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5 Focus areas to build a robust cybersecurity strategy

Harold de Vries


Many organisations have set on a journey of digital transformation. This journey has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic with putting in place systems and processes to allow working from home.

However, digital transformation requires 100% uptime for organisations. Cybercriminals have realised this and are taking advantage of this opportunity for them. That is why the development and implementation of a complete cybersecurity strategy is essential for every organisation and should be a priority for Senior Management.

Every business should start with the following mindset:

“We are a target for hackers and a cyber attack or data breach can happen to us”

Too many organisations we meet don’t consider themselves a likely target for hackers. This can be because they are “only a SME business,” or “we have nothing valuable on offer for hackers to exploit or to be interested in.”

Did you know that 40% of all data breaches in 2021 targeted small businesses?

Did you know that 57% of SME businesses are targeted through phishing attacks?

In the UK alone every single day there are 65,000 attempts to hack SME businesses!

Therefore the first challenge is to actually understand and recognise the need and urgency of having a robust cyberstrategy in place. A cyber security strategy that is supported by technology that will protect your increasingly digitised operations.

If the best cybersecurity strategy is one that covers all bases, where do you start and what should it include? Let’s look at five essential focus areas.

1. Cybersecurity shouldn’t be only the IT Team’s responsibility

We mentioned it before, but cybersecurity must be the responsibility of the entire business, starting with the board-level executives. Cybersecurity is too important to make your IT Team the sole responsible party for it. Senior Management or Executives should be attending any discussion around pro-active prevention of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and treating them as a business priority.

Security strategies are often considered a large investment with little measurable return. In reality, the actual cost of downtime, repairs and damaged reputation can be catastrophic to a business.

You can compare investments in pro-active cybersecurity measures with your investment in physical building security. You invest in access management, CCTV, security guards, etc., but how do you measure the return on this? Is that by not losing equipment to theft? Cybersecurity is similar, you invest, so you don’t lose your Intellectual Property, your data, your vendors’ data or your customers’ data through theft.

2. Be pro-active about prevention

Once your business understands the importance of implementing a robust cybersecurity strategy, it is vital to think about the preventative steps you can take to mitigate any disasters from happening. A reactive approach is more common than a proper pro-active strategy. However, both should be thought about in parallel to achieve optimised security and IT resilience.

There are great technologies available for effective prevention of cyber threats. You should research the tools and applications that are designed to test, track, monitor and react.

3. Data Privacy and Security

Data security is crucial for every business, big and small. The data can be of any type, but what you need to be aware of is this data contain valuable information. Moreover, it is to keep in mind that if this data is lost then it is often impossible to replace. In addition, if this data gets in the hands of cybercriminals then they can cause serious harm such as identity theft.

Every organisation needs to enforce a data security policy to protect the data. And in order to set this policy, an organisation should understand and follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Understand the value: Every business stores several kinds of data, some may be more valuable than others, but remember that “no matter what kind of data it might be, it is always valuable and important to someone”.
  • Handling and protecting the data: If an organisation’s data are stored in a single computer or server and if it is not connected to the internet, then protecting the data could have been an easy task. However, that’s not the case in the real world. Today, the collected data is passed on from one person to another for marketing purposes. Some even share it with key partners. So, when this data moves from one point to another it can be exposed to several harmful factors such as cybercriminals. Therefore, as an organisation, you should set up a policy on how to handle this data properly and securely. Also, keeping in mind who will be handling this data, where will it travel, and where will it be stored.
  • Restrictions on access to the data: Not every employee needs access to all the data of an organisation. For example, a marketing staff or a sales executive doesn’t need to be allowed to view or access employees’ payroll data. So, when you are analysing the types of data stored, it is important to assign who can access based on the data.

4. Network security

Although this seems to be obvious, many of times this can be an overlooked item. Most organisations will have a decent level of network security, however some areas can easily be overlooked.

An organisation’s network should be separated from the public internet. Therefore, a policy should be enforced such as adopting firewalls to monitor and filter incoming and outgoing traffic.

We recently had a meeting with a prospective customer. When we deployed our pen testing solution, we could access their network through their public domain and communicated with their printers in the office. Clearly, this organisation hadn’t separated their network from the public internet, creating critical vulnerabilities.

Every organisation should identify the network’s boundary and entry points. Moreover, after identifying the boundaries it must be evaluated to determine which type of security protocols should be implemented based on boundary and entry points.

5. Email security

Email plays a crucial role in our everyday business. It’s used to communicate with clients, colleagues or vendors. However, email isn’t considered a secure channel of communication because of cyber security threats and vulnerabilities.

Did you know that 94% of all malware is delivered via email?

Therefore, it’s needless to say every organisation must implement a strong email security policy. Let’s discuss a few methods you can implement:

  • Enforce a Strong Password Policy: A strong password should be a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, along with numbers and symbols. Also, the minimum number of characters of a password should be eight.
  • Spam Email Filter: Set up a spam filter to detect unsolicited or malicious email and prevent it from getting into email inboxes. However, implementing such filters also blocks important emails by mistake because of the content in the email. So, ensure that filters are reviewed regularly to not let this happen.
  • Secure Outbound Emails: The reason why the success rate is so high with email attacks is that hackers impersonate a legitimate email domain to trick the users. Therefore, to protect your business and your customers, outbound email security is required.

Moving forward

To secure your organisation, there are several parameters that you need to focus on. Prioritising on which security measures should be implemented first is essential for building your strategy. All a cybercriminal needs is one single loophole to exploit your network and take what they want. We hope this article provides you with a framework for building and implementing your cyber security strategy.


Hackurity is redefining cyber security through our innovative, automated and powerful cybersecurity and attack simulation tools. Taking a unique outside in approach, our solutions are designed to replicate real hacker attacks to find and fix vulnerabilities before hackers do. Focused on prevention, we reduce the chance of a successful cyberattack on any business by up to 95%

Founded in 2021, has the dream and mission to make being connected to the internet safer for all businesses and ultimately for our next generations. Headquartered in The Netherlands, offers its world class cyber securitysolutions to businesses around the world.
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