Nearly everything lives somewhere online, so your data being stolen, hacked, or corrupted isn’t completely out of the question.
The increasing reports of hackers, phishing, and harmful malware are a major threat to businesses of every size, but they’re certainly not the only risks you should be wary of. While hackers and ransomware outbreaks are more prevalent at the moment, old-school tried and true techniques like dangerous malware, spyware, and viruses continue to be among the leading causes of data loss and system breaches. Your business will remain exposed to the threat of hackers if nothing is done. It’s not a question of if your business will be attacked, it’s a question of when and how.
Here’s a list of best practices to help mitigate risk
Ensure all applications & devices are using multi-factor authentication (MFA)
MFA alone could block 99.9% of automated attacks. It adds another layer of protection to the sign-in process. MFA requires methods of verification that unauthorized users won't have. Since passwords are insufficient for verifying identity, MFA requires multiple pieces of evidence to verify the user. The theory is that even if threat actors can impersonate a user with one piece of evidence, they won't be able to provide two or more.
After all, if you only use a password to authenticate users, it leaves an insecure vector for attack. What if the password was weak? Or if it was exposed elsewhere? Are you sure that person signing in is really the user? When you require a second form of authentication that isn’t easy to obtain, you are building another layer of security.
Make VPN standard
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a company's network, allowing secure remote user access through encrypted connections over the Internet. This allows VPN traffic to remain private as it travels between devices and the network. As a VPN user browses the web, their device contacts websites through the encrypted VPN connection.
Even if an employee has a private at home network, with the increase of IoT devices, the opportunities for hackers to get into a home network have increased. Remote workers using a VPN at home decreases the risk of those hackers accessing your organization’s data.
The main reason for a data backup is to have a secure archive of your important information, whether that’s classified documents for your business or treasured photos of your family so that you can restore your device quickly and seamlessly in the event of data loss.
Backing up your data is one of the safest ways to ensure that you’re being proactive about your data’s security. This way, if disaster strikes, you can rest easy and know your information still exists elsewhere. However, you need these back-ups to be stored offline or outside your network’s primary communication channel so that they are not exposed to attackers.
Train employees to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents
While continued cyber incidents can be attributed to the constant changes to technology, regulatory requirements, and threats, there is also a ‘people component’ at work — many organizations have not cultivated an organizational culture.
The importance of a cyber-aware culture is more critical than ever, businesses should train employees on cybersecurity preparedness and foster a sense of collective responsibility for data security. Training employees to identify and report phishing emails and other suspicious network activity is particularly important in preventing cyberattacks and protecting sensitive data.
Develop a data breach plan
Make sure your company has a plan for when a data breach happens. An incident response plan is a set of instructions to help IT staff detect, respond to, and recover from security incidents. These types of plans address issues like cybercrime, data loss, and service outages that threaten daily work. A sufficient incident response plan offers a course of action for all significant incidents. Some incidents lead to massive network or data breaches that can impact your organization for days or even months. When a significant disruption occurs, your organization needs a thorough, detailed incident response plan to help IT staff stop, contain, and control the incident quickly.
We can help you fight evolving cyber threats and ensure your data is protected with best-in-class security solutions that take the stress off your teams. Our managed IT services help to take the stress off your teams and provide your business with end-to-end security monitoring, threat detection, and incident response. Let us take care of your security while you focus on your business, contact us today.