Key cyber security tactics to prevent your business from becoming a headline

cyber security tactics

As headlines continue talking about the latest high-profile cyber attacks, it's clear that no company is immune to the threat of cybercrime. The fallout from a successful attack can be disastrous, from the loss of critical data to reputational damage and legal liability. However, by implementing key cyber security tactics, your business can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to a severe attack.

In this blog, I’ll explore some effective cyber security tactics you can deploy to protect operations and valuable assets. Whether you're a small business owner or an enterprise-level executive, these tactics are essential for any organisation looking to stay ahead of the ever-evolving cyber security landscape.

Identify your key data and assets

Knowing your sensitive data and its location is a crucial first step for securing your business. Cyber criminals often target businesses to gain access to sensitive data, such as intellectual property, financial information, and personally identifiable information (PII).

When identifying sensitive data, you must start by taking inventory of your digital assets. Look at more than your files and databases; account for devices connected to your network, such as laptops, mobile phones, and IoT devices. Once you have identified your digital assets, you should categorise them based on their level of sensitivity and the potential impact of a security breach.

A risk assessment evaluates potential threats and vulnerabilities that could exploit your digital assets. Conducting a risk assessment can help you prioritise security measures based on the value and potential impact of different assets. To conduct one, you can start by identifying vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords, outdated software, or lack of access controls. Then, assess the likelihood and impact of a security breach and the effectiveness of your current security measures.

Once you have identified your sensitive data and assessed your risks, you can prioritise security measures accordingly. For example, you may need to implement stricter access controls for highly sensitive data, such as requiring multi-factor authentication or limiting access to only those who require it.

Implement strong access controls

Access control is a critical component of any cybersecurity strategy. These manage who can access specific digital assets or information within an organisation. It involves using policies, procedures, and technology to ensure only authorised users can access sensitive information and systems.

One of the most effective ways to secure user authentication is by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide multiple forms of identification to log in, making it more challenging for attackers to gain unauthorised access. Typically, MFA requires users to provide something they know (a password) and something they have (a phone) or something they are (a fingerprint).

Another effective access control measure is limiting user permissions based on their role. By granting users access only to the information and systems they need to do their job, your organisation can limit the potential impact of a security breach. For example, if an attacker gains access to an account with low access, they can only view the data and systems the employee has permission to access.

It is also essential to regularly review and revoke access for former employees or contractors. Often, these accounts remain active long after the individual has left the company, leaving the door open for unauthorised access. By revoking access to these accounts, your organisation can reduce the risk of a security breach.

Regularly update and patch your systems

Keeping software and operating systems up-to-date is crucial to prevent vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. Software vulnerabilities are weaknesses in software that attackers can exploit to gain unauthorised access to a system or steal data. For example, zero-day attacks exploit a software vulnerability unknown to the developer or vendor.

Software vendors regularly release security patches to address vulnerabilities they have discovered. You should apply these updates as soon as possible to avoid leaving systems vulnerable to attack. Delaying updates can give attackers time to discover and exploit vulnerabilities, resulting in a potential data breach or system compromise.

Automatic software updates are a convenient way to ensure that systems and software are up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes.

Promptly replacing end-of-life software is another tactic for staying up to date. End-of-life software refers to software no longer supported by the vendor, meaning it does not receive security updates or bug fixes. Using end-of-life software can leave systems vulnerable to attack, so replacing it with a supported version or a suitable alternative is crucial.

Train your team on cyber security best practices

People are a very weak link when it comes to cyber security. Threat actors know this and often use social engineering tactics, such as phishing emails and phone scams, to trick employees into divulging sensitive information or installing malware on their devices. Therefore, educating employees on identifying these attacks and how to respond to them is crucial.

You give your team the knowledge to identify phishing emails by looking for red flags such as unusual sender addresses, urgent or threatening language, and requests for sensitive information. They should also avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources and verify the authenticity of any requests for sensitive information before providing it.

Regular security awareness training sessions can help keep employees up-to-date on the latest threats and best practices. These sessions should cover topics such as identifying phishing emails, avoiding phone scams, and creating strong passwords – to name a few.

Use security tools and services

Your business should also leverage security tools and services to enhance cyber security tactics. Here are some of the most common security tools and services that your business can leverage:

Firewalls are a crucial component of any cyber security strategy. They act as a barrier between your network and the internet, blocking unauthorised traffic while allowing legitimate traffic to pass through. Firewalls can be implemented as hardware or software and customised to allow or deny traffic based on specific rules.

Anti-virus and anti-malware software detects, prevents, and removes malicious software such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. It can scan files, email attachments, and web pages for known threats and block them from executing on your system.

Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS) detect and prevent unauthorised access to your network. They monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious activity, such as port scanning or brute-force attacks, and block the traffic before it can reach your network.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a security tool that collects and analyses security data from various sources, including firewalls, IDS/IPS, and anti-virus software. It can provide real-time alerts for suspicious activity and help businesses respond quickly to potential threats.

It is important to note that security tools and services alone are not enough to protect your business from cyber threats. You should use these with other security measures such as employee training, policy development, and regular security audits.


By implementing these key cyber security tactics, you can protect your business from the potentially devastating consequences of a cyber attack. Regularly reviewing and updating security measures is crucial to staying ahead of evolving threats and ensuring your business stays secure. By taking proactive steps to protect your business against cyber threats, you can reduce the risk of becoming a headline and keep your data, team and customers safe.

VISITS can guide you in implementing the right protections for your business

Though we often see large corporations featured on the news, the reality is that cyber attacks impact companies of every size. So, you need a comprehensive and systematic approach to assessing your needs, analysing current controls and implementing improvements.

This is where VISITS’ CISO as a Service comes in. With our principle of ‘Less talk, more action’, we focus on building a strategy that delivers methodical and tangible improvements. Visit our CISO as a Service page for more information and to book your complimentary cyber discovery session.

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