What is IT security?
IT security is a collection of cybersecurity strategies, methods, solutions, and tools designed to stop hackers and threat actors from gaining unauthorised access to organisational assets. These IT security strategies, methods, solutions, and tools are called a cybersecurity strategy set (i.e. computers, networks, data, and digital identities). A comprehensive IT security plan protects against, identifies, and responds appropriately to a wide range of cyberattacks by integrating cutting-edge IT security technologies with dedicated human resources. It will provide protection for the network and individual endpoints, software applications, and hardware equipment (on-prem and cloud-based).
Why do we need IT security solutions?
The dynamic of the workplace perimeter has been altered as a result of an increase in the number of workers who perform their jobs remotely, the growth of the cloud, and the proliferation of connected devices (whether the organisation provides these devices or is an example of BYOD, which stands for bring your device). Whereas in the past, an organisation could defend a physical perimeter—the physical walls of the workplace—against breach, the perimeters of today’s organisations have had to expand to include employees, partners, and vendors who are accessing the network from absolutely anywhere in the world, as well as information that is being stored in something as non-physical as the cloud. In the past, an organisation could defend a physical perimeter—the physical walls of the workplace.
All of this has placed a major load on IT security teams, which must now protect a nearly limitless perimeter full of continually expanding threat vectors against digital adversaries that are becoming increasingly smart. And the financial and reputational risk to a business continues to grow with each passing year if they cannot defend themselves against every possible attacker.
What are the biggest threats to IT security?
Threats to IT security can come in different forms. The top 4 threats to today’s IT security teams include:
- Insider threats
- Phishing attacks
- Cloud attacks
- Compromised credentials
What are the top password security best practices for anyone to deploy?
Utilise a password management solution capable of generating, managing, and rotating unique passwords.
Even though we are aware that it is unlikely for the majority of humans to be able to remember an already large and ever-expanding list of passwords (an average of 100 for the modern-day corporate user), there are tools, solutions, and techniques for password management that can make this a reality. This will reduce the number of threats that are related to passwords.
Refrain from restricting yourself to a single authentication method.
Never should a password be the only authentication mechanism for crucial data, sensitive systems, and potentially everyday operations into those resources. This is because passwords are easy to guess and can be easily stolen. When authentication is required, a multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) layer should be added to ensure that the correct identity uses a unique password for each account.
Audit of historical accounts
It is essential to deactivate or “de-provision” outdated accounts that are not being used. Whether an employee or vendor user is moving into a new role, is no longer employed by the organisation, or has discontinued using their account for other reasons, unused accounts, also known as “orphaned” accounts, can give attackers the backdoor access that they need to infiltrate the enterprise and carry out the lateral movement. This is true regardless of why the user stopped using their account.