Business looks different these days. In many cases, new working models are pushing cybersecurity to the brink — even well beyond it. Security measures are being tested like never before as more sensitive data passes between dispersed teams and clients.
At the same time, cybercriminals are becoming more adept at breaching networks, devices, and other tools and assets. Even if your team isn’t remote, new threats that pertain to on-site employees, too, are appearing and wreaking havoc every day.
But there are ways to avoid worst-case scenarios. Here are five of our top cybersecurity strategies.
- Perform a Regular Security Audit
You don’t know what you don’t know, and when it comes to cybersecurity, ignorance is not bliss. IT security is a moving target. With increasingly frequent attacks that exploit both people and technology, a regular security audit is essential.
We recommend an annual comprehensive assessment of your security posture and exposure that addresses these key areas:
- Network: For many businesses, employees are connecting to networks from everywhere. Assess whether connections are secure and proper levels of control, established.
- Hardware: Dated devices are one of the easiest ways for hackers to break through. Working hardware should be up to date and old devices destroyed properly.
- Software: Today, business takes place across an endless stream of devices, applications and services. Be sure licenses and programs are compliant and up to date, otherwise, they’re an easy target for cybercriminals.
- Cloud services: Cloud hosting should align with industry standards, and sufficient backup protocols need to be in place to restore critical functions in case of a breach.
- Company policies and procedures: Employees must know how to use the tools provided and follow procedures. An assessment will let you know where more training may be necessary.
- Enhance Email Rules & Practices
Email is the primary way most professionals communicate and share information. Cybercriminals know and exploit this. Unsecured emails can leave your business vulnerable to a variety of attacks. Luckily, there are best practices to protect against all of them. Here are three simple ways to enhance your email security:
- Mandate employees to strengthen passwords: Passwords should be hard to guess and include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols and should be changed every quarter.
- Implement multifactor authentication (MFA): Require employees to provide two or more verification factors. For instance, have them enter a password and answer a security question.
- Be wary of email attachments and links: Even if companies use email scanning or malware blocking software, some nefarious content can make its way through. If something is unverifiable, do not open it.
- Safeguard Your Network
Especially with the rise of the remote worker, a secure network is key. Precautions should be taken to ensure emails, messaging, other communications and files are managed through secure, private channels.
Consider requiring remote staff to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access company resources, data, applications and documents. Not only is it safer, but also it can promote productivity by offering more flexibility and accessibility.
Implementing a unified threat management device (UTM) is worthy of consideration as well. UTM hardware or software combines several security features to protect against a number of threats, including malware, phishing, viruses, hackers and ransomware. Unlike some tools, a UTM does not just protect individual devices; instead, it safeguards entire networks by scanning all network traffic and filtering out malicious activity.
- Engage Your Entire Team
The best IT security won’t protect your business if not fully implemented. Commit to ongoing cybersecurity training for all employees. As threats evolve, it only makes sense that the measures taken to safeguard against them do too. Make it a priority to continue to train your team in best practices in all key areas (mentioned in tip #1).
This includes ensuring all employees have the knowledge and tools they need to comply with policies and procedures. But keep in mind, even with these systems, a breach can occur. Employees should know how to identify, respond to and report a threat to your IT department or IT consultant.
- Plan for Anything
Security breaches aren’t inevitable, but you should plan as though they are. By taking precautionary steps up front and remaining diligent, there is a strong likelihood that your data and assets will remain unscathed from attempted attacks. And, if your company does fall victim, it certainly does not have to end in disaster.
One of the best lines of defense is to be able to restore data from backups. For instance, air-gapped backups are a great idea. By saving your data on a physical tape, it cannot be corrupted by malware. With this method and others, just be sure all data is backed up regularly. This way, even if a breach occurs, virtually nothing will be lost and in the case of ransomware, no money will have to be paid.
New technology presents remarkable opportunity for growth and innovation. Unfortunately, it also exposes businesses to both known and novel threats. Even after conducting a security audit, updating procedures and training employees, the work is not over. Cybersecurity is an everyday job. If you want to learn how Invision can help your business remain secure in the face of evolving threats, contact us today for more information.