For corporations, the internet is a place of peril and promise. From e-commerce to remote work, digital infrastructure creates powerful opportunities. It also comes with unique threats. Keeping your company safe online may seem daunting, but solutions might be simpler than you think. Here are seven simple ways to keep your business safer online.
Monitor All Data
A lack of knowledge can be a dangerous thing in cybersecurity. In an age of “big data,” it’s easy for critical information to become lost. A vital component of IT security operations (secops) is managing and keeping track of this information. One common issue is that of “data silos.” Silos happen when faulty interdepartmental communication leads to the data being stuck in one location and then forgotten or mishandled. Knowing the status of your data is the first step in keeping it safe, so make it a priority.
Data storage plays a massive role in keeping information secure. Cloud security is typically adequate, but backing up the most sensitive data helps to offset any risks that come with distributed data. Storing data offline in devices ranging from flash drives to old-fashioned filing cabinets can give you peace of mind. Having backups of uncorrupted files also aids in facilitating a timely response if an attack does happen. It’s just one more way of keeping all your bases covered.
Install a Firewall
The average company deals with a large volume of email traffic every day. Cybercriminals know this. That’s why malicious links in emails are a common vector for worms and viruses. A firewall system scans for these incoming threats and flags or filters emails that seem like a threat. Firewalls are often installed alongside basic antivirus programs. As such, they make a great first line of defense against the most common and successful attacks.
Train Employees Thoroughly
The most important defense against viruses and scams is the trained eyes of your staff. Research by Tessian, a major security company, found that 85% of corporate data breaches could be traced to human error. In other words, when your employees know the most common hacker tactics and refuse to fall for them, security increases exponentially. Have regular meetings and training sessions centered around cyber threats to help keep your employees aware and engaged.
Use Stronger Authentication
Studies also show that many data breaches involve either stolen or compromised credentials. Weak passwords were a regular culprit in these security lapses. Thankfully, there are science-backed ways to build more effective passwords. Insist that everyone at your company utilizes these methods. Remember, strong authentication goes beyond passwords and passcodes. Multi Factor authentication (MFA) methods like one-time login codes can make a big difference in the overall quality of your network security.
Encrypt at All Levels
Data encryption can take many forms. All of them add layers of security. Employing a virtual private network (VPN) when you use the internet can reduce the chances of third parties learning sensitive information about your company. Encrypting your hard drive or using encrypted USB drives can prevent your data from being an easy target if cybercriminals manage to access your network. Bonus tip: Never use public WiFi hotspots unless you know the extent of their encryption and password-protection standards. Take nothing for granted.
Limit Network Access
All of the previous steps are merely components of a broader cybersecurity strategy. This strategy is known as “zero trust” security. Zero trust means having a healthy skepticism regarding new users on your network. It’s a good practice to insist upon legitimate credentials from anyone accessing your systems. Use rigorous verification protocols in this regard. This is another good use for multifactor authentication methods like security tokens. Limit the access of all users to the minimum needed to accomplish their stated goals. Developing a network-centered outlook on digital security is critical.
Preventing cybercrime doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. Taking a few simple steps can make all the difference. Use these strategies to formulate a cybersecurity plan that fits your company’s needs.