1. Backup, Backup, Backup Backing up your data is one the most important step oganzaions should take when it comes to cybersecurity. The WannaCry ransomware attack last year put the focus on just how important backing up data is to protect businesses and services from ransomware. The FBI recommends backing up regularly as one of the best ways to beat ransomware. They also recommend you verify the integrity of those backups and secure the backups. Don’t wait until ransomware strikes or you catch a data exfiltration in progress to find out that your systems aren’t doing what they’re supposed to. When you invest in backup solutions, set aside time to test them regularly and verify that data is actually being safeguarded. This way, if your data is damaged or encrypted by a hacker, you always have the backup to rely on so you’re not at a complete standstill. You should also make sure your data is backed up in a different locations too: either store your data with a backup storage provider or use another local external storage unit to make sure you don’t keep all of your data in one place.
2. Train Your Employees The best way to improve your IT security is to train your employees on best security practices. Educate them so they can recognize and avoid cyber threats like phishing and scams. Teach them about protecting sensitive information. Humans are the weakest link in your security defense: with a single click in an email they can open the door for hackers. You should have a network firewall, but don’t forget there’s a human firewall too. Here are the few strategies to keep in mind to train your employees in cyber security:
- Train everyone—from top to the bottom
- Conduct seminars frequently
- Regularly talk to employees about cyber security
- Tell them how to recognize the attack
- Regularly test your employee’s IT security knowledge
- Clear your policies about hacking, data breaching and use of devices in your organization.
- Identify the inside threat in your company
3 . Conquer Insider Threats Employee data theft may have been very difficult to discover in the past, however with monitoring software in place, these employees are easy to identify. In addition, a benefit of ongoing, active training and assessment programmes, especially perhaps from the point of view of regular, non-rogue employees – is that innocent people may be saved from becoming the subject of intense, unwarranted scrutiny as well as excessive and unnecessary deterrence measures, which can often be the very distractions used by the real rogues to get away with damaging the business without anyone detecting or knowing about it.
4. Create Security Policies & Enforce Them Do your employees know what they are expected to do and not do to protect your data? Do you have enforceable, written rules on how your organization’s equipment and data can be used? Do you have a plan in place for properly reporting security threats? Security policies answer questions like these. Create security policies and make sure your employees read and acknowledge them. And take a moment to update your employee handbook or other written policies to include security rules, social media directives, and more.
5. Update Software – Automatically An easy way to protect against potential vulnerabilities is to ensure the software your business uses is constantly being updated. Software companies release ongoing security updates for a reason – to address these types of vulnerabilities. This is why it’s essential to stay on top of the updates that are available to you. It sounds tedious to have to patch things on a regular basis, which is why the idea of automating the process is increasingly being implemented. When you’ve got thousands of servers and computers that all need patching, automation seems to be a sensible option.
6. Prepare for GDPR If your organization handles the data of European citizens in any way you should have met the GDPR guidelines. The General Data Protection Regulation is designed to better regulate data privacy for all European citizens, and it will apply to many more businesses than may realize it today. Like any other regulatory mandate or compliance framework, it can be time-consuming to ensure that you are meeting the standards, so take action now if your organization is one of the many that will be affected by these new laws. For more information, read this informative blog post from VPN Geeks.
7. Manage Privileged Access to Systems Privileged accounts are the top target of any attacker to gain access and move anywhere within a network. First, attackers gain a foothold in the network by any means possible, often through exploiting an end-user device via simple social engineering (a confidence trick), then working to elevate their privileges by compromising a privileged account, which allows attackers to operate on a network as if they are a trusted user. It’s crucial to control and monitor the use of privileged accounts within your organization. This should be a top priority for all companies in 2018: to gain control of these privileged and sensitive accounts. This will reduce privilege abuse from both insiders and make it more difficult for external hackers to compromise these accounts. Have individual logins for employees whenever possible. This can help you limit the privileges of certain employees.
8. Secure Your Site with HTTPs Protect your site and your users with an SSL Cerfiicate. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Google encourages all businesses to adopt HTTPS to ensure a secure and private online experience and protect your users’ connection to your website. Ultimately, this provides three essential methods of protections – encryption, data integrity and authentication.
9. Provide Firewall Security for Your Internet Connection Firewalls are designed to prevent unauthorized access from a private network. You can create a set of rules on your firewall so that it knows what to allow in and what to block out. A good firewall should monitor incoming and outgoing data.
10. Establish a Bring Your Own Device – Mobile Workforce Policy Some companies allow their employees to use their personal phones to conduct business. It’s great for business to increase productivity and efficiency but it leaves businesses vulnerable to an attack since phones can be hacked and used to access your corporate network. A BYOD policy will help to educate employees on the use of mobile technology and how to mitigate the risk of an attack.
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