Cybercrime is a big concern for companies worldwide. In severe cases it can lead to a total disruption of business services and cost millions of dollars. By the year 2021, the financial toll of cybercrime will likely amount to trillions of dollars.
Large corporations like, Uber, Yahoo and LinkedIn have all been victims of serious attacks. Smaller ones have not been spared either. In fact, smaller firms might be at higher risk because they are seen as easier targets by hackers.
As a technology professional, of a small or large corporation, you need to take continuous steps to secure the safety of your data. Here are a few simple ways you can stay ahead:
1. Educate and train your staff
Employees can be one of the easiest ways to enter your systems. This is why educating them on the dangers of habits like accessing unsecured networks, opening suspicious looking emails, not changing their passwords and/or sharing those passwords is critical.
Once you have done that, you should also make sure to keep your staff up to date on the latest security developments in the industry. In particular, your IT team should have the opportunity to attend workshops, conferences and webinars where they can learn new techniques that can then be implemented in the workplace.
2. Keep your anti-virus up to date
This seems somewhat obvious but the reason antiviruses get updated is so they can combat the latest threats. It might help to enable an auto update function so that you are always protected. To this add a firewall for an extra layer of security. Go ahead and encrypt sensitive data so that should it fall in the wrong hands it is not usable.
3. Use a 2-step verification method
This helps to protect you even if a hacker has stolen your password. It prompts the system to send a message with a code, RSA token or an authenticator to a backup device you have specified.
4. Have data back-ups
Backups need to be part of your security plan. They can ensure continuity of business in case an attack cuts off access to your system. Be sure to keep your backup in a different location. Transferring your data to the cloud or backing it up is a measure savvy companies have adopted.
5. Restrict access to sensitive areas and safe guard your hardware
It is easy to ignore physical spaces when we think of cyber security. Remember to limit the number of people who have access to your server room (if you still have one) for instance. Your data can also be breached by someone simply stealing a company laptop. Have controlled access to your premises to minimize this threat.
6. Do security checks regularly with trained cybersecurity personnel
One way to stay ahead of cyber security issues is to hire a Chief Security Officer. This dedicated resource will ensure that your company’s data is always safe. They will also give you the freedom to concentrate on core business tasks without having to constantly worry about your cyber security.
In the event that you are not ready to hire a full time CSO, periodically work with a security consultant. They can not only train your staff but also help you assess the health of your system.
7. Stay connected with industry professionals
Thanks to podcasts, conferences newsletters and trade publications, there is an abundance of information from experts in cyber security. Sometimes it can just be a matter of following them on social media to be front and center when they next release information. And when you get the information, go a step further and implement it so that your security system is kept up to date.
Cyber security will be most robust if it is a company wide effort. Keeping abreast with the trends in the industry is something managers can also encourage their staff to do.
8. Have an incident response plan
In the unfortunate event that you do in fact face a cyber-attack, what happens next? You need to be able to quickly respond and get your business running again.
An incident response plan will typically include; key personnel to contact, ways to assess the severity of the attack, protocols clearly defining incident types and threat levels, ways to make an inventory of your assets, a recovery plan and a way to interface with customers should there be need to.
Cybersecurity should be a priority for every modern business no matter what size it is
The cost of not paying attention to cybersecurity is simply far too high a risk. Take on this pressing challenge with a coherent plan; the IT experts at ASB Resources can help you put together a cybersecurity strategy designed specifically for your particular business needs. Reach out to the team at ASB Resources to learn more.