Businesses across all industries need to invest in cybersecurity. But given the many security services available in the market, which ones should your business prioritize based on your industry trends? The answer largely depends on the most common cyberthreats that your industry faces and the compliance regulations that your company is subject to.
The four most targeted industries that we see as an MSP are manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and government organizations. These industries all obviously have their unique forms of data and information that make them appealing to cyber criminals. Below are the most important security services for each of those four industries.
Cybercriminals target manufacturers because of the critical role they play in global supply chains. A successful attack on a manufacturing company can have a ripple effect across multiple industries, putting greater pressure on manufacturers to give in to an attacker's demands and avoid that impact.
That being said, it shouldn’t be surprising that, in 2021, the manufacturing industry was the most attacked sector, with ransomware being the most common threat.
To protect yourself as a manufacturer, you must pay special attention to two security services in particular: Anti-Malware and Managed Detection and Response (MDR).
Manufacturers must invest in anti-malware solutions to protect IT systems and connected machines from malicious software like ransomware. These solutions are designed to detect, quarantine, and remove malware to prevent any potential damage or disruption.
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Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
A MDR service provides an all-in-one security platform that combines advanced analytics, machine learning capabilities, and threat intelligence to detect any suspicious activity in a network. MDR also includes incident response plans to help manufacturers quickly respond to a cyberattack, minimize the damage, and recover quickly.
Charles IT’s Managed Detection and Response solution detects intrusions, malicious activity and malware, and assists in incident response to remediate threats (Learn more).
Aside from routinely handling large sums of money, companies operating in the financial services industry also store highly valuable records, such as personal information, credit card and loan details, wills, estates, and titles. These make the industry a highly attractive target for cyberattacks.
To bolster your security posture as a financial services institution, you should absolutely be investing in data encryption, security awareness training, and vulnerability scanning.
Encryption converts data into a format that's unreadable to anyone without the decryption key. This means that even if cybercriminals manage to steal your company's or customers' data, they won't be able to make use of it. One of the most common scenarios where data encryption comes into play is when an employee’s device gets lost or stolen. In that scenario, no matter who the device ends up with , the data will be useless to them.
Security Awareness Training
In 2021, phishing scams accounted for the majority (46%) of cyberattacks on the financial services sector. Since phishing attacks rely on deception to get victims to divulge sensitive information, the best defense against such attacks is to conduct employee security awareness training. With proper training, employees won’t easily fall for tactics that cybercriminals commonly use. At Charles IT, we refer to this as creating a “human firewall”.
Vulnerability exploitation was another major cause (31%) of cyberattacks against financial services in 2021. This type of attack relies on finding and exploiting software or hardware security holes to breach IT systems. To prevent such attacks from happening, financial services institutions must undergo regular vulnerability assessments.
The gist of a vulnerability scan is to be proactive about looking for compromised areas within your network and addressing them before a hacker has the chance to exploit them.
Protected health information (PHI), such as patient diagnoses and treatment details, is a hot ticket item and can easily be sold on the dark web. That's why cybercriminals often target healthcare organizations, knowing that they are likely to have this kind of sensitive information on hand.
To really give cybercriminals the cherry-on-top, the healthcare industry is increasingly embracing the use of smart medical devices. While these devices help improve the delivery of patient care, they also create new points of entry that cybercriminals can exploit.
Along with data encryption and vulnerability scanning, healthcare organizations should also be prioritizing endpoint security and security information and event management (SIEM).:
Healthcare organizations need to invest in endpoint security, not only to protect their IT systems and networks, but also to secure connected medical devices. Endpoint security includes a wide range of services, from antivirus protection to patch management. This is important for an instance where a device may get lost or stolen. That data then becomes unreadable to any malicious actor.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, healthcare organizations are required to monitor and record all user access and activity surrounding electronic PHI. A SIEM service fulfills this requirement by collecting and analyzing data from all company devices and systems 24/7 to provide network visibility, enabling healthcare organizations to quickly identify and respond to any suspicious activity.
Nation-state threat actors and hacktivists are constantly targeting federal, state, and local government IT systems. If the government sector succumbs to a cyberattack, it can impact entire communities and even threaten our national security. This is why government agencies, and government contractors, should implement next-generation firewalls and be regularing employing penetration testing and dark web monitoring.
Government organizations should undergo regular penetration tests to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Penetration tests, or “Pen Tests”, simulate an attack on an organization’s IT infrastructure, allowing staff to identify and mitigate any exploitable vulnerabilities.
To protect against malicious network traffic, government agencies must invest in next-generation firewalls. These firewalls come with a range of advanced features, such as cloud-delivered threat intelligence, intrusion prevention, and packet inspection capabilities. Firewall updates consist of software bugs and performance corrections. By maintaining the latest firewall software, your firewall will always have the best in class tools for security and management.
Dark Web Monitoring
Government organizations need to utilize dark web monitoring services to scour the internet’s hidden corners for stolen confidential information and any activities related to their agencies. You’ll receive an alert if any sensitive data is detected, which will allow you to take immediate action. If you receive an alert, the best practice is to immediately terminate or change credentials that have been exposed. If you don’t do this, the cyber criminals who acquire that information may have a direct route into your network.
All in all, there are plenty of ways a cyber criminal could attack your company network, but there is always something you can do to minimize the risk or counteract an attack altogether. Charles IT offers a comprehensive suite of managed IT security services that can keep businesses from any industry safe and secure. Talk to our IT security experts today!