you are proactive in taking steps against cyber attacks and disasters. Because when you suddenly go offline, your vendors and customers get affected too.

Conduct employee awareness training

While many companies invest heavily in security solutions such as backup and cloud, many also overlook employee awareness training.

Conducting regular employee awareness training can significantly improve your overall cyber security posture. Educate your staff with the latest cyber threats and best practices to stay safe online, be one step ahead of hackers, and reduce the risk of human errors that may lead to a security disaster.

You always have the option to tailor your awareness training based on your operations and current set-up. Talk to your IT team or Service Provider about conducting employee awareness training to create a healthy cyber security culture within your company.

Alternatively, you can join our monthly cyber security awareness training available for everyone who wants to learn how to protect their business and data from potential cyber threats. You can save your seat here.

Develop an incident mitigation plan

An incident mitigation plan is a strategic document that outlines the steps your company will take in case of a cyber-attack or any other security breach.

Having a well-thought-out incident mitigation plan in place, you can reduce the damage caused by security incidents and limit the risk of future attacks. With this, you will also drastically improve your security posture and demonstrate to your customers that you value their privacy and safety.

The process typically starts with assessing your current state of cyber readiness. Then, you identify gaps or weaknesses in your current infrastructure that needs addressing either with additional controls or implementing fixes to existing ones. Once done, you create an incident response plan instructing how to monitor and respond to incidents. You can also get your Service Provider to execute this flawlessly in the event of an attack.

In your plan, include things like team member roles and their responsibilities with easy-to-follow instructions, from documenting the incident to taking specific actions to regulate the damage as much as possible.

Track metrics and security scores

Tracking metrics and security scores can provide tremendous insights into your cybersecurity posture.

Metrics to track are vulnerability identification rate and Microsoft Secure Score (if you use Microsoft 365 productivity apps). These metrics measure vulnerability and will show you how to improve security controls before a breach occurs.

The faster you find your vulnerability, the more you reduce your risks. And the quicker you mitigate potential breaches, the more you reduce your risk exposure.

Review your cyber security controls from time to time

With the rise of new types of cyber attacks every year, it’s no longer a question of whether you look out for your cyber security controls now and then.

Conducting reviews can help identify weak points in your IT and take the necessary steps to address them. This process can involve identifying software and hardware vulnerabilities, updating assets to their latest patches, and evaluating access controls and regulatory compliance.

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Establish your cyber security posture with OSIT

As you continue to digitise your operations and store more data, cyber security is increasingly becoming a necessity.

Your cyber security posture is the strength of your defences against cyber attacks. It encompasses all measures to protect sensitive information, networks, and systems from illegal access or theft.

One way to strengthen your cyber security posture is by implementing IT security solutions addressing risks and vulnerabilities. With OSIT, you can rest easy at night knowing your business is protected against them.

Our team of experts specialises in providing comprehensive and tailored cybersecurity solutions designed to meet unique client needs. With us, you'll gain access to cutting-edge tools and strategies to help you stay ahead of evolving threats and safeguard your sensitive data.

So whether you’re looking to improve your current security measures or need help setting your cyber security posture from scratch, we got you covered.

Reach out to us below, and we’ll get in touch ASAP. 

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