Technology is evolving at an incredible rate, bringing with it an ever-expanding array of new uses and benefits for businesses great and small. There are so many programs, tools, and solutions out there nowadays for professionals across every industry to make use of, and the rapid rate of development shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Unfortunately, while evolutions in technology such as cloud infrastructure and machine-assisted learning offer remarkable advantages and use, there are equally a whole host of new challenges for companies to worry about in terms of their cyber-security too, with countless examples of high profile data breaches and cyber-attacks taking place in recent years.
Time and time again, businesses of all sizes are being targeted by hackers and other malicious agents in the digital world, with sensitive files being stolen, customer data being leaked, employee accounts being broken into, and entire organizations brought to their knees by the smallest and simplest of viruses and attacks.
It’s clear to see that there is an increasingly urgent need for companies to take all of the necessary steps to strengthen their cyber-security measures and defend against all kinds of attack, as well as simply bolstering protections to defend against simple user errors that could lead to costly leaks or downtime phases. This guide will cover some of the top practices for businesses wanting to improve their cyber-security.
Prioritize Employee Education
The first tip to cover when it comes to best practices for cyber-security for business is all about your employees because more often than not, it’s actually the employees who allow cyber-attacks and data leaks to occur. Of course, this isn’t usually intentional, but a lot of employees simply don’t have a good enough grasp of cyber-security to be able to avoid phishing scams and other basic attacks.
If an employee sees a message in their email inbox that appears to be from a manager or colleague, they might open it up and click on the link inside or share their account details with a total stranger. This is how phishing attacks happen, and they’re one of the most common ways in which companies are successfully targeted by hackers.
Educating your employees should therefore be your first port of call when it comes to strengthening your cyber defenses. This may involve bringing in professional consultants to carry out presentations and talks to your teams about how to defend themselves digitally, how to make safe passwords, the differences between secure and unsecured networks, and so on.
Talk to the Pros
As stated above, you might want to bring in professional teams to carry out the education of your employees on cyber-security, and there are many other ways in which you can turn to the services of cyber-security professionals in order to develop better defenses for your company against hacks and data breach attempts.
There are consulting companies who will actually carry out stress tests on your current cyber-security defenses, for example, in order to see how easy it would be for a hacker to break into your existing systems and networks in order to steal data or obtain sensitive files. This can provide valuable insight into areas of weakness that need addressing in your current setup.
There is also security as a service firm that will actually take over the cyber-security operations for your business, which can be a useful boost for smaller companies with a lack of IT staff or resources, as well as bigger businesses that want to downsize their existing IT department or put their security in the hands of trusted and proven professionals.
Keep up with the Latest Developments and Innovations
The world of cyber-security is always evolving just like other major areas of technology, and it’s vital to keep up with new changes and innovations if you want to stay ahead of the game and make sure that your cyber-defenses are up to standard.
So try to get into the habit of carrying out research and being aware of new security methods and tools, rather than simply assuming that your existing set-up is already strong enough on its own, as you might be surprised to learn about the sheer quantity and variety of ways in which security can be strengthened at every level of your operations.
Most business owners will be aware of the basics of cyber-security, like anti-malware and antivirus programs, for example, but you might not know about how a domainless enterprise could help to protect your networks and systems from security issues in the future. Keeping up with the latest trends will help you avoid falling behind.
Cover the Basics
As well as staying aware of new innovations and more complex cyber-security measures, it’s also important to ensure that you have all the basics covered, including the aforementioned anti-malware and antivirus programs, coupled with strong firewalls and professional virtual private network (VPN) technology too.
Many cyber-attacks make use of viruses and malware, and there are more forms of viruses out there nowadays than ever before, with hackers always experimenting and developing new methods of attack to target their victims. Keep your business protected by making sure you have the latest and greatest anti-malware programs that feature regularly updated databases to deal with newly released threats.
Firewalls are absolutely essential too in terms of blocking suspicious traffic throughout your network and controlling access to files and servers, and VPNs can be very important if you have teams or employees working remotely and trying to access company data from locations that may not have the most secure networks, such as airports, hotels, or other public places.
The average data breach can cost companies millions of dollars and could even spell the end entirely for small businesses and startups, so as well as focusing on other areas of your operations like branding and marketing, you have to be willing to invest in strong cyber-security. Keep these tips and practices in mind to set up a sound and solid security strategy for your company as you move forward.