The threat of cybercrime continues to rise. With many workers returning to traditional office life, cyber attacks against businesses threaten to derail commerce. Thankfully, no company has to become a statistic. Here are six straightforward ways organizations can make their headquarters safe from cybercrime.
1. Prioritize Cloud Security
If you do business at all, you probably do some of it in the cloud. Cloud computing powers the automated applications that streamline operations, and the cloud is where data is typically stored. Most cloud service providers deploy strong security measures, but that isn’t the same as being foolproof. When choosing a provider, always shop around for companies with a reputation for solid security measures.
It’s worth learning the language of cloud technology too. You don’t have to understand SLO vs SLA (service-level objective versus service-level agreement) to grasp the basics of cloud migration and the unique security challenges the move entails. Reading up on the most common threats is an excellent first step to stopping problems before they arise.
2. Strengthen Endpoint Security for Mobile Devices
Workstations, laptops, smartphones…all are endpoints on your network. If one of them gets breached, your whole network could be compromised. Traditionally, endpoint security has taken a centralized approach. With so many workers operating from mobile devices, this is no longer sufficient. Require employees to take rigorous security precautions. Installing security apps, encrypting data, and establishing passcodes are recommended measures. Instruct employees not to mix business and personal functions and to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Your security “chain” is as strong as its weakest link.
3. Emphasize Stronger Authentication
This is a fancy way of saying: “Make better passwords.” Some methods of building a password have been scientifically proven more secure than others. Statistics show that passwords combining uppercase and lowercase letters are much harder to crack than simpler ones. Adding numbers and symbols only compounds the effectiveness of a password. Take a look at multifactor authentication (MFA) options as well. One-time password (OTP) solutions are helpful for single transactions. Get everyone on board with these beefed-up password measures.
4. Train Employees Regularly
A recent study from security company Tessian discovered a frightening truth: 43% of employees admitted to making security errors at work. 85% of all data breaches were also found to have a human element. The antidote to this is training. Teach workers the warning signs of a scam. Show them how to tell a fraudulent website from a legitimate one. Enforce strict security protocols when employees talk on the phone to third parties. Cybercriminals rely on the average person’s ignorance of their tactics. Ensure that your employees are educated and possess excellent situational awareness.
5. Make Backups of All Vital Data
How you store your data can make a world of difference if a worst-case scenario happens. Making backups of everything might not seem like a priority, but a large portion of the cost of recovery from a data breach lies in recovering data. Thus, the ability to restore damaged or deleted files can facilitate a more rapid recovery. Store your backup data in encrypted drives disconnected from the internet. Flash drives and encrypted hard drives are two options worth considering. Don’t forget that hard copies in a locked safe can be a low-cost solution to a high-tech problem.
6. Use Firewall Systems
Every system should have fundamental antivirus protection. That said, the bare minimum likely is not enough. Most businesses have the same vulnerability: high levels of email traffic. Scammers often use email as a vector to transmit malicious software. A firewall system monitors your inbound and outbound emails. It will also filter and flag emails that look suspicious. With so much digital marketing done via email nowadays, it’s hard to justify not exploring firewall solutions.
Keeping your company safe from hackers is easier than you probably thought. That’s because the most effective solutions are straightforward. Start formulating your security plan today and enjoy a more secure and profitable tomorrow.