Cybercrime has recently become one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world, impacting millions of businesses in all industries. If you are a business owner, you need to consider the risks associated with your business from a cybersecurity perspective. This is because businesses more prone to cyberattacks face decreased consumer trust, creating a devastating long-term impact on profitability. They not only face the loss of time and money, but also reputational loss.
Since most businesses now operate with a hybrid model, creating a foolproof cybersecurity plan has become even more important, accounting for home networks rather than just providing cybersecurity awareness training to employees.
Unless you wish your firm’s or company’s name to end up in the headlines because of a security breach, you should take precautions and be aware of all the latest and up-to-date cybersecurity best practices and tips. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Invest in a strong cybersecurity team
Since businesses deal with large amounts of sensitive data, including financial records, customer information, and trade secrets, hiring professionals specialized in cybersecurity through cybersecurity degree programs can help implement better practices, infrastructure, and protocols to protect valuable information from unauthorized access, breaches, or theft.
Skilled cybersecurity employees help companies meet regulatory compliance since most industries must comply with strict data privacy and security regulations, such as HIPAA or GDPR. Also, they help businesses demonstrate their commitment to maintaining confidentially and protecting customer data, which in turn fosters trust and loyalty among consumers and provides businesses with a competitive edge.
2. Keep software and hardware up-to-date
There is a reason why software companies regularly provide software updates. These updates help users fix unknown bugs, add new features, and upgrade security; therefore, always ensure all your employees are using the updated version of software to stay protected from existing and new security vulnerabilities.
You should also keep the hardware updated because out-of-date computer hardware does not support the latest software security upgrades and slows down the response time to cyberattacks if anything happens.
3. Ensure audit trails in business operations
Audit trials help to prevent financial statement errors, reduce fraud risk, recognize attempts at asset theft, and stop unauthorized users from retrieving company resources. Audits also help ensure cybersecurity by providing data on how security incidents happen.
The only way for any company to quickly respond to unanticipated situations is to investigate the movements and behaviors of users, third-party vendors, or staff. An audit trail can help your company by assisting security personnel in spotting instances where hackers may attempt to do harm or breach networks.
It helps by preparing the security teams to enhance responsiveness to incidents by learning from past incidents and better preparing for future security incidents by recognizing events using audit trail analysis. It also helps detect a hacker’s previously hidden activity, let alone preventing negative actions like internal fraud and system abuse.
4. Create cybersecurity awareness among employees
To your surprise, half of the business leaders believe that the primary cause of data breaches at their company is personal mistakes. However, the rise of hybrid or remote working has significantly expanded the scope of employee-based data breaches as they frequently use insecure Wi-Fi networks and computers, making themselves an easy target for hackers.
Therefore, educating employees regarding different aspects of cyberattacks and ways to ensure cybersecurity has become important. For instance, employees at all levels should get regular cybersecurity training to stay aware and better recognize fake websites, phishing emails, and signs of fraud. They should also be guided on not to use public and insecure access points, especially when working on sensitive company data. They should be asked to comply with the company’s cybersecurity practices, such as by updating their software timely, let alone keeping their personal computers, especially if working remotely, updated with antivirus programs to avoid malware breaches.
5. Back-up your data
The primary role of cybersecurity management is to minimize the financial and reputation consequences of cyberattacks. Therefore, businesses must not only consider avoiding data breaches but also diminishing the associated cost of successful breaches. For instance, ransomware assaults that end up seizing business data and only releasing it in exchange for huge amounts of money doubled in 2021.
If the leaked information or documents are crucial to a business’s core activities, the company can heavily become dependent on hackers. Businesses must ensure the versioning of key data routinely and keep it at some separate location, such as the cloud or hardware, to ensure continued operations even after a ransomware attack.
6. Use a secured file-sharing software to encrypt data
If your business involves frequently sharing confidential information, you need to start implementing a secure file-sharing solution. Most businesses fail to realize that normal emailing platforms are not designed to exchange sensitive information because they can easily provide unauthorized users access to your critical data if intercepted.
Therefore, your best bet is to implement secure file-sharing software across the board and spread employee awareness to use the same. These software are designed to automatically encrypt sensitive files so you don’t need to worry about cyberattacks or data breaches. Your business’s sensitive information is only as secure as the software tools you choose to share it with.
Cybersecurity best practices are inevitable for businesses to protect themselves from financial and reputation loss. While different companies may implement different cybersecurity plans and policies, depending on their nature of work, it is still important to be aware of and consider all types of risks your business can face. While it is difficult to keep up with cyber criminals, constantly looking for new ways to create security risks for business, the only way to stay protected is to start implementing the above-discussed best practices.