Recent years have felt like a whirlwind of activity regarding cyber security; we have seen some big names come up in the news. However, you do not need to be a large corporation to become the target of a cyber attack.
As we start the new year, I encourage you to place cyber security high on your priority list. You can protect your business from cyber attacks by taking a proactive approach to addressing vulnerabilities. By taking these steps, you can ensure that networks and data are secure and protect your business from the devastating consequences of a cyber attack.
1. Secure devices, software and networks
Staying ahead of these risks requires you to secure the devices, software and networks associated with your organisation to protect your data. Your organisation will need to implement the latest updates with security patches and install firewalls on all access points, including servers and routers.
Your devices will need the latest operating system version; without these, your organisation will not have protection against the latest known cyber security threats. The same applies to your software because updates will patch security issues; if you are not updating your applications, they could become vulnerable to threat actors. You can adopt endpoint security to monitor and protect devices and software accessing your company data. Endpoint security solutions also monitor user activity on devices to identify any suspicious behaviour.
When networks are not secure, threat actors can access them and use the information for malicious activities. Network security has become a pertinent issue, especially as more people work from home on devices connected to their home networks. Network security can involve multiple layers of protection, such as firewalls, antivirus tools, and malware scanners. Firewalls work as a barrier between the internal company network and the outside world, while antivirus tools can detect malicious code and prevent it from entering the network.
2. Conduct cyber security awareness training
Investing in cyber awareness and education addresses vulnerabilities in your business’ human layer of defence. So, what is cyber security awareness training? These programs aim to teach people about best practices when creating passwords, connecting to networks, sharing data, recognising phishing emails, etc. Holding consistent training sessions ensures that all staff are kept up-to-date on the latest industry trends, providing them with a valuable knowledge base and better equipping them against potential threats.
It’s also essential to have a clear plan for responding to cyber incidents, including shutting down compromised systems or notifying customers in case of a breach. Cyber security awareness training for employees ensures your team become familiar with the company’s security policies and further mitigates risks that occur from human error. Establishing an incident response plan and educating people as part of your awareness plan can ensure that all staff quickly and effectively respond to any security issues.
Cyber security games are a great way to improve employee knowledge retention. These games allow employees to practice their skills safely and securely. They also facilitate team collaboration as players solve puzzles and complete challenges.
3. Secure data and collaboration platforms
While working from home may offer some advantages, such as increased flexibility and fewer distractions, it presents unique challenges regarding data security and collaboration platforms. Remote employees may be using unsecured networks or devices, which are more susceptible to breaches than secure corporate networks. Your business must secure data and ensure teams can collaborate securely in a remote work environment.
Securing your data and collaboration platforms reduces the potential of malicious actors accessing your apps and systems. By allowing workers to collaborate on critical systems while enforcing stringent access controls, your organisation can increase resilience against sophisticated attacks.
Your organisation should also monitor for any suspicious activity; a managed services provider can help you set up the platforms necessary to monitor activity and provide a team to handle this should you experience a breach. Doing so ensures that your business picks up on suspicious activity before it can cause long-term damage and lead to costly financial losses. Part of this will include deploying user activity monitoring to ensure that employees are not misusing their privileges and blocking any suspicious IPs or login attempts.
Not everyone needs access to this information, so you should have clearly defined roles and permissions that specify which users have access to sensitive data or documents. Your company should also enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an added layer of security against unauthorised access.
4. Implement a backup and disaster recovery strategy
Data backup includes making copies of your data to protect it from potential loss or damage. Data backup creates a copy of crucial data, allowing businesses and individuals to restore critical information during an unexpected disaster.
A disaster recovery (DR) plan outlines an organisation’s steps to prepare for and respond to disasters or disruptions. It identifies potential risks, explains how your business will mitigate them, and provides a clear strategy for restoring operations should something threaten your business. The goal of DR is to minimise the impact of disasters on an organisation, ensuring that your team can restart critical processes and operations.
A backup and disaster recovery strategy ensures that you have copies of critical data and a process for recovering from natural disasters (such as flooding) and man-made disasters (like ransomware attacks). Without this safeguard, you could cause significant disruption to business operations – from downtime to data loss.
Wyntec can strengthen your cyber security posture
Cyber security is on the priority list for many businesses now, and you must implement the right systems and solutions. In addition, you need to have a response plan in place should your business become the victim of a cyber attack.
We have created a twelve-question assessment designed to help you identify where you are vulnerable and provide you with the support your organisation needs to stay one step ahead of a cyber breach. You can take our Cyber Vulnerability Assessment today to get started.