You would have to live under a rock not to know about the state of internet crime. It seems like you constantly hear about new data breaches at big companies. The problem is that larger organizations aren’t the only people at risk.
You can’t take security lightly when internet crime increased by 31% in 2020. That’s why it’s crucial to put advanced systems in place to protect your business.
If you haven’t invested in continuous security monitoring yet, you’re putting your business at greater risk than necessary. Keep reading to learn what’s involved with cybersecurity monitoring and why investing makes sense.
What Is Continuous Security Monitoring?
Continuous security monitoring is a method of monitoring a computer network to look for threats. Many security approaches are reactive. You notice a threat on your system and take action to stop further damage.
Continuous monitoring is a different approach. Instead of being reactive, you take a proactive approach to monitoring your computer network. You have a threat database of known issues and stop them before they make it into your business network.
You must do this because traditional security approaches are no longer good enough to protect businesses. Hackers now have sophisticated attacks, so you need to be on guard for those threats constantly.
Now that you know what continuous monitoring is, let’s take a look at how it’s used in business.
Identify Your Data Sources
The first step to implementing a monitoring solution is to figure out what you need to protect. Not all your data is valuable. For instance, you may not need to put personal files on computers behind firewalls and servers to protect them.
The data that matters most will be the information vital to your business operations. It’s also operational data that competitors can use to take advantage of your business.
Look through all computer equipment for this information. Once you know where your data is, work to isolate it on your network to ensure it’s protected from people who don’t need to access it.
Find Your Endpoints
Now that you know what information you need to protect, you need to find the entry points to your network. These points are the computers in your organization that connect to the internet.
Ideally, you’ll have a single server as the basis of your computer network. All your office computers will connect to this server and run all data through there. However, this isn’t always possible.
You need to identify these points because your monitoring system needs to track all of them. You’ll be able to configure your system with this information once you pick your software.
Figure Out Your Risk Levels
Now that you know where your data is and how people can access it, you need to perform a risk assessment on your files. Not every business file you have will have great importance. On the other hand, other files you need to protect others at all costs.
Look through every piece of data your business has. The files critical to your daily operations need constant protection. Other important information to watch for is sensitive customer data.
You need to put these files behind the most security to ensure nobody has unauthorized access.
You don’t have to be as strict with information that isn’t as important. However, there are less resource-intensive monitoring processes you can still use for this information.
Find a Monitoring Solution
Now that you know which information is critical to protect, you need to find a monitoring system to take on the job. The good news is that you have plenty of options.
One way to ensure you have everything you need is to find specialized solutions. Some monitoring jobs are unique, so it pays to have specialized software for the job.
There are also generalized solutions that don’t specialize in anything. These are great for lower-risk items that aren’t as critical.
Of course, you must be careful to pick the right solution to ensure you get all the features you need. Contact a managed IT support company to get the help you need with this process.
Determine a Maintenance Schedule
Your software doesn’t stay effective forever. Software companies find bugs and security issues that compromise computer networks as time goes on.
That’s why a big part of a monitoring solution is software updates. You need to run software checks constantly to see if there are any updates to your systems.
If you do find any updates, you need to install them as soon as possible. If you don’t want to immediately install updates on production systems, set up a test environment. Doing this will let you test these updates to ensure you don’t run into any compatibility issues after installation.
Regularly Audit Your Security System
Even if your CMS technologies work great today, that doesn’t mean they will a month from now. The world of cybersecurity moves fast. There may be new threats you aren’t prepared for that can breach your defenses.
That’s why you need to monitor your monitoring systems’ effectiveness constantly. Set up a system of audits that checks the effectiveness of your security to ensure it stops every threat.
You may need help doing this, so it pays to work with a security company to get help. They will audit your current system and point out any issues they find.
Benefits of Network Security Monitoring
Now that you know what it takes to set up a continuous security monitoring system, you have to be wondering if it’s worth the effort. Read the points below to learn why every business needs monitoring.
Protect Against Advanced Threats
Not every online threat is noticeable. Hackers find ways to breach security systems all the time, and those methods take time for security professionals to learn. The one thing you can be sure of is that these threats happen through unusual means.
That means you can monitor for unusual internet traffic on your computer network and block anything that looks suspicious. Doing this will help you stay ahead of the game instead of constantly responding to security breaches.
Follow the Law
It isn’t only smart to protect your business network to safeguard your data. In many cases, it’s also required by law. There are many laws that govern data security today, and that number will likely increase in the future.
This is especially important if you run a business in a highly regulated industry. Industries like healthcare and finance cover even more sensitive data than traditional businesses. Because of that, you have to do everything possible to protect the data you store.
A monitoring system will help you do this and ensure you don’t run a business that doesn’t comply with the law.
Rely on Automation
You can handle a lot of security issues with traditional security measures. Anti-malware and similar software do well at keeping computer systems clean. Your security team probably also does a great job at monitoring what happens on your network.
However, you can only do so much when you have limited insight into what’s going on. People make mistakes, and incremental systems don’t catch stuff when they aren’t running.
Continuous security monitoring works better because much of the process is automated. You can rely on an automated system to keep guard and alert you about issues.
Scale Your Security
It’s hard to scale security when you rely on manual methods. You’re limited by the number of employees you have, which means it costs a lot to grow a company’s security capabilities.
Since you automate much of your security with continuous monitoring, you have many more scaling abilities. In most situations, you’ll have more security protections with less work.
Faster Threat Response
Speed is critical when responding to security threats. Every second you waste is more time a hacker has access to your systems. You can’t afford any slowdowns if you want to minimize damage.
Since the continuous security monitoring process is automatic, it can shut down many threats for you. That means your team has extra time to get into position to close security holes. Your monitoring solution will give you that time to ensure your data remains safe.
Put an Information Security Monitoring System in Place Today
With all the risks on the internet these days, you can’t be too careful when running a business. It only takes a single mistake to compromise your entire company, so you need to use every tool at your disposal to reduce that risk.
Continuous security monitoring is one of the best ways to watch what happens in your business and stop threats before they happen. Set up a monitoring system today to watch over your company network.
Check out the blog if you want to read more technology advice that will help you run a successful business.