The world is more interconnected than ever, which even smaller businesses can take advantage of for unprecedented growth. Sadly, reliance on the internet also exposes companies to threats increasing in variety and frequency. Read on for the importance of cybersecurity.
Devising precautions to deal with such threats has become part of the cost of doing business. Yours cannot afford not to implement them, so here’s a broad overview of where to start.
Security-focused Company Culture and Employee Training
You’ll find several strong cybersecurity precautions below. However, they won’t be effective if the entire company doesn’t commit to their implementation. Many small business owners don’t see the need to invest in cybersecurity.
They think their company isn’t significant enough to steal from. Almost 50% of companies Accenture surveyed were the victims of cyberattacks. Only 14% had measures to combat them.
Training everyone on the importance of high cybersecurity standards will quickly reap benefits. Informed employees are less likely to become victims of ransomware attacks or phishing. They also understand why implementing better security practices is important and can adapt more quickly.
Security measures are not foolproof. Yet, proper maintenance ensures cybercriminals have more difficulty hacking into your system. You’ll want to establish guidelines for all devices connecting to your network, including BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). These need to have antimalware and antivirus software with automatic updates enabled.
Creating a whitelist of approved software ensures a standardized ecosystem. It helps employees keep up with updates too. Running the latest software version unlocks the newest features. You’re benefiting from the most recent bug and security fixes.
Restricting file access is also a must with several benefits. Limiting access to employees with good reason to use a file reduces the theft risk. It narrows the suspect pool if a breach does happen. Keeping access logs helps pinpoint the time and endpoint from which an attack occurred. This improves response times and lets your security team isolate affected devices.
You should also consider hardware updates, if less frequently. Older hardware might stop being compatible with OS updates, leaving it vulnerable to threats.
A power surge or ransomware attack can spell disaster if only one copy of your files exists. Always have up-to-date backups in place. Keeping these on physical media off-site is a common practice. However, cloud storage may be a better option.
Cloud storage space is highly scalable. You can expand or downsize it based on seasonal trends, yearly growth, etc. Storage providers encrypt the files and keep multiple backups. Losing data stored in the cloud is impossible, even if several servers go down. It is a secure way of storing data and all your business-related information.
Employees who need a file can get to it anytime from anywhere. A group can work on projects stored on the cloud simultaneously, and everyone gets instant access to the most recent version.
Strong Password Policy
Phishing is among the chief security breach causes. It involves impersonating official messages to trick people into giving up their contact or login information. Enforcing strong passwords and frequent password changes is one way of battling it. Each password also needs to be unique. A single breach is severe but can become nightmarish if someone uses similar passwords to access critical files and services.
Human error is easy to exploit, so start using a password manager. These helpful programs automate the password generation & update process. Each employee can get as many credentials as they need, yet only has to keep a single password in mind.
Two-factor authentication further reinforces password security. Some employees might find the extra step inconvenient. However, that minor inconvenience can prevent unauthorized login attempts and make you aware of them in the first place.
Regularly Conduct Security Audits
You may have implemented the best cybersecurity measures, but are they doing their job? That’s for regular security audits to establish. This in-depth review can uncover several vital statistics. They include hardware & software performance assessments, unaccounted-for security vulnerabilities, and the company’s status regarding compliance with industry standards and laws.
The amount and sensitivity of stored data and the number of endpoints determine optimal security audit frequency. Even so, the point of the audit should be to identify, assess, and respond to recent and significant risks that day-to-day operations didn’t recognize.
The internet has made finding a niche to thrive in or reach millions of customers much more straightforward. However, companies must be aware of the risks and adopt a set of best practices to minimize and deal with them.
Cybercrime exploits the willfully ignorant and unprepared. It prays on our trusting nature and easy-going attitude. Preventing it requires companies and their leadership to account for such notions, set them aside, and develop strong security practices. Doing so may avert disaster while enabling you to focus on the business side of your enterprise.