cyber security, cyber threats, threat intelligence

The 3 Most Effective Steps to Better Cyber Security

December 10, 2015 | Colby DeRodeff

You are a cyber security director and you are managing a team of smart, talented individuals. If you could only do three things to make your cyber security better and more efficient what should they be?

Keep in mind these steps are not highly technical, but should permeate all decisions guiding your every day choices. Below are the top three tricks that made it into the shortlist.

If You Could Only Do Three Things To Protect Your Network From Cyber Attacks

1. Don’t give out administrative privileges. (Unless you really have to.)

This is the number one way to protect your network from catastrophic breaches. This is essentially security 101. You only give keys to a few people; the ones who only really need them. Put it in the context of a bank, everybody will nod his or her heads in agreement. You just don’t give a bank teller the keys to the vault. You only give the keys to the person who has to go in and out of the vault daily, right?

If you just nodded at that last paragraph, why are there people in your company who have administrative privileges even though they don’t need to perform administrative tasks daily? It happens all of the time: a mid-level manager requests admin access in order to complete a task that requires admin level privileges. After he completes that task he won’t need administrative access again for a few months. He might even forget that he is an admin. So, do you keep him as an admin “just in case”? No. Better yet, should you give him (or her) admin access in the first place? No.  Make your “real” admins do whatever task it is. Yes, it’ll take longer, and yes, that manager might get annoyed, but it's worth it to avoid a security incident.

2. Automate your cyber-threat intelligence to enhance your security investments.

Automation is a necessity. You can automate pretty much everything (even driving, but that’s a different blog post). A high percentage of your cyber security procedures with software are already automated, like the security software that ThreatStream integrates with. By automating the normalization, validation, aggregation and enrichment of data, with a powerful analytical engine, you’ll be able to sort out which threats are threatening. And since these data sources are able to stream into your already automated cyber security software, you will be way ahead of your attackers and able to pre-empt security issues. The great thing about having an automated system in place is that you eliminate 99% of human error.

3. Be a leader.  Your employees are invaluable.   

The last thing that is the wild card in every security system: people. Most of your job isn’t actually coding, deploying open source honeypots, or even analyzing data. You’re job is to make sure people do what they’re supposed to do. While a study into persuasion, compliance, and leadership might be compelling, examining human nature tends to raise more questions than it answers. So, here are a few tips for keeping people happy:

  • Pay your employees well—financially and with other perks and benefits.
  • Don’t command people to do things. Instead, explain to them why you are asking them to do something. Example: why should you change your password every 30 days again?
  • Automate things for people. It’s a fact that happier people who like you are more likely to do the things you want them to do. But, just in case, institute regular security checks into personal vulnerabilities the same way you check for system vulnerabilities.

Read up more on how to make sure you are monitoring for indicators with this free white paper.

Colby DeRodeff
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Colby DeRodeff

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