October 25, 2022
Keeping your information secure and safe is challenging, especially with so many employees continuing to work from home. If you are like most businesses, you had strict security policies in your work environment but were not prepared and may still be struggling with putting security practices and protocols in place to cover remote work. Hackers are taking full advantage of the weaknesses. Per CyberEdge’s Cyberthreat Defense Report, 85% of organizations suffered a successful cyberattack last year, and a record 63% of ransomware victims paid ransoms last year, incentivizing cybercriminals to increase their attacks. Furthermore, 84% of organizations are experiencing a shortfall of skilled IT security personnel.
Understanding what information cybercriminals are after is essential to combatting cyber attacks. Therefore, creating an inventory list of your organization’s valuable data and assets, including manufacturer, model, hardware, and software information, is of the utmost importance. In addition, take note of who has access to essential data and information while accounting for all storage locations. This practice will ensure that business leaders have a track record of accessibility and know where to look in case of a vulnerability or breach.
Protecting your data and devices from malicious actors is what cybersecurity is all about. To accomplish this, make sure your security software is current. Investing in the most up-to-date software, web browsers, and operating systems is one of the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Furthermore, ensure these devices have automatic updates turned on, so employees aren’t tasked with manually updating devices. Additionally, ensure all data is backed up in the cloud or via separate hard drive storage.
Your data is only protected if your employee’s home environment is cyber-secure. Make sure they use a secure wireless router and have firewalls installed on their devices to reduce the risk of hackers accessing information from their computers or using their network to commit cybercrimes. Firewalls are essential because they help keep hackers from using the device, which otherwise could result in sending personal information or company data. They guard and watch for attempts to access the system while blocking communications with unpermitted sources. Installing a firewall on wireless routers is a necessity.
Another way to keep your assets safe is by ensuring that staff uses strong authentication to protect access to accounts and that only those with permission can access them. It includes requiring robust, secure, and differentiated passwords. According to a 2021 PC Mag study, 70% of people admit they use the same password for more than one account. Using weak and similar passwords makes a hacker’s life a lot easier and can give them access to more materials. Finally, make sure employees are using multi-factor authentication (MFA). While this may result in a few extra sign-ins, MFA is essential to safeguarding data and can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful breach.
Companies must always be on the lookout for possible breaches, vulnerabilities, and attacks, especially in a world where many often go undetected. It can be done by investing in cybersecurity products or services that help monitor your networks, such as antivirus and antimalware software. Moreover, ensure your employees and personnel follow all established cybersecurity protocols before, during, and after a breach. Individuals who ignore or disregard essential cybersecurity practices can compromise themselves and the entire organization. Paying close attention to whether your company fully embraces your cybersecurity procedures and technology is incumbent upon business leaders.
No matter how many safeguards you have, the unfortunate reality is that cyber incidents still occur. However, comprehensively responding reduces risks to your business and sends a positive signal to your customers and employees. Therefore, companies should prepare a cyber incident response plan before a breach. In addition, embrace practices such as disconnecting any affected computers from the network, notifying IT staff or the proper third-party vendors, and utilizing any spares and backup devices while capturing operational data.
As Cybersecurity month is ending, it is critical to remain vigilant throughout the year. If you need to evaluate your current security posture or skilled IT security personnel, contact Dewpoint today. We offer cybersecurity assessments so you know where to focus your resources on your overall security posture. Our CISO-as-a-Service provides security expertise on an as-needed basis to reinforce your current staff.