What Can Companies Do Against Threats To IT Security?

No matter how well planned and implemented, every IT system can have weak points. If specific attacks to circumvent the existing security measures are possible, the system is vulnerable. If an attacker uses such a weak point or vulnerability to penetrate an IT system, the IT security principles of confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, or liability may be threatened.

Introduction To An IT Security Management

Since every possible threat represents a risk for the company, a risk assessment should determine the probability of damage occurring and the resulting amount of damage. After a risk analysis and evaluation of the company-specific IT systems, IT security measures can be selected, introduced, and monitored for the respective business processes of a company. IT security management controls this process.

Use Of IT Security Standards

The selection and implementation of standardized procedures can also be part of IT security management. These IT security standards try to reduce the complexity of IT security management with recognized rules and establish an appropriate level of IT security.

Awareness: Training And Raising Awareness Among Employees

Mistakes and negligence of our employees are the leading causes of damage. Accordingly, the most common causes of data leakage are social engineering, phishing, and carelessness. Therefore, employees and the many risks they bring to IT security can become a significant company problem. Therefore, companies must sensitize their employees to IT security through training courses.

For this purpose, a training concept tailored to the threat situation of the company should be created, and the training of the employees should be carried out either internally or by training providers. It is also essential to monitor the effectiveness of the training activity. This can also happen, for example, as part of an exercise in which an IT security incident is simulated.

Infrastructure Security

The buildings in which a company is located should also be adequately protected. This includes protection against environmental influences, technical faults, and appropriate access security. Nothing is worse than when the IT fails for a long time, for example, due to water damage or when unauthorized persons steal hardware. The typical security measures include:

  • Fire protection concepts.
  • Emergency power supply.
  • Adapted safety devices.
  • Regular maintenance.
  • Access control for parts of the building that need protection.

Data Backup And Emergency Preparedness

An emergency is a damaging event in which essential processes of a company do not work as intended beyond the extent of disruption. A planned and organized approach guarantees optimal emergency preparedness and response. In the event of data loss, availability must be restored quickly. Therefore, all critical data should be backed up regularly to be restored after a damage event.

Secure Configuration And Maintenance Of IT Systems

Weaknesses in IT systems are often caused by faulty hardware and software configuration or by outdated programs. Attackers often use known vulnerabilities to penetrate IT systems. It is therefore essential to keep the software used up to date. Likewise, critical hardware and software components should permanently be configured by experienced administrators.

Use Of Secure Passwords And Authentication Methods

Authentication is intended to establish the authenticity of a participant. A user can prove their authenticity by entering a password (secret information), using a chip card (use of property), or by biometric features (fingerprint). In particular, using insecure passwords that are too short and easy to guess using technical means should be avoided. A reasonable level of security can be achieved by using secure authentication methods such as chip cards or by using password guidelines and secure passwords. The use of software for securely managing and specifying passwords should also be considered.

Protection Against Malware And Software Vulnerabilities

Malware ranks second in the ranking of enterprise security threats. In the past, the norm was undirected computer viruses and worms, which usually completed their work of destruction at random. Still, recently there has been an increase in attacks with particular targets – often also as commissioned work.

The main protection option is the use of so-called antivirus software, which usually detects malware with the help of detection patterns. However, only known viruses and other malicious programs can be seen via their signatures. Many malicious programs also use vulnerabilities in programs to penetrate IT systems. It is therefore essential to always keep them up to date.

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