October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an initiative created to raise awareness about the magnitude of the threats from cyberattacks and what you can do to mitigate risks.
Security must be a priority every day for ISVs. However, it’s easy for your team to become so hyperfocused on the tasks at hand that they don’t take time to consider a broader view. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month gives you a reminder to evaluate processes, compliance with best practices, and the changing cybersecurity landscape to strengthen your security posture and help your clients reduce their risks as well.
The following insights from industry thought leaders can help you create a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month observation to help you make the most of the opportunity.
Ensure the Right Tools Are In Place
Jason Dettbarn, Founder & CEO of Addigy, reminds you that cybersecurity takes a layered approach leveraging the right security processes and tools. One security policy or solution alone won’t provide the protection an organization needs. A comprehensive cybersecurity plan includes following compliance frameworks, end-user authentication management, and more. Dettbarn also reminds you not to overlook operating system and application patches.
“The speed and impact of zero-day vulnerabilities highlight the importance of applying patches throughout an organization’s entire fleet of devices in a timely fashion,” he says.
Manage Your Data
Carl D’Halluin, CTO of Datadobi, explains, “Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a critical reminder that effective cybersecurity isn’t solely about building higher walls against external threats. It’s equally about understanding and managing the data you already hold within those walls.”
He says, for example, that illegal and orphaned data can create risks that you may overlook. Data that is not legal for you to store can create liabilities, harm to your reputation, and a higher chance of cyberattack and data breaches if it contains embedded malware. Additionally, orphaned data, which may accumulate due to employee turnover, can create significant data governance and compliance risks.
D’Halluin says organizations must be more committed to data management. “This proactive, inside-out approach to cybersecurity has never been more crucial,” he says.
Deploy Next-Gen Security Solutions
Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i says, “Today, cyber threats are escalating into full-blown crises. Gone are the days when established security measures like VPNs sufficed. Hackers are continually advancing, rendering traditional methods increasingly obsolete.”
He suggests exploring the value of software-defined perimeters (SDPs) to replace VPNs, which can eliminate vulnerabilities, such as susceptibility to lateral network attacks. SDPs also align with zero-trust network access principles, providing strict security controls at the application level. As a result, SDPs ensure that servers, storage appliances, IoT devices, and users access only the endpoints and data they need for their tasks.
“Proactive security isn’t an option; it’s an absolute necessity if organizations want to survive into the future,” Boxley comments.
Implement Email Security
Seth Blank, CTO of Valimail, adds that many attacks originate with email. “You’re probably been inundated with the same stats again and again, like the fact that 91% of all cyberattacks start with phishing. Or that the FBI has reported $50 billion—with a b—in losses due to business email compromise. And due to that inundation, it’s easy for some to look at email as an old problem. But those stats show the problem is not just as bad as it’s ever been; it’s getting worse. Much, much worse.”
“This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, don’t just scroll past the warnings—take them to heart. Beef up your email security, or get ready for a world of hurt,” he says.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is Also Business Protection Month
Something else that you may want to communicate to your team and your customers is that the purpose of strengthening cybersecurity isn’t just to protect data or the network – although those are important goals. It’s ultimately to protect the business.
“Cybersecurity has moved from an afterthought to one of the more important decisions in the boardroom, as executives have come to understand the potential scale and impact of attacks. Breaches don’t just cost money – they can debilitate a company,” Dettbarn explains.
Invest time this October into ensuring your business and your clients’ businesses are more secure.