In more ways than one, your IT department is the beating heart of your entire business. Not only do your IT systems and processes ensure a cohesive level of communication between departments, but they’re also responsible for storing a host of critical information, details and data.
Experts predict that the US will account for at least half of all breached data by 2023. Moreover, the average cost of a data breach currently stands at a colossal $3.86 million worldwide. These are numbers you cannot afford to ignore.
Securing your businesses against potentially devastating cyber-attacks should be at the top of your priority list – and this all-important level of fortification starts with your IT department.
To help you improve your business’s cyber-security efforts, here’s a practical four-step guide created for those with little or no technical experience.
Learn & Educate Your Employees
In a business environment especially, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. That said, to ensure that your organization’s cybersecurity remains watertight at all times, you will need to remain abreast of the latest cyber-crime trends and tactics (including email scams and phishing) at all times. You should also hold regular internal meetings to keep your staff informed.
For keeping up to date with the latest cyber-crime schemes, tactics and news, the Wombat Security blog is an excellent practical resource to educate yourself and your employees.
Update & Manage Your Software
This may sound simple, but you’d be amazed how often it’s overlooked: keeping all of your software up to date is essential to keep it secure against malware. Take the time to tune into the latest crucial software patches released by companies (i.e Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday) update all of your platforms, both internal and third-party, on regular intervals – and keep on top of your patch management processes.
Patch management is pivotal when it comes to spotting vulnerabilities and fortifying your software against cyber atrocities, and cloud patch management software like Cloud Management Suite offer smart, automatic solutions to help business across industries successfully streamline these processes.
Do Not Neglect Firewall
This is a simple and pretty obvious one. By its very nature, the World Wide Web is an open resource – which makes it a playground for budding cybercriminals. By installing a robust firewall for your Internet connection, you will improve your business’ overall cybersecurity, exponentially.
Concerning firewalls, providers like Juniper Networks offer reliable, user-friendly options.
Manage Internal Access to Sensitive Data
Once all of your security measures and solutions are in place, you will need to be careful about the level of access you offer to particular people within your organization – in the wrong hands, your most sensitive data could prove incredibly vulnerable.
Make sure that no one sees any sensitive information that they don’t have to as not only can human error cause devastating acts of cybercrime, but if you operate within the EU, such mistakes could also lead you to breach stringent GDPR regulation.
Due to human error on intervention, even the most prolific of organizations have fallen prey to data breaches. Employees of the social media platform received fake emails from a person impersonating the company’s CEO. In the email, the hacker requested payroll information. Regrettably, one HR employee disclosed the information costing the company a wealth of time, effort and of course, money. And all it took was one tiny error or judgement.
The take home here: only ever let anyone see or access sensitive if they’re 100% trusted and it’s 110% necessary.
“As the world is increasingly interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of securing cyberspace.” – Newton Lee
Protecting your business against cybercrime is no longer optional, now it’s compulsory if you want to thrive, and indeed survive, in tomorrow’s world. Take heed of this advice and you’ll keep your cybersecurity water-tight at all times.