Proactive vs. Reactive Cybersecurity


When evaluating their level of cybersecurity, IT departments take two general approaches — proactive and reactive. The latter is common and refers to cybersecurity efforts when and after an incident occurs. However, many organizations neglect to think proactively about cybersecurity.

To fully protect networks and systems and the mission-critical and potentially sensitive data they contain, your business needs a strategy with reactive and proactive measures. Gain insight into both cybersecurity tactics from M.A. Polce.

Why Is Cybersecurity Needed?

Cyberattacks appear to rise continually. According to Security Magazine, global cyberattacks went up 38% in 2022, and researchers predict that various issues will cause these instances to skyrocket in 2023. Cybersecurity is essential because it allows organizations to protect data and computer systems (i.e., hardware, software, networks, applications) from myriad cyberattacks.

Since cybercriminals frequently devise new means of accessing and obstructing corporate information, organizations cannot realistically depend on a single approach to cybersecurity. They need dynamic solutions that include reactive and proactive methods to account for the increasing number and growing complexity of cyber threats.

What Is Reactive Cybersecurity?

When your IT team realizes a cyberattack has occurred and begins steps toward understanding and remedying the situation, this is reactive cybersecurity. If you detect the threat before it can have a significant impact, reactive cybersecurity may involve identifying the attack sequence and deflecting hackers. If the attack were successful, it would likely include determining how to limit the resulting damages. The following are common reactive cybersecurity tactics:

  • Using anti-spam/anti-malware tools to identify malicious payloads
  • Inspecting firewall logs for traffic analysis
  • Conducting forensic analysis of security events
  • Reviewing syslog and file integrity monitoring logs for unusual activity
  • Quickly patching and updating important network equipment that is not current


What Is Proactive Cybersecurity?

With proactive cybersecurity, your business operates like a hacker to search for vulnerabilities before the real threat actors can find them. The purpose is to ensure your organization maintains a high level of cybersecurity on all fronts.

A prime example of proactive cybersecurity is awareness training for employees. These sessions educate IT teams and other personnel on cybercriminals’ techniques to avoid falling prey to attacks as easily. Other strategies include:

  • Attack surface management
  • Proactive endpoint and network monitoring
  • Threat hunting and threat intelligence with managed detection and response (MDR)
  • Penetration testing
  • Risk and security assessments
  • Regular patching and updating of network equipment


Do Companies Need both Proactive and Reactive Cybersecurity?

While reactive cybersecurity gives you the tools for effective incident response, you won’t know how to strengthen your environment and remain vulnerable to future attacks without proactive cybersecurity. Conversely, no matter how informed you are on proactive cybersecurity, you cannot eliminate the threat of cybercrime entirely, making reactive techniques vital.

A comparison chart that displays the proactive and reactive components of a comprehensive cybersecurity program

The Risk of Not Having Strong Proactive Cybersecurity

The biggest problem is that hackers constantly develop new tactics to evade even the most advanced security measures. Engaging in regular, preventive cybersecurity ensures that you are doing everything possible to thwart an attack. Still, it’s unrealistic to think that you can put measures in place and forget about them; it takes a continuous effort to stay in front of the latest threats. And, with over 1,800 cases of data compromises in the United States in 2022, being able to respond to security incidents is critical. However, as most companies would agree, preventing them from happening in the first place is a far better option.

Enhance Business Cybersecurity with M.A. Polce

The best cybersecurity approach includes both reactive and proactive aspects. Still, it can be challenging to craft the right strategy if you lack cybersecurity knowledge or have limited personnel and resources. For assistance in maintaining a comprehensive cybersecurity program, consider outsourcing your efforts to a managed security services provider (MSSP) like M.A. Polce.

Proactive and Reactive Cybersecurity Services in NY

As an MSSP and MSP (managed services provider), M.A. Polce delivers affordable, high-quality cybersecurity services to small and medium-sized businesses throughout New York State. With our help, you can stay on top of the latest developments, receive guidance with assessment and compliance, and gain outside expertise to oversee your security practices. We also prevent you from needing to hire in-house professionals to take on extra work.

For more information about implementing a robust cybersecurity strategy with proactive and reactive approaches, or to learn more about our services, contact us today at M.A. Polce.


M.A. Polce partners with Cisco, the global technology giant, to deliver cutting-edge IT and cybersecurity solutions. Their collaboration offers businesses of all sizes access to Cisco’s advanced networking and security technologies, ensuring fortified digital landscapes against emerging threats. M.A. Polce’s certified experts work closely with clients to design bespoke Cisco-based solutions, optimizing efficiency and safeguarding critical data. Together, they provide unparalleled service and support, empowering organizations to thrive securely in today’s interconnected world.


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