The 3 core components of a future-proofed cybersecurity strategy

Is your cybersecurity strategy future-proof? Or is it just fighting fires in the here and now? When you’re trying to keep cybercriminals at bay, you need to remain one step ahead of them at all times. Forming a strategy that only tackles your existing problems isn’t the most effective approach you can take. If you’re serious about strengthening your defenses, you’ll future-proof your strategy.

What is future-proofed cybersecurity?

Future-proofed cybersecurity focuses on the attacks that hackers are preparing for. In contrast, a standard strategy aims to tackle attacks as they happen.

Because hackers are constantly looking for new ways to breach your defenses, it makes sense to stop them before they have a chance. Your alternative is to take a reactive approach, which will leave you more vulnerable than you may think.

What should a future-proofed cybersecurity strategy include?

If you’re going to future-proof your cybersecurity, you need to tackle three key areas:

Human error

Your employees could compromise your security. In most cases, this will be due to human error rather than purposeful sabotage. Around 95 percent of breaches are due to human error. If you’re going to future-proof your business, you’ll begin by educating your employees.

By educating your employees, you prepare them for what’s ahead. For example, you could heighten their awareness of phishing emails, not sharing devices, and confidentiality.

Situational awareness

If you’ve not experienced a successful attack yet, that doesn’t mean no one is targeting you. A cybercriminal may have tried without you knowing. Not having that knowledge means you can’t strengthen your situational awareness.

One way to overcome this is by using vulnerability management. Vulnerability management looks for weaknesses in your system and then removes them. By gathering data through such services, you have a greater awareness of how someone could cause harm in the future.

Understanding the enemy

Also known as threat intelligence, understanding your enemy, their intentions, and how they will attack prepares you for future events. It’s also useful to understand why they would want to target your business over someone else’s.

For example, could a potential attacker access someone’s social security details? Are they aiming to grab credit card data? Or, would they like to hold your system to ransom using ransomware?

Why is this so important?

Future-proofing your cybersecurity helps you stay one step ahead of attackers. When you simply respond to attacks as they happen, there’s a chance you won’t respond until it’s too late. On average, it takes companies 206 days to detect an attack. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on prevention rather than responses.

Taking a future-focused approach also makes you aware of threats you may not otherwise consider. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) became a particularly popular target for attacks during 2019. This includes items such as wearables, smart speakers, and other smart appliances. When your business is aware of potential sources such as these, you can continue using them in a way that’s safe.

Overall, future-proofing your business’s cybersecurity can save you a lot of money. If you’re preventing incidents such as ransomware, it saves both money and downtime. And most of all, being able to keep attackers at bay supports compliance and protects your reputation. With a future-focused approach, you could save your business from near ruin.