Cybersecurity is the technology and practices that keep your information safe from hackers. With data breaches making headlines, cybersecurity is a hot topic for both consumers and businesses.
Whether thieves steal customer social security numbers or company secrets, keeping information safe is vital. This is especially important with recent shifts toward hybrid and remote working practices that require fast, on-demand access to ubiquitous data and information platforms.
1. Educate Your Staff
As the “eyes and ears” of a business, your employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats. Whether it’s a phishing scam, malware infection, or password hack, it’s up to your staff to spot these issues and report them before they cause damage.
This is why cybersecurity training for your staff is so important. It teaches them how to recognize different forms of cyber attacks and the steps they can take to prevent them.
It also helps them feel more confident in their decision-making, so they are less likely to ponder opening a suspicious email and will send it straight to the trash bin. This can greatly reduce the amount of time spent on trying to resolve an attack and more importantly, prevent a catastrophic data breach.
Even with the most advanced software and systems in place, a company can still be compromised by an employee who clicks on a bad link or takes an unnecessary action. Furthermore, a data breach can hurt your brand’s reputation and lead to a loss of customers who are wary of companies that don’t prioritize their privacy.
2. Back Up Your Data
You’ve probably heard the mantras of “back everything up” and “if you don’t have a backup, you don’t have anything.” These are important tips for every individual and business to keep in mind.
The purpose of backing up is to create a copy of your data so that it can be restored in the event of a primary failure. These primary failures can include system or hardware failure, file corruption, accidental deletion, or human-caused events like hacking and malware.
When a virus infects your network, having up-to-date backups is the only way to make sure all of your files and systems are safe. And it’s important to remember that not all hackers are bad; some expose security risks for the sake of helping other businesses improve their cyber security. These are known as white hat hackers. Using password managers that encrypt your passwords is another great way to stay cyber secure. This will prevent hackers from accessing your account information if one of your accounts gets hacked.
3. Create a Security Policy
In addition to removing vulnerabilities, passing security audits, and ensuring a quick bounce back from a breach, your institution must have an effective policy. While policies don’t solve problems, they define the ideal toward which all organizational efforts should aim.
In order to be effective, a security policy must be well-written and firmly endorsed by top leadership. It should also list all appropriate security regulations, as these will heavily influence the content of your policy.
Once your policy is drafted, it should be shared with all employees and updated frequently. This can be done through email, announcements in meetings, and the like. If possible, have staff develop and/or contribute to the policy guidelines, as this can increase buy-in and adoption. Additionally, consider implementing separate policies for each type of environment or level of user to further drive home the importance of a policy and encourage engagement. For example, an institutional IT group may want to implement a “clean desk” policy for securing laptops and avoiding document loss, while a marketing department may want to create a “no downloads” policy for blocking certain websites.
4. Secure Your Network
As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, it’s important to have multiple layers of defense. For example, detection is no longer enough—it’s essential to have tools that can prevent attacks before they even start.
A good way to do this is to implement anti-malware protection software that can scan downloaded applications and data to look for malicious code. This will help keep your network safe from malware, which can cause everything from lost productivity to costly system disruptions.
Cybersecurity is a term that’s often used interchangeably with information security, but it’s important to understand the difference between these two concepts. Cybersecurity focuses on protecting computer systems and electronic data from cyberattacks, while information security protects all information assets, including physical documents. If you’re looking for a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that includes both, contact us to learn more about our cyber solutions. We’ll help you find a solution that meets your specific needs and budget. No matter what size your organization is, we can help you protect against common cyberattacks.