Cybersecurity essentials for any organization

Alie Ashryver

Sep 4, 2023

11 min read

Eight months into 2023, and we already have numbers and stats pouring in from around the world. We have numbers and reports highlighting the average cost of a data breach in 2023. Well, if we are to believe IBM’s research, then the number stands at a little under 4.5 million USD. No amount of anxious coffee-sipping will take away from the fact that this number means a staggering 15% increase over the last three years. Quite the jump! In fact, cybercriminals are becoming more and more brazen. They are fine-tuning their skills by weaving in AI and machine learning.

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A quick skim of the news clippings and such will affirm that organizations and enterprises face the brunt of these attacks. And with cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated by the minute, the future does seem bleak. So, what do we do? Do we have a list of essentials that we can check off to be safe? Well, don’t panic yet! Here’s a look at the cybersecurity essentials to pad up your security.

Importance of cybersecurity

So, why exactly is cybersecurity so important? That’s the question. Well, there’s the obvious reason – securing cyberspace. As organizations and enterprises become increasingly dependent on digital technologies, and, more importantly, the INTERNET, cybersecurity is rising in priority. If that’s not enough to convince you, (as it shouldn’t be 😌) here are some other reasons that might move you.

Protection of sensitive data:

Organizations handle a significant amount of sensitive and confidential data. These include anything and everything from customer information and financial records to intellectual property and trade secrets. A breach in cybersecurity could lead to the loss or theft of this data. And the next thing you know, you are drowning in financial losses and legal liabilities. Consequently, your organization’s reputation suffers.

Maintaining customer trust:

In an era of data privacy regulations and heightened consumer awareness, maintaining the trust of customers is essential. A cybersecurity incident can erode trust and loyalty, thus motivating customers to take their business elsewhere.

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Compliance with regulations:

Many industries are subject to stringent data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the healthcare sector. Moreover, significant fines and messy lawsuits are the direct consequences of non-compliance with these regulations.

Operational continuity:

Cyberattacks can disrupt essential business operations. Consequently, leading to downtime, loss of productivity, and financial losses. A well-executed cyberattack can render an organization’s systems and networks inoperable, causing disruption to day-to-day activities.

Protection of financial transactions:

As more and more financial transactions occur online, organizations must ensure the security of payment systems and online transactions. Breaches in these systems blow open the door for fraudulent activities, financial loss, and reputational damage.

  • Protection against financial loss: The stats for the year 2023 show that the average cost of a data breach across the globe sits at an all-time high of $4.45 million. Also, the cost of recovering from a cyberattack can be substantial. Basically, organizations may need to invest in restoring systems, conducting forensic investigations, notifying affected parties, and implementing additional security measures to prevent future attacks. And, of course, let’s not forget the fines, litigation lawsuits, and all that legal headache.

Safeguarding intellectual property:

Enterprises invest significant resources in developing intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Cyberattacks aimed at stealing or sabotaging this valuable information can result in competitive disadvantages and lost market opportunities.

Preventing cyber espionage:

Organizations are vulnerable to cyber espionage, where adversaries attempt to gain access to sensitive information, including trade secrets and proprietary information. Consequently, this can lead to a loss of competitive advantage and potential damage to national security in certain cases.

Supply chain security:

Organizations often collaborate with various suppliers, vendors, and partners. Basically, a weaknesses in the cybersecurity of one entity within the supply chain can have a cascading effect, potentially compromising the security of the entire ecosystem.

Mitigating insider threats:

Insider threats, whether intentional or accidental, pose a significant risk. In fact, employees, contractors, or other insiders with access to sensitive systems can inadvertently or deliberately compromise security.

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So, you see, there are a lot of reasons why cybersecurity is a critical priority. But then again, what all does cybersecurity entail?

What does cybersecurity encompass?

It encompasses a range of technologies, processes, practices, and measures designed to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital information and systems. The central objective of cybersecurity is to safeguard digital resources and mitigate the consequences of cyberattacks, aiming to maintain their security. In fact, cybersecurity involves various components and strategies, including:

  • Network security: Implementing measures to secure networks and prevent unauthorized access. Accordingly, these include deploying firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and VPNs.
  • Information security: Protecting sensitive data through encryption, access controls, and data loss prevention (DLP) tools to prevent unauthorized disclosure or theft.
  • Endpoint security: Securing individual devices (such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, etc.) against malware, viruses, and other threats.
  • Application security: Creating and updating software applications with a focus on security. Consequently this will prevent vulnerabilities and defend against application-level attacks.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): Managing user identities and controlling their access to systems and data through authentication, authorization, and other activities like multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Security awareness training: Educating employees and users about potential threats and cybersecurity best practices, thus reducing the risk of social engineering attacks.
  • Incident response: Developing plans, strategies, and procedures to respond effectively to security incidents, mitigate their impact, and recover from disruptions.
  • Vulnerability management: Identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in systems and software to minimize the potential attack surface.
  • Penetration testing: Conducting controlled, simulated cyberattacks to identify weaknesses in security measures and improve defenses.
  • Security auditing and compliance: Regularly assessing systems, networks, and processes to ensure compliance with industry regulations and best practices.
  • Threat intelligence: Monitoring and analyzing emerging threats and attack trends to proactively identify and address potential risks.
  • Cybersecurity policies and governance: Establishing and enforcing organizational policies and governance structures to guide cybersecurity practices.

And so,

Well, cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field due to the dynamic nature of cyber threats and the rapid advancements in technology. New attack methods emerge, and cyber criminals continuously adapt their tactics, making it crucial for organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest security measures and practices. Also, cybersecurity plays a critical role in protecting sensitive information, maintaining operational continuity, and building trust among customers, partners, and stakeholders in today’s digital age.

Cybersecurity essentials 101: Understanding the functions…

So, I realized something after countless sessions of internet surfing and sifting through a gazillion articles flagged for the keyword ‘cybersecurity.’ The concept of cybersecurity, as such, is vast, and its functionality is widespread. But, be that as it may, it’s not entirely outside the scope of our understanding. And so, here we are…

  • Identify: This function involves recognizing and understanding potential cyber risks, vulnerabilities, and threats within an organization’s systems and networks. It includes activities such as asset inventory, vulnerability assessments, and threat intelligence gathering.
  • Protect: The ‘protect’ function entails implementing measures to safeguard systems, networks, and data from various cyber threats. This includes access controls, encryption, network segmentation, and the deployment of security technologies like firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
  • Detect: Detecting cyber threats on time is crucial to minimizing potential damage. Accordingly, this function involves monitoring systems and networks for signs of suspicious or unauthorized activities through means of continuous monitoring, intrusion detection, and security event logging.
  • Respond: When a cybersecurity incident occurs, the ‘respond’ function focuses on swiftly containing and mitigating the impact of the incident. Incident response plans are executed to effectively manage the situation, minimize data loss, and restore normal operations.
  • Recover: After an incident, the ‘recover’ function is responsible for restoring systems, networks, and data to their normal state. Accordingly, this includes assessing the damage, restoring backups, and implementing necessary changes to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • Govern: Effective governance is essential for setting policies, standards, and procedures related to cybersecurity. This function involves establishing a framework for cybersecurity management, allocating resources, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Basically, organizations need to integrate these functions into their cybersecurity strategy to establish a robust defense against the looming titan of cyber threats.

Cybersecurity essentials for organizations:

Ooookay, now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get down to business. What can organizations do to notch up their cybersecurity infrastructure? Well, here’s a look at the cybersecurity essentials for any organization or enterprise.

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Deploy network firewalls to control incoming and outgoing network traffic. And thus prevent unauthorized access!

Regular software updates:

Keep operating systems, applications, and software up to date with the latest security patches to address known vulnerabilities.

Strong authentication:

Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accessing systems and sensitive data. And so, you can easily add an extra layer of security beyond passwords.

Access control:

Limit user access to only the resources and data they need for their roles (RBAC). You can also try to apply the principle of least privilege (PoLP).


Encrypt sensitive data both at rest and in transit using strong encryption protocols to prevent unauthorized access.

Secure configurations:

Apply secure configurations to endpoints, disabling unnecessary services and features that could be exploited.

Network segmentation:

Implement network segmentation to isolate different types of endpoints. And thus, limit lateral movement in case of a breach.

Secure VPN and remote access:

Ensure that remote access to corporate resources is secured using encrypted VPN connections and other secure remote access solutions.

Web application security:

Implement measures such as web application firewalls (WAFs) to protect against attacks targeting web applications.

Application allowlisting:

Use application allowlisting to allow only approved applications to run on endpoints, reducing the risk of unauthorized or malicious software.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM):

Utilize MDM and MAM solutions to manage and secure mobile devices, apps, and data. Additionally, these solutions offer capabilities like enforcing security policies and remote wiping.

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM):

Implement RMM tools to monitor and manage endpoints remotely, enabling quick response to security incidents.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP):

Deploy DLP solutions to prevent unauthorized data leakage or transfer from endpoints.

Backup and recovery:

Regularly back up critical data and systems to ensure data recovery in case of ransomware attacks or other data loss incidents.

Incident Response Plan:

Develop and regularly update an incident response plan that outlines steps to take in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

User awareness:

Continuously educate users about emerging threats and best practices to maintain a security-conscious environment.

Compliance with regulations:

Stay informed about industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements related to data security and privacy.

Whew! That’s a long list, isn’t it? But, what if you could just invest your time, energy, and money in a single solution that could handle all of this for you? Wouldn’t that be great? Well, you’re in luck! Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions like Hexnode can easily take care of all these and more.

Hexnode: The one-stop shop for all your cybersecurity essentials

Hexnode is a robust Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution that can help organizations check their cybersecurity essentials list with ease. By integrating a range of powerful features and capabilities, Hexnode empowers organizations to safeguard their endpoints, secure sensitive data, and fortify their cybersecurity posture. Accordingly, it offers a centralized hub for managing a diverse array of endpoints, including computers, mobile devices, tablets, and even IoT devices. This comprehensive control enables organizations to monitor, manage, and secure their entire digital ecosystem from a single interface.

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With the ability to deploy and manage security configurations, including those for BitLocker, FileVault, etc., Hexnode ensures that endpoints remain fortified against a broad spectrum of cyber threats. Hexnode also simplifies the critical task of OS update management by automating the installation of OS updates. And so, this ensures that endpoints remain up to date with the latest software updates and security fixes, thereby closing potential vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals.

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Moreover, Hexnode’s reporting and monitoring functionalities enable organizations to perform regular audits, ensuring compliance with cybersecurity standards and regulations. The ability to analyze and track device activities provides valuable insights to detect and address potential security anomalies.

Bottom line…

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field due to the dynamic nature of cyber threats and the rapid advancements in technology. Consequently, new attack methods emerge, and cyber criminals continuously adapt their tactics, making it crucial for organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest security measures and practices.

And so, we’ve come to the end of our musings on cybersecurity essentials. However, remember that these essentials serve as a foundation for creating a robust cybersecurity posture. Organizations should tailor their cybersecurity strategy based on their specific risks, industry, and technology environment.

Alie Ashryver

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Gimme a pen and paper and I'll clear up the cloud of thoughts in ma head...

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