By: Joshua Skeens

No matter how large or small your organization is, cybersecurity is critical. All organizations need to take steps to safeguard their digital assets, including identifying current deficiencies, creating a comprehensive and actionable plan, sourcing the right tools and products, and implementing the plan, and deploying the necessary tools.

Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized organizations aren’t sure where to begin. That’s where the experts at Cerdant come in. Our experienced team has been providing managed security services and solutions for over twenty years and has become a trusted cybersecurity partner for organizations across America and around the world.

The Cerdant Process: Determining Your Cybersecurity “Must Haves”

There are so many tools and products, and a lot of information out there, leaving many SMBs and other smaller organizations feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. Our team usually suggests starting with an assessment; This allows us to evaluate your network and your data, learn what steps you are currently taking, and determine your cybersecurity budget. We will also determine what important data you have, where it is being stored, and what steps you currently have in place to safeguard it.

External vulnerability assessments are a great way to gain valuable insight into your cybersecurity needs and determine your vulnerabilities and help you triage these issues so you can address the most critical issues right away.

Once we have a good grasp of your current cybersecurity posture, its current deficiencies, and what steps need to be taken (and what needs to be addressed first), we will sit down with you to discuss which cybersecurity products and services are best for you based on your budget, with an eye on getting you the most bang for your buck.

Once you have decided how you want to proceed, our team will help you deploy and manage your cybersecurity products and services. We also offer ongoing support and monitoring and are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Where to Start: Prioritizing Implementation & Deployment

The first step is always the hardest, but once you start putting one foot in front of the other, things get easier with every step. Your organization likely already has some sort of firewall or other basic cybersecurity measures in place, which means you have already begun your cybersecurity journey.

Configure & Deploy Your Cybersecurity Products & Solutions

We typically begin by getting all your cybersecurity products, such as NGFs and next-gen endpoint controls, correctly configured and online. A lot of breaches and other cybersecurity incidents are caused by malware, so safeguarding your endpoints as soon as possible is top priority.

Address Remote Access & User Accounts & Implement MFA

Next, you probably want to address any remote access and user accounts and ensure these are locked down with MFA. Just like locking your doors and windows can stop one-third of break-ins, simply adding MFA can deter many would-be attackers. The more difficult you make it for unauthorized users to break into your network, the more are likely to turn away and look for an easier target.

Ensure Your Firewall’s Firmware is Up to Date

Now that you have your absolute basics taken care of, you should take the time to ensure your firewall’s firmware is up to date. Keeping your firewall (and other software) up to date is critical because your firewall relies on whitelists and other external sources to learn about potential threats. If your software isn’t up to date, your firewall won’t know about the latest threats and vulnerabilities.

Limit Administrator Access & Set Up a Stand-Alone Domain Administrator Account

The next step is eliminating local administrator access on all employee user accounts. Even if you trust your employees to spot phishing scams and other potentially malicious links and files, removing local administrator access greatly reduces an employee’s chances of accidentally opening an infected email or downloading a suspicious file and infecting your network.

You should also consider removing domain administrator privileges from all employee user accounts. Any account that requires domain administrator privileges should be set up as a stand-alone account and used only when needed (and assigned a username that isn’t “admin” or “domain admin”). This cost-free solution is excellent for limiting attack scope should your network be compromised.

Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Every step you take improves your cybersecurity, creating a multi-layered approach capable of keeping most threats at bay. Many small and medium-sized organizations simply never get started on cybersecurity improvements because they feel overwhelmed when they look at their to-do list and envision the amount of time and resources it will take to get everything done. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, break your to-do list down into manageable sections, and focus on small, actionable, and manageable goals.

As I always like to say: Can you imagine how hard it would be to do 365 push-ups? It probably makes your arms hurt just thinking about it. Now, what if I said you had an entire year to do them: That’s only one push-up a day!

Sometimes it’s all about perspective.

Are you ready to start your cybersecurity journey? The first step is easy: you can book your security assessment in less than five minutes. For more information about our cybersecurity offerings, please visit our website.

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