How Do I Know My Security Posture?

Published January 16, 2024
by Dave Stenger

“Security posture” or “cybersecurity posture” are terms information security officers and IT personnel know well. However, they could be unfamiliar phrases to small and mid-size business owners or organizations where cybersecurity hasn’t previously been a priority. With more business conducted, services provided, and sensitive data stored across digital environments, organizations must consider security a critical element in their operations. As news of cybercriminals attacking businesses of all sizes and industries multiplies, many organization leaders ask, “How do I know my security posture?”

What is Security Posture?

Security posture, or cybersecurity posture, refers to an organization’s overall approach to cybersecurity, including its readiness or ability to manage and mitigate potential security risks and threats. Think of your business’s cybersecurity posture as a fortress against digital threats. It’s a combination of practices, technologies, and policies that work together to protect sensitive information, systems, and networks from cyber threats. With a strong cybersecurity posture, organizations can significantly reduce the risks of cyberattacks, protect digital assets, and maintain a positive public image of security competency. 

How to Enhance Your Cybersecurity Posture in Simple Terms

Creating a strong cybersecurity posture may sound complex, but it’s about taking simple, proactive steps to protect yourself and your organization from digital threats. Imagine you’re building a fortress to keep your digital assets safe. Key steps to building your stronghold (security posture) follow.

Perform an Inspection With a Risk Assessment

Discover the cyber threats your business might face, such as phishing, ransomware, or data breaches. Figure out where your digital defenses might be weak. Are there outdated software, unsecured access points, or unaware employees?

Lock the Gate With Passwords 

Use strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Do not use the same password across multiple accounts. Avoid easily guessable passwords like “password123” and passwords based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed. Use the longest password or passphrase permissible, using a combination of words, numbers, and symbols that’s easy for you to remember (develop mnemonics) but hard for others to guess. Consider using a password manager program to keep track of all your passwords. 

Reinforce the Walls With Updates 

As you mend a leaky roof, regularly updating your software and systems patches up vulnerabilities. Keep your software, operating system, and apps up-to-date. Turn on automatic updates to provide consistent protection without remembering to update manually.

Guard the Entrance With a Firewall and Secure Wi-Fi

Activate your computer’s built-in firewall. It’s like a security guard at the entrance of your digital home, controlling what goes in and out. Consider using a reputable antivirus software that includes a firewall for added protection. Additionally, set a strong password for your company’s Wi-Fi and don’t share it with anyone outside the organization. Create a separate guest Wi-Fi network to give visitors access to your Internet connection and nothing else.

Lock Doors With Access Controls

Imagine your business’s digital assets as rooms in the building. Access controls are like door locks, ensuring only authorized individuals can enter. Decide who needs access to what. Not everyone should have the keys to every room.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Double Locks the Doors

Enable two-factor authentication when available. It adds an extra layer of security, like having a deadbolt and door handle lock on your door. Consider using authentication apps or security keys for 2FA instead of relying solely on text messages.

Keep a Spare Set of Keys With Backups

In a digital break-in, having backups is like keeping a spare set of keys. You can still access your important data. Regularly back up your important data. Use an external hard drive or a cloud service to store your backups so your data is safe if something happens to your device.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Don’t open your door to strangers. Be cautious about clicking links or opening attachments in emails from unknown sources. If an email or message seems suspicious, double-check with the sender before taking action. 

Prepare an Incident Response Plan

Even with the best defense, unexpected things can happen. An incident response plan is like having a fire escape plan, mapping out what to do if there’s a security breach. Outline the steps to take if there’s a security incident and keep it up-to-date.

Conduct Family Meetings

Schedule regular cybersecurity awareness sessions to stay updated on the latest threats and protective measures. Educate your employees about basic cybersecurity practices and set up clear channels for reporting security concerns. 

Building a strong cybersecurity posture is about forming good habits and being mindful of potential risks. By following these simple steps, you can begin to create a more secure digital environment, protect your data, and minimize the risk of cyber threats.

Introducing RAMPxchange

RAMPxchange is a collaborative marketplace facilitating information sharing and innovative resources among organizations committed to strengthening their cybersecurity posture. Gaining a better understanding of your organization’s cyber readiness and capabilities is the first critical step in bolstering your security posture. Contact us today to learn more and join RAMPxchange, where we’re committed to empowering individual organizations to help build stronger security posture nationwide and globally.