Rarely does a week go by without a major data breach making headlines, but it’s actually the countless attacks against individuals and smaller organizations that are the most concerning. All too often, leaders of small businesses think they’re not attractive enough targets. In reality, they’re among the most popular because of their reputation as being relatively easy pickings. After all, every business creates data, and so long as that data has value, it will remain a target for cybercrime.
Given the state of rapid technological transformation in the workplace, cybersecurity is much more complicated than it once was. You can no longer expect to get away with just protecting your network with a firewall and antivirus software. Instead, you need a multilayered approach to security to the extent it should be deeply integrated with your overall technology strategy, rather than something you simply tack on later and hope for the best. Here are five tips to work towards that goal.
#1. Train your employees regularly
Although technology usually gets the blame whenever there’s a data breach, human error is more often the cause. That’s because social engineering scammers use deception to manipulate victims into taking a desired action, such as downloading malicious software or giving away their login credentials or other confidential information.
Scammers are exploiting a large range of channels ranging from email to social media to compromised websites, and no amount of technology alone can stop them. That’s why every business needs regular awareness training.
#2. Stop relying solely on passwords
Passwords have always played a central role in digital security, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. However, reliance on passwords leaves your business open to phishing scams and other threats, not to mention the fact that poor password habits are alarmingly widespread. Businesses should always protect their mission-critical systems with an extra authentication layer. Multifactor authentication (MFA) verifies a user’s identity with a mobile authenticator, fingerprint scanner, or other methods. MFA is especially important when someone is logging in from a new or unrecognized device.
#3. Move your data to the cloud
Contrary to popular belief, cloud computing isn’t inherently less secure than keeping data stored on site. In fact, data centers belonging to big cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are among the most secure computing environments in the world.
As long as you choose vendors who are compliant with all industry standards your business is subject to, storing your data in the cloud is usually the best and most reliable way to keep it safe. Furthermore, the cloud is ideal for disaster recovery because it’s standard practice for providers to maintain backup servers in several geographic locations.
#4. Keep an eye on your vendors
Most businesses work with dozens of suppliers, technology service providers, and other third parties who have access to their confidential data. It’s imperative that these third parties have at least the same level of security as you do.
For example, retail giant Target fell victim to one of the biggest data breaches in history due to an HVAC supplier that had access to one of their point-of-sale systems. More than ever, organizations need to take great care when choosing business partners and always maintain full visibility into their data.
#5. Lock down your endpoints
With mobile and internet of things (IoT) devices now being commonplace in the modern business, there are more devices to protect than ever before. In addition to your company-wide network security controls and monitoring tools, you also need safeguards installed on every device that’s connected to the internet and/or handles the transmission or storage of potentially sensitive data. This so-called “endpoint protection” combines several security strategies into a single solution that includes antivirus, personal firewalls, application controls, and intrusion prevention systems.
OC-IT provides hassle-free technology solutions and advice to businesses in San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, and Oceanside. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.
Like This Article?of our most popular posts