Makarov design Risk Management systems to withstand not just the best possible circumstances, but also the worst.  As part of this system an organisations’ information cybersecurity protocol enforcement must be designed to withstand a breakdown in the usual flows of data and information.  Recent research on cybersecurity illustrates that a great number of security breaches take place because of human error. That is why educating your employees and adopting security practices that alleviate the risks is essential to keeping your organisation safe. 

 

What is a cybersecurity protocol?

Cyber security protocols are plans, protocols, actions and measures that aim to keep your organisation safe from malicious attacks, data breaches and other security incidents. To ensure that your organisation is protected, you need to employ cybersecurity protocol enforcement and software. Since there are multiple ways through which an attacker can gain access to your networks, systems and sensitive data, you need to employ more than one security measure. Moreover, you must review and update these measures regularly.

 

Why is cybersecurity protocol enforcement necessary?

Protecting your organisation might be considered costly, involved or unnecessary. However, today data is one of the most important assets an organisation has, and as long as we conduct our business in cyber environments, it is easy to see that data is open to threats. Therefore, it is essential that you take necessary measures to make sure that your organisation’s data and reputation is safe, through cybersecurity protocol enforcement.

 

 

Cybersecurity Protocols

 

Firewalls

Firewalls are one of the most efficient tools in battling with cyber criminals and malicious attackers. An efficient and up-to-date firewall keeps various threats away, such as malware, viruses and spam. A foremost cybersecurity protocol is to install a firewall to defend from any cyber attack. This firewall should be able to identify and control applications on any port, control circumvention, scan for viruses, generate real-time alerts, and control traffic to and from applications.  

 

Encryption

Most data breaches happen because of weak, stolen and lost passwords. Therefore, employing password encryption is a must for your organisation. Also, encrypting your sensitive data can save you from severe damage in the event of a data breach. It provides an additional layer of security and makes it much more difficult for intruders to make use of the stolen data.   

 

A password manager should be used, that will let you set strong and unique passwords across different personal and corporate accounts, from both mobile and desktops and laptops. Ensuring you turn on multi-factor or two-factor authentication for all your accounts that support it, starting with your email. 

 

Password policies, multi-factor authentication, encryption, patching and restricting public Wi-Fi usage are all valid measures that should be implemented. However, the weakest links are always behavioural.  As old as the password sharing security blunder is, it’s still happening.  Users should be regularly reminded never to share passwords, by their supervisors as well as by IT.

 

Use A VPN

If your employees access the organisations’ systems from outside, they should do so through a virtual private network, or VPN.  A VPN encrypts everything that passes through, improving cybersecurity. This administrative protocol should be place for all staff, and the policy must ensure that all employees access via an encrypted channel. 

 

Planning an incident response protocol

Regardless of how many barriers you set around your sensitive data, someone will try to intrude. Having a proper incident response protocol allows your security professionals to take immediate action and keep intruders away.

 

It is necessary to first establish a culture in which employees feel safe reporting potential vulnerabilities and near misses. Policy and documented procedures will not protect you against deliberate sabotage or vulnerabilities that employees don’t feel safe reporting. So, the “protocol” is a culture of trust and transparency. Make employees feel heard.

 

Education

Cybersecurity Protocol EnforcementIn order to make sure that your organisation is safe, you must also consider the human factor. To do so, you must educate your employees on topical issues like phishing along with the security measures your organisation takes. Every employee needs to be aware of what they’re clicking. All should know how to check the sender of an email and to look at any URL or attachment before clicking, and they should notify Security when they find something suspicious. It’s good to avoid work access through devices for personal use. For greater password control and access, there should be a set of devices that are only used for work. 

 

 

Cybersecurity Protocol Enforcement

For enforcement to be practical, update cyber security policies regularly to keep up with emerging threats.  Cyber security policies should also include guidance.  Breaking policies into achievable tasks transforms written policies from a piece of paper to the underpinnings of a culture of compliance.

 

Termination of employees

If an employee is placed on leave or terminated, immediately disconnect the employee from all systems, networks, and building access points, and collect all mobile devices and laptops issued to the employee. Then walk the employee out the door. Activities like this might seem callous to other employees, but it is necessary in many of today’s highly proprietary environments.

 

Zero trust networks

A zero trust network only admits individuals authorised for network access. That means that if an end user goes around IT, and IT security, in an effort to fast track the launch of an application, he or she will be denied access to corporate IT data and resources when a network connection is tried. A zero trust network is a good way to enforce security, and it also offers easy ways to track and trace unusual attempts at access and/or unusual network usage patterns.

 

Limit information transfers to BYOD devices

Because BYOD devices are used at home and at work, they are easy to lose, misplace or misuse. A sound approach is enabling mobile access and storage of corporate data on the cloud only.

 

Policy enforcement

Cyber security policies should include procedures for testing, enforcing, and investigating breaches of policy.  It is better to have a procedure that you never need to use than to not have one when you need it.  It is important to test controls around the enforcement of all procedures.

 

Administer disciplinary action for chronic carelessness or an intentional breach of cyber security policy. If the breach was accidental, it should be treated as an opportunity for more cyber security awareness training. But whenever chronic carelessness or an intentional breach occurs, disciplinary action should be considered. Remember that some punishments are external. If an employee breaches a policy that also happens to violate the law, then the consequences to the employee, the employee’s manager or supervisor and the company itself can be very grave. In recent years, responsibility for cyber security breaches has shifted to supervisors, managers, executives , and even the board of directors if there is evidence of a pervasive culture of noncompliance to cyber security policies and regulations.

 

Ensure that disciplinary action for cyber security breaches is equitable. Do not allow the stature of senior and middle management or an employee’s close relationships with management insulate them from consequences that would be administered to other employees. Doing so risks creating an ‘us vs. them’ culture in the company that can hinder cyber security goals and employee productivity. This cronyism also ignores the reality that breaches of cyber security policy by senior employees in the company often carries with it a much higher risk due to their access to more sensitive and vital company data and should therefore require a greater expectation of responsibility.

 

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