Considering the increase in the number of remote workforces, companies must find ways to address their increased exposure to cyber-related risks. As organizations have transitioned to a digital business environment, they have been faced with new and unique challenges that must be addressed head-on to protect vital and confidential business information.
Organizations face numerous threats such as attacks from skilled and advanced attackers as well as other types of malware, viruses, ransomware, social engineering, opportunistic hacking, and many others. Regardless of the current security posture of your company, there are ways in which you can build stronger defenses against such attacks or at least lessen the resulting damage.
Periodic cybersecurity assessments are essential to any effective security plan because the assessments highlight the strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed. An assessment gives a clear picture of the steps that need to be taken to secure your environment, which allows you to prioritize resources and avoid wasting time and money on ineffective efforts. After gaining a solid understanding of a traditional gap analysis, you should proceed with a risk management approach to your cybersecurity assessment. Set priorities and analyze appropriately those items that you may want to consider deferring.
Your organization can only be as strong as its weakest link (the least informed employee). There could be an unaware employee with weak passwords or an unfortunate victim who falls for phishing and social engineering scams. Make sure your team is aware of the fraud schemes used by cybercriminals, and how to identify a suspicious email or telephone call, especially if it appears that the call is legitimately coming from a friend or another department. Make sure that your team is familiar with security policies and practices aligned with best practices. Build a team environment as part of your training initiatives, too. Encourage all team members to be responsible for each other and become extensions of your security team.
Additionally, you ought to consider hiring cybersecurity professionals. Hiring an outside expert can boost your chances of fending off an attack.
The IT support professionals at onestopit.com strongly advise small businesses to prevent exposure to cyber-crime by opting for hosted security solutions, especially as cloud-based business solutions improve.
Secure Your Network and Data
Operating systems and security software need to be automatically updated to fix security flaws, so users must never ignore update prompts from the Bureau. Firewalls should also be set up as they act as a “gatekeeper for all inbound and outbound traffic.” Additionally, spam filters should be turned on which will help reduce the amount of spam and phishing emails businesses receive.
Activate Data Encryption
Encryption transforms data into a secret code so that it cannot be read over a network, which is why businesses must encrypt their network and data when they store and share data. This is accomplished by setting custom router settings or by downloading and installing a virtual private network (VPN) software package on computers and other devices.
Practice Privileged Access Management
When you evaluate the tools your company uses, make sure you have taken the time to establish access privileges, either by team members, job function, or level. Simply put, keep people from obtaining full access to a tool, system, or network unless they are administrators. All other employees should only have access to areas, functions, and data that pertain to their direct job responsibilities. This way, if an attacker does manage to gain access to someone’s account by using their credentials, their amount of destruction will be limited to the rights that are defined solely for that individual.
External Cyber Intelligence
It is vitally important to keep an eye out for external networks and landscapes that can pose challenges. Cyber intelligence is an integral element of an effective cybersecurity program. By monitoring the dark web, as well as by employing other methods of cyber intelligence, you can gain insight into possible attacks in the planning stages, the criminal networks likely to target you, and how they intend to carry them out. Furthermore, you may also be able to identify credentials or information that may be in circulation in underground markets. Based on this information, you can construct an effective defense strategy.
In conclusion, while you focus on safeguarding digital assets, do not overlook the role physical security plays as well. In many cases, attackers can collect login credentials, trade secrets, enterprise schematics, and other valuable and exploitable information simply by entering a building or data center physically. Provide security best practices, including badged entrance, camera surveillance, and visitor supervision.
Also, ensure that employees are prepared for protecting their environment when in remote environments such as when traveling or visiting the local coffee shop. Keeping private calls, conversations, and screens while working in these external environments are a few of the tips you should remember when your employees are working outside of a home office.
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