Businesses today need cybersecurity tools & technologies that protect data and systems from evolving cyber threats. 2021 was a record year for cybersecurity attacks. The Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) latest Annual Data Breach Report showed that data compromises increased by over 68 percent from 2020 to 2021. This figure exceeded the previous record of a 23 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.
Here are other key findings from the study:
- Ransomware attacks doubled in 2020 and 2021. It is now poised to exceed phishing as the leading cause of data compromises in 2022.
- Compromised data systems increased in every primary sector, except for the military (but not for lack of compromises; there had been no public disclosures of cybersecurity breaches in the military in the past year).
- Reported data breaches with undisclosed root causes rose by 190 percent.
- Data breaches that involved sensitive information like Social Security numbers increased from 80 to 83 percent.
These numbers prove what many cybersecurity experts have been emphasizing since the end of 2021: we have entered an era in which cybersecurity attacks have become more aggressive and sophisticated. It would be risky to deny the necessity of cybersecurity measures, especially if your business transacts and communicates with customers online. If you think your business is too small to catch the attention of hackers, consider these statistics:
- According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 43 percent of cyberattacks targeted small businesses in 2019.
- Half of the small businesses that suffer cyberattacks close down within six months, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The cybersecurity measures you establish today can save your business in the long run. This article covers network security tools and techniques and cybersecurity tools & technologies that businesses need to prevent data breaches and other cyber attacks.
What Is Cyber Security Technology?
One of the first questions that small and medium businesses (SMBs) should ask when they go digital for the first time is, “What is cybersecurity technology?”
Cybersecurity technology refers to the software and hardware that make up the cybersecurity infrastructure of a business IT system. It protects corporate networks from malicious attacks, along with practices (i.e., password hygiene) and processes (i.e., disaster recovery plan).
Cyber Security Equipment List
Robust cybersecurity is not only a worthy investment, but rather a necessity. In the interest of managing costs, consider the potential losses you could suffer if your digital assets are compromised and match that with a cyber security equipment list and software infrastructure that offers ample protection.
So what are the cyber security tools and equipment that boost cybersecurity for businesses? Here is a list of the essentials:
Firewalls are the most basic deterrents against cyberthreats. They monitor and filter incoming and outgoing traffic and keep out anyone who doesn’t match the network’s established security policies. Firewalls protect software and hardware assets, from individual computers to the broader private Internet network. There are different types of firewalls, and they are all essential for cybersecurity.
- Antivirus Software
Antivirus software goes hand-in-hand with firewalls in providing essential protection against malware and other types of cybersecurity threats. But while firewalls block malicious software from entering a network, antivirus software detects and removes corrupt files within the network. It also detects threats alongside firewalls, giving you a redundant security blanket that deals with external threats.
- Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certification
PKI strengthens cybersecurity in two ways: identity authentication and encryption. A PKI certificate is digital identification assigned to users, servers and data that interact in a private network. Essentially, you can verify the identity of the people you’re communicating with through PKI certificates and ensure that your communications are private, thanks to encryption. Your business can safely communicate and transact with other business enterprises with PKI.
SSL certificates for websites are examples of PKI. SSL certification encrypts the information visitors enter in a website (i.e., when filling out submission forms or requesting data) and ensures that the data goes to the right recipient. Websites with SSL certificates show a tiny padlock next to the URL on the browser.
- Penetration Testing Tools
Cyber security analyst tools include penetration testing software, which is necessary for finding any weak areas in cybersecurity. Some program developers even hire professionals to try and hack into an infrastructure to test its resilience against cyberattacks. However, IT and cybersecurity experts are the best people to handle penetration testing tools, so leave it to your IT personnel or hire a cybersecurity services provider to test your security.
- Managed Cybersecurity Detection
In addition to hiring cybersecurity providers, one of the services you should consider is managed cybersecurity detection. It’s well and good to have a strong firewall and agile antivirus software, but they are moot if no one is raising the alarm and reinforcing cybersecurity whenever they detect hacking attempts.
Each of these network security tools strengthens your cybersecurity by blocking attempts to breach your network. Should you invest in all of them? Definitely. You will need the best network security tools to keep your business protected. You will inevitably use Internet-based programs and platforms to run business-critical processes as your business grows. Additionally, you’ll need to set up secure servers to accommodate employees who’re working remotely during and post-pandemic.
What Are the Types of Network Security Tools Businesses Need?
In addition to the tools listed above, here are the best network security tools for your business:
- Identity and Access Management Framework
This is one of the essential network security tools and techniques businesses need. From emails to access to shared files and folders, you need to be aware of who has access to your network and have the power to revoke or limit said access whenever necessary. But more than granting permissions to employees, you’ll need a program that keeps a log of account users’ login activities. This helps trace accounts that may be compromised and used to breach security.
- Zero Trust Network Access
This is similar to identity and access management, except it operates under the “zero trust” security model. Zero trust security restricts access controls to applications, programs, networks and data. All individuals – employees, guests, partners, customers included – must pass an authentication process (usually multi-factor authentication) each time they want to access the business’s digital assets. Additionally, each individual only gets access to the data, applications and programs required for their duties.
The zero-trust approach is also applicable to onsite computers and employees’ mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets, personal computers, and mobile phones.
- Remote Access Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN is a staple in cyber security analyst tools and a must for businesses with employees working remotely from home. Remote access VPN creates a secure channel for a remote worker to access data and servers at your headquarters. It encrypts all data that passes between users and the data center for extra security. With remote access VPN, remote employees can work safely even when using public WiFi.
A sandbox is a software testing server where you can conduct trial runs for new patches, applications and features for programs currently in use. Sandboxing is essential for software and web developers: it creates a secure, virtual space unaffected by other running programs. Likewise, the software you test in a sandbox won’t affect any currently running programs. Sandboxes are also helpful for containing suspicious files and software. You can open PDF files and run applications in a sandbox and observe for malicious behaviors (i.e., spreading Trojans and other malware or destroying code).
- Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Systems
Cybersecurity technologies are significant assets, but you still need experts who’ll monitor your systems for irregular activities. An MDR is the best choice if you don’t have in-house expertise. With it, you’ll have a team of experts who’ll watch over your servers and business endpoints 24/7. They provide immediate backup and response should they detect real-time hacking attempts. More importantly, an MDR team will recommend appropriate solutions to protect your business from evolving threats.
- Data Loss Prevention Protocol
Redundant contingencies are better than none at all. Regarding customer information and confidential corporate data, it’s always a good idea to keep backups on backups, whether on the cloud or in your office premises. Cloud servers are ideal, however, because of their accessibility. Additionally, an MDR team can help monitor and protect your cloud databases.
You may also need additional network security tools for bespoke services and processes unique to your business. Cybersecurity experts who offer managed cybersecurity services would be the best people to ask what are the types of network security tools to add to your digital infrastructure.
Future-Proof Your Business with Appropriate Cybersecurity Tools & Technologies
In the 2021 Annual Data Breach Report cited above, the ITRC says data compromises are unlikely to wane in 2022. They add that organizations should level up their cybersecurity infrastructure instead of letting their guards down as the world enters the endemic stage of the COVID-19 outbreak.
As cyber criminals explore more sophisticated methods of breaching private networks and compromising data, you must prepare for any eventuality. Failing to do so would render your business, employees and customers vulnerable to malicious attacks. The last thing you want is for cybercriminals to know that your business is an easy target.
Getting answers to the question, “What are the cybersecurity tools my business needs?” is the first step. Putting together a robust cybersecurity infrastructure and policy is next.
With our managed cybersecurity services, Aligned Technology Solutions can help you out. We offer a wide range of services, including all of the solutions mentioned above. Ultimately, we customize solutions and services according to your needs and business goals.
Call (703) 740-8797 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.