Nowadays, information security has gained more substantial importance than ever, though it sounds ironic given the rapid technological advancements and improvisations in the cybersecurity niche, these advancements have also empowered threat actors to conduct stronger, more devastating attacks. As a result, businesses must take measures to improve their security.
What Does Information Security Mean?
Information security (or “infosec”) is what the term suggests – ensuring “security” of “information” at all costs. It includes finding, identifying, and implementing adequate security measures to protect stored or in-transit data from unauthorized access. It includes securing digital and non-digital information alike.
Often, people confuse information security with cybersecurity, however there’s a difference between the two.
Specifically, “cybersecurity” is a subset of information security that deals with technological measures meant to protect data. Cybersecurity is about protecting digital data, such as networks, websites, and databases, with tools like DNS filters, web application firewalls, and antimalware programs.
Whereas “information security” is an umbrella term referring to all measures, policies, and best practices to protect data. Besides the usual software/hardware protection against cyber threats, information security also deals with training people about security, devising and implementing policies, and deploying other measures for safety, such as encryption.
Importance of Infosec for Businesses
Amidst the rising incidents of data breaches, ransomware attacks, data theft, and other security threats like insider threats, organizations need to ensure robust, inclusive, and fool-proof protection to sensitive information. Security lapses leading to a cybersecurity incident expose a company’s weaknesses, damaging its reputation among its customers, clients, partners, and the overall market.
In contrast, when an organization implements thorough infosec best practices, takes avid measures towards data protection, and spreads infosec awareness among its staff and customers, it gains a sense of credibility among the masses. Moreover, these vigilant measures significantly reduce the possibility of breaches and the subsequent potential damages in the case of cyberattacks.
Common Information Security Threats to Organizations
While criminal hackers are continuously innovating their attack strategies to evade existing security measures, some of the current security threats have proved lethal for organizations globally. These include,
- Malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks
- Social engineering, including email phishing, vishing, spearphishing, and social media exploits
- Vulnerability exploits
- Third-party data breaches
- Data theft and double extortion ransomware attacks
- Insider threats due to unauthorized access to information
- Poor data security and lack of encryption
Top Ways to Improve Infosec in 2022
1. Ensure adequate staff training
The key reason behind the success of social engineering attacks and insider threats is the lack of awareness about infosec. Often employees are naïve to spot fake emails and messages mimicking their organization. Likewise, they remain unaware of the sensitivity of the data they deal with.
The above is what businesses should address – spreading awareness among employees about the importance of information security, the benefits of such preventive practices, and the damages that can occur due to security breaches.
2. Conduct a risk assessment
Risk assessments are essential for any organization to strengthen information security. As the term implies, it’s all about assessing the risks an organization faces, the possibilities of those threats to materialize, and devising measures to prevent them.
Knowing this information beforehand with a vulnerability scanner is crucial to alleviate the probabilities of damages in case of cyberattacks. It also saves time from preparing against off topic threats, empowering businesses to organize against crucial threats.
3. Review and improve existing policies
An organization or business cannot proceed with its infosec efforts without adequate policies. Therefore, after a risk assessment, companies should move to develop policies focused on improving data security. If such policies already exist, periodic reviews can help stay up-to-date with the latest threat management practices in light of a new risk assessment.
4. Empower infosec personnel
Alongside the above efforts, one critical thing is to ensure your company respects and understands the importance of information security as well as how it empowers cybersecurity personnel. From recruiting skilled staff to periodic training sessions for skill enhancement, businesses must ensure that the IT staff never fall short of their potential.
5. Ensure adequate data management and maintenance
When deploying infosec measures, focus should not remain limited to data security. Instead, timely data management is also essential in preventing loss. Some crucial steps businesses can take with this regard include:
- Utilizing up-to-date and secure backups to avoid data losses in case of accidental file deletions, file corruption, or ransomware attacks.
- Encrypting sensitive information at the software/hardware level
- Preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data
- Deleting redundant information and developing proper data disposal mechanisms, like shredding or erasing drives, to prevent breaches of forgotten or stale data.
6. Improve overall IT security
Information security should include methods to protect vital data. Therefore, organizations should employ preventive measures that reduce the chances of potential breaches.
In this regard, the most important task is setting up measures to avoid human error such as strong passwords, preferably, with multi-factor authentication for each account.
Further enhancements should be taken to ensure system security with malware protection programs, web app firewalls, regular vulnerability scanning, pen-testing, and patch management policies to help to strengthen the overall security of the IT infrastructure.
The six issues mentioned above may seem complicated, in this instance, it is advised to utilize the web security experts such as Indusface who can ensure modern security procedures are adhered to.