Mitigating cyberattacks has become an increasingly difficult task for companies for many reasons, including the sheer number of cyber threats, sophisticated hacking methods and schemes, and the volatile nature of the information. This article will discuss tips to mitigate these potential attacks.

 #1. Updating Software and Firmware

To avoid cyberattacks, it is important to keep software and firmware up-to-date with the latest security fixes. According to SANS Institute, “software updates can be a significant factor in preventing and mitigating cyberattacks.” 90% of security breaches in 2016 occurred because of outdated software. Companies can use a patch management solution to execute these updates, set them manually, or schedule them automatically. It is also important to change default passwords, as hackers commonly use them to access systems.

 #2. Monitor Your Security Firewall

Firewalls are the main defence against network attacks, but attackers are increasingly savvy. Monitoring firewall information such as alerts and logs can help identify cyberattacks. Alerts and logs enable businesses to monitor suspicious activity, such as hacking attempts or illicit access. It is also important to use a firewall solution that offers intelligent detection capabilities. This allows it to block malicious activity as it happens rather than after the fact.


 #3. Use Endpoint Security Software

According to Symantec report, “endpoint security software is critical in blocking malware before they reach the network” because they operate on computers directly instead of at the network level. The enterprise vault migration to Office 365 includes endpoint protection using a security management suite for the exchange server. Other endpoint security software includes antivirus and antispyware, patch management, and file integrity monitoring.

 #4. Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are necessary for any organization because they are the first line of defence against cyberattacks. There are numerous options available to create strong passwords in order to provide enhanced security control over both computers and mobile devices. For example, Yubikey uses a USB or Bluetooth connection with a built-in keyboard that automatically creates highly secure passwords by transposing characters into random ones according to a set algorithm.


#5. Deploy a VPN

VPNs are another effective way to protect companies from cyberattacks. VPN technology creates a secure connection between two devices, making it difficult for hackers to gain access. According to SANS Institute, “VPNs significantly reduce the risks of cyberattacks from virtual machines” and are nearly impossible to hack through the network. The enterprise vault migration to Office includes a built-in VPN client for encrypting data in transit, both on-premises or across the internet through Office 365 Cloud Services.

 #6. Use Intrusion Prevention Systems

Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are another layer of defense a dependable IT support provider uses against cyberattacks. This type of system uses a combination of IDS and firewall technology to monitor network activity, alerting you when malicious activity is detected. 

According to SANS Institute, “these systems are also effective in preventing targeted attacks” by monitoring for known attack signatures as well as unknown ones. It is important to use IPS solutions that offer an alarm-arm-and-hold approach to detect only if something very suspicious appears. The enterprise vault migration to Office includes the use of intrusion prevention in Data Loss Prevention, which prevents business-sensitive data from leaving the organization.

 #7. Implement Security Policies

Security policies are critical in protecting companies from cyberattacks by providing an organization-wide security baseline. These policies should be set to default-deny, which means that any access must come from an authorized user rather than just anyone. It is also important to have a clear plan for handling any potential attacks so that alerts can be sent in real-time and quick action can be taken to prevent damage. The enterprise vault migration to Office 365 includes the use of data protection policies for Exchange Online using Microsoft’s Cloud App Security product which helps protect company information through mobile apps and cloud services.

 #8. Use Antivirus Software

Many companies are still using outdated antivirus software, which means that malware is getting in through the back door. Antivirus software can help determine whether a suspicious file is legitimate or malicious by comparing it to known malware, allowing timely detection and action. It is important to use multiple scanning engines and different techniques, such as heuristics, on all files and attachments coming into the company so that nothing can sneak past your firewall. The enterprise vault migration to Office 365 includes using Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics on Microsoft Office 365 Threat Protection which provides proactive detection and response against advanced threats using machine learning algorithms.

Overall, all businesses need to use strong security practices, such as those outlined here. They are the key to protecting your company from cyberattacks and can significantly lower the risk of a breach.