Cyber-attacks continue being a threat to our systems and our organizations. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine when and how the enemy will attack. Hence, we need to be prepared in case of anything.
The effects of a cyberattack are adverse. Most companies suffer huge losses. Hence, companies’ ability to safeguard their IT systems and any information is vital.
The following are some tips to help your company lessen the chances of cyberattacks.
Conduct a Risks and Vulnerabilities Test
First, you need to conduct a risk and a vulnerability test. The test will help you identify cybersecurity practices in your company, risks involved, threats, and vulnerability. You can do the assessment internally or hire an organization that can assist you.
The assessment will help you identify any information assets that hackers could target. With a knowledge of your vulnerabilities, you can plan different ways on how to safeguard the weak spots.
The assessment should also identify the most critical facilities and any loopholes, or pathways one can use to access your network.
Educate All Your Employees
Your employees can fall victim to an attack unknowingly. Unfortunately, cybercriminals may target anyone in your company.
Hence, it’s essential to teach your workforce how to identify and prevent common cyber threats. Your employees should know about the organization’s network security policies. The policies should evolve as cybercriminals often change their attacking tactics.
It’s essential to always update them on the new protocols that are put in place. They should also learn about phishing emails, identifying them, and what to do if they see one.
Collaborate with an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider)
To increase your defense, it would be great if you partner with an expert. The primary focus of these frameworks is to keep threats and deter attacks from corporate networks.
They deal with services like managing firewalls, intrusion detection, antivirus services, and vulnerability scanning. The security models work within the network and provide comprehensive protection of the entire network.
An excellent example is ICS security (Industrial Control System). It safeguards the industrial control systems (both hardware and software) and monitors machine operation in industrial environments.
Several ICS vendors exist in the market. You can acquire the services of one to ensure your systems are always protected.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN enables employees to access the companies’ network remotely. It uses authentication protocols and advanced encryption to provide a high level of security. Thus, it protects the company’s data from unauthorized access.
Also, it’s important if you have salespeople in the field, or people working from home. It helps in minimizing the risks against cyber-attacks.
Install Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Spyware Software
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to be immune to attacks. Ensure the installation of this software on each computer you possess. Computers lacking such software are most vulnerable to attacks.
Unfortunately, they can spread malware to other computers existing in the network.
The software comes at different prices and varies for each type of software. Lastly, constantly update such software to be on the safe side.
Use a Firewall
A firewall is a network security device that acts as a barrier between your data and cybercriminals. It monitors all incoming and outgoing networks based on an organization network policy. It allows non-threatening traffic and bars dangerous traffic from the network.
Apart from the standard external firewall, you need to install an internal firewall for additional protection. An internal firewall secures and monitors internal network traffic. The external firewall monitors the network perimeter from outside and stops unauthorized access.
Employees working at home also need to install an internal firewall to their home networks.
Always Conduct Cybersecurity Assessment
You need to assess your networks continuously. Every time you sign in on a new network, there is a possibility that you could introduce new risks into the system. Whenever you replace a new server, add a router, or implement new software, your system becomes vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks.
Therefore, whenever a network changes, you need to perform an assessment. It’s important to understand the vulnerabilities existing and develop an incident response every time your network changes.
If an attack occurs, you should go back and check on why you missed a particular risk. Cybersecurity assessment needs to be a continuous learning process.
Utilize Multifactor Identification
Even with adequate protection, an employee can still make a mistake that may compromise your company’s data. Adding a multifactor identification setting on your major networks and email protection adds an extra layer of protection to your system.
You can review your network settings and tell your employees to factor in their telephone numbers as the second password. For instance, if cyber criminals discover your employee’s passwords, they won’t be able to use the passwords unless they also steal employee phones and have access to pin numbers.
Also, all data on your network needs to be encrypted. Even if the data is stolen, the thief would be unable to read it.
Use Safe Password Practices
It’s important to change your password frequently. This may be seen as an inconvenience to employees, but it’s a great way to ensure that you are minimizing the possibilities of attacks. Any device accessing the organization’s network needs to be network protected.
A strong password contains a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
You should change passwords every 60 to 90 days.
Back-Up Your Data Regularly
Data back-up is like a plan B when it comes to information in your network. Even with every precaution you take, data breaches are likely to happen.
Thus, it’s important to back up your word documents, financial files, spreadsheet databases, account payables files, and account receivable files.
Also, back up all the data you store on the cloud. Back up the files in different locations because of the possibility of the files getting lost.
Safeguarding your company against cybersecurity threats is easier said than done. It involves a lot of work. Hence, both you and your employees need to be cautious and take the necessary precautions.
Unfortunately, this won’t stop cybercriminals from targeting and attacking you. However, employing the above tips is an excellent way to minimize your vulnerability to attacks.