Cybersecurity is not just some concept for corporations. Statistically, small businesses are under-protected (in 2017, 61% of breach victims were businesses with under 1,000 employees according to Verizon investigations report).
However, these are big scandals that draw attention to the problem and make everyone invest more into security: India’s national ID database Aadhaar had 1.1 billion users data breach and Equifax in 2017 paid almost $4 billion to restore and recover the breached data. So unless you are ready to pay $2.4 million for a malware attack (this is the average cost of a breach), maintain your company’s cybersecurity from the very beginning.
In this article, you will learn about the top five practices that can protect your business from data security breaches and hacks as well as top five cybersecurity mistakes to avoid.
Top 5 cyber security tips
1. Staff training
Trained and cautious staff is the best way to prevent cyber attacks and security breaches. Create training, send emails, share videos, and talk about cybersecurity in the working time. For example, you can organize a small quiz based on which the best results will be awarded something. Create obligatory training and ensure that every single member of your team completes them. For example, you can teach them about phishing and that an https URL does not guarantee security, that email campaigns frequently include ransomware links that cost $5 billion in total two years ago. Knowledge is power, so start from the beginning.
By managing and organizing regular training you can teach people about cyber security but these are daily practices that make these rules habitual and ordinary. Here is the list of top cybersecurity practices every business needs to adopt:
- Software maintenance
No matter what kind of business you have, the software is always on the table. Ensure that all programs on your computers are up-to-date and of the latest version since this is the easiest way to protect your inner net from cyber attacks.
- Two-step verification
There are special security apps to increase the cybersecurity of your employees. These apps are connected to the company’s website and before one can log in to the system, one needs to complete the verification on their mobile device (phone or tablet). In this way, you can guarantee that only your employees will log in to the system and that no unauthorized access to the sensitive business data is possible.
- Use of personal devices
Personal devices, such as phones, are ordinary at the workplace. But there are personal computers that employees might use to work remotely. Unfortunately, personal devices might not be properly protected and hence might be the weak side of your business. For this reason, it is highly advised to forbid employees the use of personal devices for the business-related matter. And vice versa. Do not let your employees use personal social networks or mail on their work devices.
- Protect and manage your device
Every employee is responsible for the devices they are using. So make it a habit that a computer must be locked whenever an employee leaves their workplace. Besides that, ensure that no devices are left unattained, especially while working outside of the office.
3. Protect from the inside
People steal information, even your employees do. Some do it on purpose, others because they are not aware that this is sensitive information. To ensure that your business is covered from the inside, install computer-based protection on your devices, encrypt sensitive files, and maintain healthy policies. For instance, do not give access to the secret data to trainees or do not share the admin credentials with each and every one. Keep security under control, your control.
4. Be ready for the attack
At all times should you have an expert IT eye that will develop a comprehensive plan of action in case of a security breach? Whether you outsource for this bright mind or hire an in-house expert, this person should be on alert and ready to act at all times. No matter how great your practices are, you need to be ready for the worst. So it is also highly advised, to have backups ready so that in the event of data loss you could restore the system fast.
5. Outsource for expertise
Outsourcing for cybersecurity may come in two options.
- Outsourcing for an IT expert for protection. In this case, you hire an IT professional who develops and maintains good practices inside of your business to guarantee the proper level of cybersecurity.
- Outsourcing for an IT expert to breach your security. Yes, you read it right, you can hire a professional who would try to breach your security from the outside. This is the best way to learn your weak spots and so enhance protection.
At WiserBrand, we do both. We can help you build and maintain the right level of data protection, and at the same time, our IT Gurus know how to get into the most protected businesses and reveal the exposed spots. Whatever service you might need, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs and concerns.
Top 7 cyber security mistakes to avoid
Now you know what steps to make in order to protect your business from ransomware and any cybersecurity breach. However, WiserBrand’s IT team decided to share the top seven mistakes that we most often see in the protection practices of our clients. Read them carefully and avoid them in your business at all costs.
Unfortunately, you cannot control each and every employee in terms of the apps they are using on their phones and laptops, it is possible only to some extent. Try to stop everyone from using these shadow apps and devices, but be ready that you will not do it once and for all, they will still leak into your work environment. So not to be taken by surprise, ensure that your IT department is prepared to handle such risks.
- Failing to control the data flow
Data is blood for any business. So if you fail to control where the data flows, whom it is shared with, and where it lands, you fail to understand what it is that needs protection. What elements or stages of this process must be enhanced, and at which point something may go wrong. Forget to check your encryption once, and the attackers will use it against you.
- Neglecting security testing
Every element of the business system can be vulnerable to different things: network, apps, devices, internet connection, internal use of personal devices, etc. Each and every element of your business system requires regular security testing. Some of it might be handled automatically, however, deep-dive penetration testing is still essential for the most data. Don’t try your luck, test.
- Ignoring inside monitoring
Sooner or later, you will be attacked. That’s for sure. In case you focus on your outside protection and forget about the inside system, you are doomed. Remember that defense must exist both outside and inside of your business system to ensure that even in the case of a security breach, you stand a chance against the attackers. Should you be not aware of the inside monitoring and operations good practices, never hesitate to outsource for a consultant to tune up your inside protection.
- Forgetting the basics
Regularly updated software, personal maintenance of electronic devices (such as blocking or regular password change) are the essentials one may forget easily. Failure to block your computer at work leads to the habit of not blocking your computer. And sooner or later, one of your employees will fail to do so in a public place leaving your inside data exposed. Old software does not guarantee complete security coverage for your data and so makes it exposed to the cyber-terrorists. Basics of cyber security are not a requirement but rather a necessity in the 21st century.
- Blanking vendor risk assessments
Whenever you cooperate with vendors, you need to always remember that they are one more link for the cyber-terrorists to attack your business. Make sure that you strategize a plan with the third-party vendors on the security precautions and their protection practices.
- Overlooking "shadow IT"
The number of endpoints continues to grow rapidly. It is no longer a computer or a laptop for a single employee. Today these are tablets, phones, and a wide range of other devices that are in the picture.
- Believing it cannot happen to you
Who might need data from a website of a local coffee store? Or who could be interested in the contact list of the vet clinic nearby? Well, a lot of people who might use this sensitive data for promotion or fraudulent activities. Remember that each and every business today is subject to cyber attacks. So be ready, be on the alert, and secure your business as much as possible. It is always easier to prevent a breach than to deal with it!
Keep in mind that some practices like training and regularly updated software easy to implement even if having 24/7 professional IT monitoring can be out of your reach, competence, or budget. Whether you need a consultation or full-time IT assistance with [cybersecurity for your business], WiserBrand is ready to help you protect your online business from the unexpected hacking attacks.