Data breaches have become increasingly widespread in recent years. These assaults highlight the vulnerable state of data and the general lack of effective security measures among businesses. You will face severe consequences if any information – trade secrets, financial data, or employee records – is compromised. In fact, in some cases, it would only take one hack for your entire firm to collapse.
Indeed, ensuring proper security in the face of persistent cyberattacks is a formidable challenge. Still, you can leverage various tried-and-true online security practices that shield your network against intrusion. Some of them are as follows:
1. Train Employees
Two of the most widespread cybersecurity threats modern businesses face are ransomware and phishing. Guess what? Both of them flourish on victims making careless mistakes. For example, your organization may be at risk if your employees receive phishing emails and cannot evaluate whether they are fraudulent. Similarly, data loss primarily results from employees not understanding the information security protocols and unintentionally abusing their privileges.
This shows simply using technology solutions is insufficient. That is why businesses should provide regular awareness training for their staff. As part of the onboarding process and annually after, training opportunities for workers are key.
While the theory is essential, the training should mostly revolve around practical exercises to give employees first-hand experience. Make sure the trainer is adequately qualified in the cybersecurity domain. As a rule of thumb, someone with an MBA cybersecurity degree would be ideal for this role.
2. Buy a VPN
This decade has seen a meteoric rise in the prevalence of hybrid and remote work arrangements. And many employees rely on free public Wi-Fi to go about their tasks. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must when employees operate remotely.
Using a VPN makes your online actions undetectable by anyone other than the VPN service provider. It encrypts the data transmitted over an employee’s internet connection, making it nearly impossible for cybercriminals to sabotage their security.
It bears worth mentioning that not all VPN solutions offer the same degree of security. As demand for VPN services grows, new vendors have entered the market. So it is essential to proceed with caution as you compare different VPN providers. You should probably start your search for a VPN online and read several reviews before making a final decision.
3. Update Software Regularly
Update all of the company’s electronic devices, such as laptops, computers, and cell phones, to the most recent software versions. This is because most of the updates launched by both Windows and iOS are fixes intended to increase the degree of security the system provides.
As soon as a glitch is discovered, the developers working for these companies quickly generate the necessary patches for them.
That said, updating software manually may be an effective approach. So, what measures can a business take to ensure that every device they possess runs the latest software? We suggest that you devote at least one evening per week to conducting a technology audit. Alternatively, you might also set up automatic upgrades for all company-owned gadgets.
4. Implement MFA
With Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), users must provide proof of identity via more than one method before being granted access to an account. The goal is to enhance the security of user accounts and reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access by adding another layer of protection beyond the password.
OTPs are among the most frequently used MFA components. Every time you log in to your account, you must enter a 4-digit to the 8-digit number sent to you via email or text message. Some companies prefer using physical tokens like a swipe card or key for user authentication.
Companies are starting to use MFA more frequently. According to credible reports, 60% of big businesses and almost 80% of small and mid-sized companies across the globe will adopt MFA capabilities to safeguard their organizations’ accounts by 2023.
5. Get a Password Manager
The majority of people are careless with their passwords. About 33% of us reuse the same password across multiple platforms. Even worse, 42% of people who utilize technology have had their accounts compromised at some point. For this reason, having a password manager is essential.
Using a password manager allows you to generate secure and unique passwords for your accounts. Therefore, security will be impenetrable even with the most advanced password-cracking tools.
Access control is also a potential headache for many businesses, especially when multiple employees need access to the same account. You can keep track of your passwords in one secure location and easily update them as required with the help of a password manager.
The most sophisticated password managers require only one administrator, who may grant access to additional users without disclosing the password itself.
6. Keep An Eye Out For Encryption
Look for metrics that suggest a site is encrypted before entering any sensitive financial information. You can tell if a website is secure by ensuring the URL ends with “s” rather than “http” and looking for the closed lock icon in the browser’s address bar.
While a website is secure, the “http” in the address bar changes to “https” when you are on the page that requests your credit card information. Simultaneously, a lock icon will appear to the left of your browser window to indicate that the connection is secure.
These two indicators prove that data submitted to the website’s owner is encrypted and safe from prying eyes. You may rest assured that no one can access your details, such as name, address, phone number, or credit card number.
Nowadays, a news cycle rarely goes by without reporting on a large data breach that has exposed the personal information of millions of consumers to cybercriminals. This speaks volumes about the prevailing condition of online security. However, the good news is that you can still keep data breaches at a safe distance by walking the tight line of the actions covered in this post.