With data breaches making the news and hackers becoming bolder and more sophisticated with their attacks, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your company from cybercrime.
Many companies still think that cybersecurity is just about installing anti-virus software on employees’ computers or using firewalls on their network, but these measures are simply starting points for your company’s security.
Bolstering your cybersecurity policies can be difficult. The tactics cybercriminals use to exploit companies are constantly evolving, and the tactics that cybersecurity experts use to defend against cybercrime aren’t always easy for employees to implement.
Luckily, there are some basic steps you can take as a company owner or manager that will strengthen your company’s security without requiring advanced knowledge of IT infrastructure.
We walk you through the seven best ways to shore up your company’s cybersecurity right now:
Evaluate Your Current Security Policies
Your company’s security policies should be clearly defined and easily accessible to employees. This will help them understand what is expected of them when it comes to cyber safety, which in turn makes it easier to enforce.
To be sure that your current policies meet industry standards, look into obtaining a certification from the International Organization of Standardization for IT and security. This certificate assures you and your customers that your company’s IT systems comply with standard data privacy, integrity, and security measures.
Educate Your Employees
Security awareness training is a great way to help your employees learn about cyber safety, and it’s also an effective deterrent against potential attackers looking for easy targets.
This training should be ongoing, with refreshers given to employees on at least an annual basis to keep up to date with the latest threat information.
Be sure to observe and test your employees’ knowledge regularly to ensure that the training is effective.
Perform Regular Security Audits
The best way to keep on top of your company’s security posture is through regular audits.
The nature of the audits can vary based on your company’s needs, but vulnerability assessments and penetration tests are both essential.
While they can be time-consuming, managing security audits (with the help of your IT staff or data engineers) will help your company identify and fix the vulnerabilities that exist in your system before a cybercriminal does.
Train Your Employees in Anti-Phishing
Phishing is one of the most common tactics used by hackers to gain access to organizations. Despite its simplicity, phishing is extremely effective.
No one ever thinks they can be phished—until they get phished. Why?
All technologies, no matter how advanced, are susceptible to phishing. That’s because there’s always a human element when it comes to cybersecurity.
Training your employees to spot the warning signs of phishing and how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing can go a long way in protecting your company’s IP and data.
You can arrange for phishing messages to be sent to your teams to monitor their progress. This will also help you identify any further areas for improvement in your future training programs.
Make Good Cyber Hygiene Mandatory
Just as you teach good hygiene habits to keep employees healthy, teaching them how and when to practice “good” cyber hygiene can help limit the effects of a data breach if one does occur.
In addition to educating employees on the dangers of clicking suspicious links and downloading unknown files, you should also implement a policy that includes regularly changing passwords for all accounts.
This will limit the potential damage from cybercriminals who may have previously gained access through compromised credentials.
Upgrade Your Security Protocol
Shoring up your company’s cybersecurity is about more than just protecting against external threats.
Make sure everything is covered on your end using two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor (MFA) authentication. Training your employees to use these authentication factors makes it harder for cybercriminals to gain access to your company’s data.
Preventative measures such as antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are also necessary for securing the internal environment of your organization against hackers looking to steal valuable information or disrupt internal operations through ransomware attacks.
Invest in a Cybersecurity Team
If your company is large enough to support a dedicated cybersecurity team, then you have a significant advantage over most businesses your size.
For smaller companies, outsourcing security audits or relying on outside consultants is a viable option.
Hiring IT experts and data engineers to secure your company’s data can also be a cost-effective option for companies that don’t have the resources to invest in their in-house cybersecurity team.
Cybersecurity threats change daily. Ensuring that your company is equipped to deal with the latest security threats is essential for protecting your company’s data.
Keeping up to date on industry news and staying informed about emerging cyber threats can help you make smart decisions that protect your business against these types of attacks.
Using good, old-fashioned common sense can go a long way in preventing cybersecurity breaches—but developing a robust cybersecurity policy and training your team to abide by that policy can protect your company even further.
There’s no such thing as impenetrable, so it is important to keep updating your security protocols to stay ahead of cybercriminals looking to steal you and your customers’ data.