With cybersecurity constantly evolving, so do the skills of cybercriminals who keep on improving their cyberattack strategies. As a company owner, this means you shouldn’t be complacent even when you’ve implemented certain cybersecurity safety protocols to safeguard your company’s data from these malicious hackers. This is particularly true if you’re a startup or medium-sized company as cybercriminals would guess that you most likely don’t place great emphasis on cybersecurity or don’t have enough resources for a strong defense.
But how can you go about safeguarding your company’s data from data cyberattacks? Here’s a guide on cybersecurity practices you need to implement to ensure your company doesn’t become another victim to cyberattacks.
1. Disable Every Unused Service
An effective way of beefing your company’s cybersecurity protocols is by disabling applications, user credentials, logins, and products that you aren’t using. While you might easily overlook this and think it won’t have any serious ramifications on your business, failure to do exposes your company to unauthorized access and external attacks.
But according to RealSec, having a hardware security module ensures every user account linked to certain old hardware or application gets shut down. Former employees’ credentials should also be quickly disabled as these individuals are considered as possible insider threats to your organization.
This means if a credential or application hasn’t been shut down, it exposes you to a possible data breach. Hackers know this and may use this security gap as a route to access your company’s sensitive information.
2. Carry Out Continuous Cybersecurity Assessments
You can ensure that your network and systems are safe from cybersecurity threats by doing continuous risk assessments. With a clear idea of your current cybersecurity status, you’ll be able to pinpoint the strengths of your systems and how they can be enhanced. It also allows you to identify possible weaknesses and think of possible ways on how they can be addressed.
Carrying out proper cybersecurity risk assessment ensures you don’t waste your organization’s hard-earned money implementing measures that won’t yield any positive fruits. It also saves your precious time that would have been spent trying to secure the environment without any noticeable results.
3. Carry Out Annual Staff Awareness Training
Your employees are the company’s first line of defense against a possible cyberattack. This is because cybercriminals are constantly targeting them by scams, such as business email compromise (BEC) messages, social engineering, and phishing. Therefore, you should ensure your employees constantly receive cybersecurity training to avoid them falling victim to attackers. With proper training, it becomes a lot harder for hackers to gain entry into the company’s network and systems by targeting employees.
Through ongoing training of your employees, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of cyberattacks considerably. This is achieved because the employees now understand how every action they make impacts the company’s security posture since they better understand cybersecurity.
4. Make Sure Your Hardware and Software Are Up-To-Date
Cybercriminals are continually searching for possible weaknesses in current systems and networks to exploit. After some time, these malicious persons will find a vulnerability that they can use to find a way into your system.
Due to this, you must ensure your hardware, software, devices, applications, and operating systems are at all times up-to-date with the latest security patches. In addition to the breaches and threats, you also need to familiarize yourself with the latest compliance regulations.
Automating endpoint management using tools that continually search for weaknesses and fix them is a great way to ensure your software and hardware are always updated. This optimizes performance while simultaneously saving you precious time. But even with the endpoint management, which is cost-effective and convenient, you still need to carefully monitor the software and hardware to confirm they’ve been updated.
5. Offer Support to Your Cybersecurity Staff Support
Many cybersecurity staff teams complain about their requests being ignored and not getting the necessary financial support. This happens because most of the people in management usually don’t have a technical IT background to understand cybersecurity risk brought forward by the security team. Because of this, they end up ignoring the recommendations made by the cybersecurity staff to try and keep the company’s operational costs down.
It’s this negligence by the senior board members that increase your company’s exposure to possible cyberattacks. It would be best to prevent such an outcome by taking the cybersecurity suggestions made by your security team, as cybersecurity affects all the company’s departments. In addition, ensure these cybersecurity employees have the necessary finances to implement proper cybersecurity measures.
6. Regularly Back Up Your Data
Even after implementing the necessary cybersecurity protocols, there’s still the risk of your company getting hacked. Because of this, it’s best to always backup all your crucial data, including;
- Financial files
- Electronic spreadsheets
- Word processing documents
- Accounts payable or receivable files
- Human resources files
For the backup data, you should store it in a separate location that’s free from floods or fire. The cloud is usually the perfect location where you can store this crucial data. In addition to confirming all your data is backed up, make sure to check everything and confirm everything is working properly.
7. Implement A Password Update Policy
Having strong passwords is critical if you’re going to keep hackers away from accessing your system. These passwords also need to be changed from time to time to ensure the company’s system. Otherwise, a persistent hacker might eventually crack one of your employee’s passwords and gain entry into your company’s sensitive information.
To prevent such a scenario, you need to implement a strong password enforcement rule as many employees, in most cases, won’t voluntarily change their passwords. While this might be somewhat acceptable considering the frantic schedule, you shouldn’t allow this lack of urgency if you’re serious about safeguarding your company’s crucial information.
Cybercriminals are becoming more creative with each passing day. After all, the life span of cyber defense is quite short. Therefore, you need to evolve and stay ahead of cybercriminals by constantly beefing up your company’s network security management. This article has clearly outlined the cybersecurity measures you’ll need to implement to ensure that your company is indeed secure from malicious viruses and links.