Cyber Security 2019 Reading Time: 3 minutes

The risk of cyber security threats in US companies remains a big concern as incidents of data breaches, malware infections, and other forms of cybercrime continue to escalate.

In its September 2018 report, The Identity Theft Resource Center noted 932 confirmed breaches and nearly half of those breaches occurred in businesses. Meanwhile, AV-TEST, an independent cyber security institute, tallied 874.44 million strains of malware in the first quarter of 2019 alone. Symantec claims there has been a 600% increase in cyber-attacks in 2017 coming from the 140 attack groups the firm had been tracking.

With threatscape rapidly expanding, business leaders indeed have cause to worry. In fact, according to a 2018 Conference Board survey of over 600 managers and leaders in the United States, cybersecurity is their number one concern.

US Companies At Risk For Security Breaches

Cyber insurance firm Hiscox performed a survey in 2018 on the cyber security readiness levels of businesses globally and found that 78% of 4,500 companies surveyed were not prepared for attacks and breaches.

Lack of cyber security preparation carries a high amount of risk since the average cost of a data breach is $7.91 million according to research by the Ponemon Institute. The good news is detecting and remediating breaches as quickly as possible and forming incident response teams drives down this cost.

If cybersecurity is top of mind for you and your organization, here are five things your company can start doing today to increase cyber security readiness.

1. Hire a Chief Information Security Officer

A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a C-Suite level executive who will manage all aspects of your company’s cyber-defense. They’ll draft your cyber security policy, determine information security training needs for your employees, helm any threat detection and monitoring efforts, and help make your incident response plan.

It’s undeniable that cyber security protection is a legitimate need and employing a CISO means you’ll have someone on your team who will worry about this aspect for you.

2. Provide Cyber Security Training

The Ponemon Institute attributes human error to be the root cause behind 27% of the data breaches in the companies they surveyed. This can mean many things in different scenarios from employees clicking on phishing emails to accidentally downloading Trojan horses onto their computers.

Employees form a crucial layer of an organization’s cyber security defense but fail to protect their company due to lack of training. Once workers receive training and become aware of what risky habits and actions are from a cybersecurity standpoint, the better they are in protecting your business from attacks.

3. Perform a Cyber Security Risk Assessment Audit

After the people layer, you’ll need to determine your network’s defenses against an attack. This means you’ll need to gather your IT team and have them check the various aspects of your network infrastructure from the operating systems, the condition of the hardware, and the patches for potential vulnerabilities.

Some companies even go as far as hiring ethical hackers to perform penetration testing to check for holes in all the layers of the organization’s cyber security defense. Any points of failures the ethical hacker gathers will help the IT team plug these gaps and make their company’s defense more iron-clad.

4. Draft a Cyber Security Response Plan

What worsened the Equifax Data Breach is that the company waited for six weeks to report the leak. That’s more than a month-long window where hackers allegedly still had access to the sensitive personal information of 143 million people.

This usually happens to companies because executives and employees don’t have a clear plan for how to proceed once they determine an attack is happening. Drafting a cyber security response plan gives internal teams guidelines for how to proceed to quickly remediate the situation.

5. Use Layered Cyber Security Protection Systems for Your Business

Finally, the state of cyber security in US companies can be improved if companies use layered cyber security protection systems. One example of this kind of security solution is Comodo Endpoint Protection.

Comodo Endpoint Protection deploys the Comodo Firewall to block threats from outside your network. Files that manage to pass through this barrier undergo three separate scans from the Comodo Antivirus, File Lookup Services, and the Auto-Containment with sandboxing technology. The last solution will capture any suspicious files and prevent them from running within a computer. Finally, the Host Intrusion Prevention System or HIPS and the Viruscope maintain network health and scan all the computers for any malicious processes and files.

Your network’s defense posture doesn’t have to go the way of the level of cyber security in US companies. You can secure your company by following our advice above and by installing Comodo Endpoint Protection for your enterprise.

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