By: Karen Cohen on May 13, 2023
The Best Cybersecurity Tools To Protect Data & Infrastructure
As a business leader, you know that your IT infrastructure is critical to the success of your organization. You strive to put in place all the protections you need to keep your infrastructure and data safe.
Many customers ask us what is the best cybersecurity tool they can put in place to keep their business safe from cyber threats.
While I’d like to say that implementing one specific tool will keep your entire business safe, the truth is that the best cybersecurity tool is a combination of safety precautions.
Let’s use home security as an example. Most people lock their windows and external doors. Some put up a fence or have trained dogs to protect their property. Others put up motion sensitive outdoor lights. In some neighborhoods, alarm systems are routine.
Each of these solutions provides a certain level of security and, while none of them prevent all crimes, combining the tools provides the strongest protection.
The same concept is true with cybersecurity. Each tool provides some security (and is better than nothing), but maximum safety requires several tools working collaboratively.
While there is no one perfect cybersecurity solution that guarantees 100 percent protection, in this article we’ll explore a variety of tools that combine to provide strong security solutions for your infrastructure.
Which Combination Of Cybersecurity Tools Best Prevent Attacks?
A combination of strong tools provides the best protection from the latest cyber threats.
Here are 14 important cybersecurity tools that every business should consider implementing:
1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA uses a combination of information to authenticate users and confirm their identities before providing access to data or systems.
In addition to a traditional username and password, MFA typically requires at least one other form of identification. This other form of identification can be a passcode from a physical token or fob, a code from a text message, or another form of authentication from your phone.
Related article: What Is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)? Do I Need IT?
2. Password Managers
Password managers securely save multiple passwords for your applications in a virtual vault where they are all protected behind one secure, unique password.
Password managers can save unique username and password combinations for numerous applications, streamlining the login process for users who use a variety of applications and websites every day.
The user has only to remember one username and password that they use to log in to the password manager.
Once logged in to the password manager, users select an app and their username and password automatically populate to log them in to any of the apps stored in the password manager.
Related article: 3 Advantages and Disadvantages Of Password Managers
3. Vulnerability Scans
An IT vulnerability scan is a tool used to determine possible security gaps that could expose your network and devices to hacks.
The tool discovers and scans every device on your network to see what ports are open and which of the communication protocols in use could expose you to an attack.
For example, maybe you haven’t installed all of the software security patches, leaving doors open for unauthorized people to gain access.
Related article: What's An IT Vulnerability Scan? What Are The Benefits? Do I Need One?
4. Penetration Tests
A penetration test is basically an ethical cyberattack that you authorize an IT professional to perform on your network.
Experts performing penetration tests perform a hands-on, manual investigation of vulnerabilities that exist on your network to determine what could happen if they were exploited by a person with malicious intent (from inside or outside your organization).
Related article: What Is IT Penetration Testing? What Are The Benefits? Do I Need It?
5. Mobile Device Management Tools
As the name implies, mobile device management (MDM) tools ensure that the information on the mobile devices of your users is kept safe.
With so many employees working outside traditional office space, employees are more likely than ever to access email, applications, or data remotely via a mobile device.
MDM provides the ability to wipe sensitive information from mobile devices in the event they are lost or stolen.
Related article: What Is Mobile Device Management (MDM)? How Does It Benefit Business IT?
6. Virtual Private Networks
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) establish a virtual point-to-point connection that allows data to travel unseen and unchanged through a private tunnel.
A VPN encapsulates data (preventing it from being seen by casual observers) and restricts access to authorized users.
VPNs also protect the integrity of the data, ensuring that it remains unchanged in transit.
Related article: What Is A Virtual Private Network (VPN)? Does My Business Need One?
7. Spam Email Filters
Anti-spam filters check emails against industry-standard spam and virus controls as well as specific criteria you define.
Inbound and outbound items that fail these checks are quarantined and not delivered, reducing dangerous and unnecessary inbound email and preventing the distribution of malware, spam, and viruses to your contacts.
8. Next-Generation Firewalls
Modern firewalls protect your organization from threats like ransomware, crafted packet attacks, and exploits targeting unpatched applications or operating systems.
They deeply inspect network traffic for unusual behavior and malware and protect your users through content filtering. Learn everything you need to know about firewalls.
9. Antivirus Software & Anti-Malware
Anti-virus and anti-malware protect against the latest viruses and malware. They provide analytic and monitoring tools that identify suspicious network activities before they affect your infrastructure.
There are numerous commercially available options and many external providers include it in their comprehensive managed IT support services offering.
Interested in finding out more about managed IT support services? Learn what's included in managed IT and what it costs.
10. Cybersecurity Policies & Procedures
If you don’t already have them, consider implementing cybersecurity policies and procedures to ensure that everyone has the same information and is held to the same standard. Review and update this information regularly.
Related article: 7 Characteristics Of A Successful Cybersecurity Policy
11. Application and Operating System Updates
Developers and software publishers regularly release updates designed to increase security against cyberthreats.
Install updates quickly to ensure your applications and operating systems have the latest protections against cyber threats.
Related article: Why Do I Need To Patch & Update Business Software & Operating Systems?
Guard against cybersecurity threats of any type by maintaining current backups of your data.
Make sure you know how to access the most current backup to minimize your organization’s risk of long-term shutdown and lost revenue when you experience a cybersecurity event.
Related article: Data Backups Are Key To Disaster Recovery
13. Restrict Access
Smaller organizations often give users full access to install software or change settings on their devices. While this can be convenient because it limits the need for IT oversight, it also takes away a major layer of protection and can give employees access to sensitive information.
Restricting access to only what is necessary helps keep your information safe from users with malicious intent.
Related article: What Is Role Based IT Access? (Benefits For IT & Users)
14. Employee Security Awareness Training
Employee security awareness training is the most often overlooked cybersecurity tool.
Related article: What's The Most Frequently Overlooked Cybersecurity Tool?
Statistics attribute around 90 percent of cyber attacks to human error.
By training your team to learn to identify and recognize common threats, the role they play in protecting company information, and how to report suspicious activity, you can turn your weakest link into a strong, effective human firewall.
The most effective forms of employee security awareness training include ongoing monthly learning modules, completion reporting, and custom simulated phishing attacks. Regular training keeps cybersecurity top-of-mind.
Related article: 3 Topics Every Security Awareness Training Must Include
What's The Bottom Line?
After reading this article, you have a better understanding of how multiple tools work together to provide the best security for your organization.
We've discussed MFA, password managers, vulnerability scans, and penetration tests. You've learned about MDM, VPN, spam filters, firewalls, and antivirus/anti-malware software.
You've learned the importance of cybersecurity policies & procedures, updates, backups, and restricting access.
Most importantly, you've learned about the most commonly overlooked cybersecurity tool: employee security awareness training.
With this new knowledge, you can make informed decisions about the best tools to keep your organization safe and prevent cyber attacks.
You may have an internal IT staff that can help you implement the tools your organization is missing. Or, you may be considering working with an external IT support services provider to shore up your security profile.
The important thing is that you commit to constantly upgrading your tools to stay ahead of the latest (and always changing) cyber threats.
If you decide to work with an external provider, we encourage you to explore several options so you get the right fit for your organization.
We take this advice so seriously that we've even done some of the legwork for you. Check out this article for an honest, head-to-head comparison of managed IT service support offering of Charles IT and Kelser based on publicly available information from the websites of both companies.
Why do we publish information about our competitors? Our goal is to make sure you find an IT partner that is the right fit for you. We understand that not everyone will be a good fit for Kelser. Rather than push you to work with us, we provide the information you need to find the best provider for you.
If you find yourself wondering if Kelser might be a good option for you, click the button below and we'll reach out to schedule an informal phone conversation to learn about your technology pain points and explore whether we are a good fit to work together.
Or, if you are still wondering whether you have all of the cybersecurity tools you need, click the button below for a free, self-assessment cybersecurity checklist you can use to determine your cyber readiness.