Even a tiny breach in your company data can have a significant impact.

Once your defenses are compromised, your data is at risk, not to mention your public trust. Unfortunately, cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated with every new advancement in technology. In fact,44% of organizations in the last 12 months have fallen victim to a data breach, and the average cost of such an incident is $4.35 million.

That’s why proactive computer security needs to be a priority in protecting your business investments. When it comes to cybersecurity protection, a diligent approach aims to help eliminate the costs when an event happens. There’s a reactive approach, which means you use basic solutions to protect your data, and then there’s a proactive approach, meaning your organization has an evolved version of that solution that offers more protection.

Let’s dig into these twocybersecurity terms and how they relate to your small business’ IT safeguards.

Reactive Computer Security Approach

A reactive approach to cybersecurity risks is one in which a system enables defenses against known threats and reacts after detection. Standard reactive systems include antivirus and malware software and firewall protection.
The problem here is that by the time your security is on alert, someone is already trying, or worse, able to get through. These basic IT solutions don’t alert you, or log hacking attempts.

The internet has many benefits, of course! But it’s also full of threats to our information, for control of our devices and identities, and for holding data for ransom. Common predatory internet tactics that vie for data access include:

  • Ransom-based infections and scams
  • Spyware
  • Phishing tactics
  • Zero-Day viruses
  • Email Spoofing
  • CEO Spoofing (gift card fraud, wire transfer fraud)
  • Vishing
  • Voice Phishing
  • Email hacking and compromise

Proactive Computer Security Approach

“The best defense is a strong offense” is an adage relevant to the more commoncybersecurity risks for small businesses and organizations. Proactive computer security tactics seek out fundamental weaknesses in your system and explore how vulnerable they are to attack.

“You can have basic programs in place, but they are very reactive. You need those active alerts, automated scans and threat hunting and a managed security operations center resolving the alerts. Reactive is higher risk, where proactive computer security measurements lessens your risk of a breach or successful cyberattack.”

- Joe Rudolph, Privacy and Security Officer at Ceeva

 

A major benefit of this approach is that your security team knows your risks before someone else has a chance to exploit them.

Actively prodding yourcybersecurity defenses to evaluate where a potential hacker could get in means that you can correct these issues and continuously enhance your security. Proactive computer security tactics are:

  • Staff and employee training
  • Managed detection and response
  • Vulnerability testing
  • Phishing testing

So what are some of the proactive computer security strategies you can keep in mind?

Use Proactive Computer Software

Internet viruses have been around since 1971, with the introduction ofCreeper. Although this viral tag wasn’t malicious as it did not damage or harvest data, it did spread. Since then, more than a billion malware programs have been created and launched.

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Above: The Creeper virus corrupted mainframe computers operating on the TEN-Extended (TENEX) operating system.

Antivirus and malware software programs were created to protect against these viruses. The software reads the code or signature and kicks back or prevents access to recognizable threats. How? The information being scanned is compared to a database of already existing knowledge.

Although these software programs typically update frequently, cyber threats are evolving to become more evasive. Thanks to artificial intelligence, some antiviral and malware software programs now have advanced proactive functions.

Most software packages at their base level are just reactive, since they’re simply based on databases of known threats. To protect your data and avoid a costly breach, boost your basic reactive solutions, like a firewall, into a proactive firewall.

Proactive Firewall Capabilities

A modern and properly configured firewall is one defense between your network and the internet. A firewall operates on a specific set of requirements and monitors traffic in accordance before allowing a request to come through.

Typically, a firewall will accept, reject, or drop the traffic based on its analysis. This rules-based approach is reactive according to detected violations.

On the other hand, if your firewall doesn’t have proactive alert logging, that requires a periodic manual review by your IT employee orManaged Service Provider (MSP). Firewall tactics are now employing deep packet inspections and detection of layered attacks.

Alerts can be automatically sent when there is a noticeable difference in traffic requests. Firewalls protect your network against:

  • Unauthorized access to the network
  • Monitors inbound and outbound activity
  • Detects malicious events
  • Stops potentially harmful data from being received or sent
  • Filters content for internet safety

Proactive Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Even the most advanced technology available is still susceptible to an attack if one employee clicks an unauthorized link in a suspicious email. In fact,88% of data leaks are tied back to human error. In addition to superior software in place, cybersecurity training is one of the most impactful ways a company can protect itself from a major data breach.

Just like technology requires frequent updating to stay relevant, so do your employees. These malicious tactics work because they’re constantly changing, so training should also be continual. Not every employee is an IT expert, and you can’t assume that everyone with access to your network knows what to look for.

Employeecybersecurity training can include:

  • Password security training
  • Internet best practices
  • Recognized phishing and social engineering
  • Periodic real-time tests
  • What to do if you think you’ve been compromised

Receivingmanaged cybersecurity solutions can help you achieve maximum understanding and retention. A security provider can help you spot-check your employees' responses with phishing testing and reporting practices.

A Combination of Proactive Cybersecurity Efforts Maximizes the Effects

In 2022, when it comes to internet security, there’s no single tool that will protect everything. Antivirus software, malware detection, firewalls, training, and more are all needed to make a combined effort because your data privacy is at considerable risk.

The crucial takeaway is that technology is advancing, and so cyber threats are getting smarter – but so are the ways to counter those attacks.

Gain IT Confidence With a Proactive Computer Security Team

With advanced internet security readily available, your operation doesn’t need to wait for an attack to occur to work. Reactive security could cost your company a considerable financial loss, and untrained employees make that risk even more significant.

Everything the Ceeva team does begins with proactive cybersecurity in mind. We combine defensive efforts with proactive monitoring, alerting systems, and real-time logging, plus training, for a complete cybersecurity solution. It’s one of the ways we bring IT Confidence as a Service to our clients.

If your organization needsMSP IT expertise on how to become more proactive with cybersecurity, reach out to us at Ceeva.

Free Cybersecurity Essentials Handbook for Small Organizations