As cyber threats become more complex, the cost of preventing them is simultaneously rising, but the good news is that improving your security stack doesn’t have to exhaust your IT budget.
Even the most secure systems are not 100% immune from attacks, and when those attacks result in a successful breach, they can cost businesses millions. According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, global data breach costs have increased by 15% over the past three years, reaching a record $4.5 million per incident. Over that same time period, the cost of detecting the breach and escalating security responses increased by 42%.
There are effective, low-cost solutions you can implement today to make huge impacts on your overall cybersecurity strategy.
5 Cost-Effective Security Solutions
Closing gaps in your security stack starts with conducting regular risk assessments and security audits. Take a close look at your software systems, security controls, data management tools and strategies, and security policies to identify weaknesses. Once you know where the gaps are, you can determine which additional security measures you need to implement.
Here are some of the most impactful, cost-effective changes you can make to your security stack:
Use a Password Manager
The vast majority (81%, according to Verizon,) of hacking-related data breaches are related to compromised passwords. An average individual uses between 70 and 80 passwords for personal and work-related accounts. That’s a lot of information to remember, and many employees try to simplify by using the same password for multiple accounts or choosing something easy to remember (such as a birthdate or name). Unfortunately, these practices make passwords easy for hackers to crack, giving them access to your organization’s sensitive data.
A password manager stores and manages credentials so that employees need to remember only one master password. Some password managers can also make logging in easier with auto logins, secure password sharing, role-based access, and remote integration.
Implement Privileged Access Management
Think of your administrative accounts as the “keys to the kingdom.” These accounts give a user rights to make changes or updates throughout your system. In the wrong hands, they can provide a foothold to do significant damage. The best way to protect your system from compromised accounts is to limit access to these accounts using a privileged access management (PAM) tool.
PAM minimizes risk associated with privileged accounts by removing admin rights and operating with the principle of least privilege. In other words, access is granted only when and where it is needed, and only for the duration of that task. With a robust PAM tool, you can eliminate the risk of unauthorized access to your admin accounts through compromised credentials, shared passwords, phishing attacks, or poor user practices. You can also automate access management to reduce the burden of handling admin requests manually.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires another form of identification in addition to the password for each login. According to Microsoft, MFA can stop over 99% of attacks designed to compromise your account. Because of its demonstrated effectiveness, MFA is required by many cyber insurance providers as a hacking preventative measure.
If you use a password manager, MFA is likely already built into the tool. If you don’t have a password management tool, then start with a standalone MFA solution at the minimum.
Create a Plan for Remote Access
Remote workers can present an added risk for organizations that don’t have effective security measures in place. Organizations can address this risk by implementing an encrypted solution such as a virtual private network (VPN) or Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts traffic sent from the remote worker to the company network, creating a “virtually private” environment even when accessed offsite. VPNs still carry some security risks, however, which is why many organizations are opting for SASE instead.
With SASE, organizations do not need to maintain separate VPNs and proxies. Instead, the SASE provides remote access to all applications in the cloud. It is a simpler and more cost-effective solution than a VPN, and it allows companies to enforce security policies and least-privilege access even for remote users.
Stay Up to Date with System Upgrades and Patches
Don’t neglect regular updates for software systems and applications across your organization. These updates are designed to fix bugs and vulnerabilities that could put you at risk. Build updates and maintenance into your regular security assessment to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Boost your Security Stack with CyberFOX
In addition to implementing the tools above, one of the most important (and cost-effective) security measures you can take is to regularly train your team in security policies and best practices. Teach them the importance of strong passwords, give them the knowledge to recognize phishing attempts and scams, and train them in responsible use of the Internet, email, and sensitive information.
At CyberFOX, we support your security efforts with solutions that automate and standardize identity access management:
- AutoElevate by CyberFOX – Use our PAM solution to remove local admin rights and protect your environment without frustrating end users.
- Password Boss by CyberFOX – Our password manager is a multi-layered security solution that makes password management efficient and cost-effective.
Ready to put our solutions to the test in your environment? Start a free trial!