Balancing Proactive and Reactive Cyber Defenses

Cyber incidents can harm all types of businesses and come in various forms. Anything from phishing,malware, ransomware, and system failures, can cause a serious domino effect that can affect a company’s reputation and profits.


In most cases, a cyber incident will result in data loss or downtime. This can include loss of confidential information, customer data, or business records. In some cases, a cyber incident can also cause business interruption or financial loss.


We can all agree that no one wants their business to be hacked. A single cyberattack can rob you of your time, money, and peace of mind. In addition to getting systems operational and data restored, you must let all affected parties know that their data may have been compromised. This can be a difficult situation to navigate for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.


In this blog, we’ll provide you with proactive and reactive approaches to tackle a cyber-attack, cope with the aftermath of a hack and prevent future incidents.


Proactive steps to implement By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your business from the evastating consequences of a cyberattack:


Routinely update your passwords


It’s critical to update your passwords regularly to help keep your accounts safe. By updating your passwords every six months, you can help protect your accounts from being hacked.


Here are a few tips on how to create a strong password:


  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Avoid using easily guessable words like your name or birthdate
  • Use a different password for each account
  • Don’t reuse old passwords

Use a virtual private network (VPN)


A virtual private network encrypts your company’s data and gives you complete control over who has access to it. This can aid in the prevention of data breaches and the protection of your company’s information. However, make sure to select a reputable provider offering robust security features.


Ongoing cybersecurity awareness training


As a responsible business executive, you must ensure that your company’s security awareness training program is comprehensive, engaging, and adaptable to new threats. In today’s digital age, this is critical to protect your business.


Phishing tests


Phishing is a type of cyberattack that employs deceitful techniques to try and obtain sensitive information from users or cause them to download malicious software. Phishing attacks can be highly sophisticated and challenging to detect, which is why it is essential to periodically test your employees to assess their vulnerability to this type of attack.


Monitor Access Controls


Access granted to the wrong users can be detrimental. It is critical to ensure that you monitor access controls to prevent any situations where the wrong person has unauthorized access. This can be done manually or automated with tools.


Use multifactor authentication (MFA)


Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires a user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource such as an application, online account, or a VPN. It is used to ensure that digital users are who they say they are by requiring that they provide at least two pieces of evidence to prove their identity. Each piece of evidence must come from a different category: something they know, something they have, or something they are.

These are some great tips and topics that all SMBs should know:


  • Know how to spot a phishing email
  • Practice safe online browsing
  • Avoid downloading content from sketchy websites
  • Create strong passwords 
  • Maintain healthy cyber hygiene


Reactive steps that you should consider leveraging


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has an incident response framework that includes the following: 




Do you know all your areas of cyber risk? These should all be identified and included in your response plan. By understanding each area of risk, you can minimize the impact of security breaches. 




Developing appropriate safeguards can protect your business and ensure that essential services can continue.




Early detection gives you the ability to detect irregularities in network activities. It is important because it will ensure that your sensitive information is not affected by an event such as an unauthorized user gaining access. 




Having a plan to be able to respond to and detect cyber events is vital. This critical component should be included to contain and investigate further so that a resolution can be found.




The goal is to minimize any disruptions from affecting business as usual, so that you can be up and running in a short time without it affecting your employees, their productivity, and business in general.


It is essential to have the right balance between a reactive and proactive approach for your cybersecurity strategy. This means that you’ll need the time, expertise, and experience to dedicate to it.  However, if this is something that your business cannot commit to then you should collaborate with a partner like us to get you started. Feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation with us here. 


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