Threat Protection 101: What It Is and How You Can Achieve It
Threat Protection Is a Complex Set of Practices That Keep Your Enterprise Safe. Here’s Everything You Need to Know About It.
In today’s digitalized business world, we tend to accept the eventuality of a cyberattack as something that just happens sometimes. But while viruses and other online dangers are almost as old as the Internet itself, that doesn’t mean they can’t be stopped. In fact, the opposite is true – cyber threats are very much avoidable. But first, you need to understand what you’re dealing with.
In the following lines, I will explore the concept of threats, particularly in those instances when it pertains to the field of cybersecurity. As always, I will also offer some actionable advice on how to defend your data from them. So, if you want to find out what threat protection is and how you can achieve it for your business, then keep reading.
Threats – Definition and Examples
Before diving into the topic of threat protection, let’s take a moment to discuss the very thing that makes it necessary – the threat. What is it and, most importantly, why do you need digital protection against it? First of all, we should have a look at the definition, as well as illustrate it with some examples.
Cyber Threat Definition
What does the term threat refer to in the context of cybersecurity? Well, according to the Heimdal Security Glossary,
In cybersecurity, a threat is a possible security violation that can become certainty if the right context, capabilities, actions, and events unfold. If a threat becomes reality, it can cause a security breach or additional damages.
Threats that target the cyberspace are known as cyber threats, and they are the main driving force behind cyberattacks. Hackers make use of them to gain unlawful access into networks to fulfill their malicious purposes.
Cyber Threat Examples
Now that I’ve explained the concept from a general point of view, it’s time to single in on specific cases. What can you expect to see going on when dealing with a cyber threat? The five most common examples to consider at this point in the article are represented by:
- Malicious code, which is a self-executable package that activates once it enters a system, infecting everything in sight. Prevalent examples include malware, ransomware, viruses, Trojans, bots, and spyware.
- Bot attacks, which are carried out via networks of infected devices known as botnets. With their help, cyber attackers can illegitimately breach an organization’s defenses to further infect it with malware or steal confidential data.
- Social engineering, which is a set of manipulation and deception tactics used in phishing, vishing, spear phishing, and CEO fraud. Hackers send emails impersonating figures or authority or tricking recipients into believing they come from a trusted source.
- DDoS attacks, which is short for distributed-denial-of-service. Their purpose is to take down online resources such as websites, preventing users from accessing them for a varying period. This affects both the customers and employees of a company.
- MitM attacks, which is short for man-in-the-middle. This type of cyberattack entails a malicious third party placing themselves between the sender and the recipient of electronic communications.
What is Threat Protection?
Now that we’ve established what a cyber threat is and had a look at the most widely encountered examples of it, it’s time to dive into the topic of threat protection. With the aforementioned details in mind, defining it is simple.
Threat protection refers to a set of practices and solutions that enhance an organization’s defenses against cyber threats such as malicious code, bot attacks, social engineering, DDoS attacks, MitM attacks, and more. It is achieved through a combination of policies, cybersecurity education, and E-PDR software that not only detects and responds to incoming attacks but also prevents them.
Why is Threat Protection Important?
The reason why threat protection is important lies in the frequency of cyberattacks in the corporate sector, as well as the general lack of cybersecurity preparedness in all industries. Let’s have a look at some relevant facts and figures, shall we?
On the authority of the Ponemon Institute’s State of Cybersecurity Report released in 2019, 66% of small to medium-sized businesses across the globe experienced a cyberattack in the year before the study. Out of them, 57% were targeted by phishing campaigns, 33% by device compromise, and 30% by credential theft.
What is more, 45% of the small to medium businesses surveyed for the report considered their processes ineffective in the face of cyber-threats. This is also highlighted by Accenture’s Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study conducted in partnership with the Ponemon Institute, which found that 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses, but only 14% of them are properly protected for it.
How to Achieve Threat Protection
When it comes to achieving threat protection for your enterprise, it all boils down to three cybersecurity essentials: policies, education, and solutions. In the following sections, I will discuss each one at length to help you create a detailed step-by-step plan for your company’s safety.
#1 Implement Cybersecurity Policies to Minimize Risk
Cybersecurity policies are indispensable for your risk minimization and mitigation efforts, as they regulate how your entire staff should address various digital safety concerns. Here are a few instances of guidelines every company should implement:
- Password hygiene, which covers practices such as picking strong login credentials and changing them frequently. This should ideally help you and your employees avoid making common password mistakes.
- Bring your own device, which is a policy that every modern workplace needs. It deals with how employees should operate the mobile devices that they bring into the office, as well as the proper ways to connect them to the company network to avoid data exfiltration.
- Browsing habits, which determine what websites can be accessed while connected to the company network. This doesn’t automatically mean you should block social media or any other type of site that is not related to your industry, but it does condition the content employees can access online while at work.
- Incident response, which is essential in mitigation efforts when you fall prey to a cyberattack. The quicker you respond to it and take the network offline, the more chances you have to reduce damages.
- And data confidentiality, which includes GDPR in Europe or the CCPA in the United States, as well as several other practices that vary from industry to industry. The main thing to consider here is that nobody should have access to data they don’t use for their job, not even your most trusted employee.
#2 Provide Cybersecurity Education to Your Employees
Did you know that untrained employees are your biggest liability right now? A study conducted in the United Kingdom uncovered that human error is the leading cause for most cyberattacks, namely 60% of them. Your staff is your first line of defense against hackers, and putting policies in place is only the first step in ensuring they respond to incidents accordingly.
Your next step in threat protection should thus be to provide your employees with cybersecurity education opportunities that are relevant to the industry and the position they hold. The main topics you should address with this are represented by:
- How to recognize malicious links;
- How to spot malicious attachments in emails;
- How to identify impersonation attempts;
- How to browse smartly and avoid infected sites;
- And how to handle their responsibilities when it comes to data confidentiality.
These topics can be taught and discussed internally, especially if you or someone else in the company is an accredited cybersecurity professional. If that is not the case, I always recommend contacting an expert when in need. Investing in proper cybersecurity education for your company will pay off in terms of digital safety in the long run.
#3 Integrate a Complete E-PDR Suite of Solutions
As I’ve previously mentioned more towards the beginning of this article, E-PDR software plays an important role in threat protection. The acronym stands for endpoint prevention, detection, and response, a relatively new concept in the industry. It is the current golden standard for cybersecurity, as it adds a layer of prevention on top of the traditional functions fulfilled by an EDR solution.
You can achieve this type of advanced digital defense with our Heimdal™ E-PDR Suite, a complex array of cybersecurity solutions designed to offer advanced threat protection. By constantly monitoring your endpoints, the Heimdal™ E-PDR Suite closes the majority of vulnerabilities in your system, thus stopping hackers in their tracks.
HEIMDAL™ ENDPOINT PREVENTION
- DETECTION AND CONTROL
- Predictive DNS filtering with AI-driven threat hunting;
- Patch and asset management;
- Privileged access management;
- And a next-generation antivirus with integrated firewall and mobile device management.
On top of these four integrated layers, our roster contains several other advanced threat protection solutions that can enhance the Heimdal™ E-PDR Suite:
Threat protection is a relatively broad term that covers a multitude of cybersecurity practices. From the policies you adopt to how you educate your employees and all the way through to the solutions you integrate to defend your system, every step along the way matters.
When it comes to the latter, we can help you figure out what your enterprise needs. Feel free to drop a line over at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get started on the way towards complete digital safety.