This year, businesses are switching to online practices rapidly due to COVID-19. Cybersecurity is one of the top concerns of these rapidly-evolving online businesses. Whether you are a big firm or a startup, you have an equal chance of falling prey to cyberattacks. In this battle against hackers, companies must come up with solid cybersecurity practices to help combat this issue. In this article, you will find strategies that every company must adopt to avoid getting exposed to hackers. If no proper measures get taken, cyberattacks can compromise systems and access confidential data such as credit card information or credentials for identity theft. If your company invests in strong cybersecurity policies, it can save organizations millions of dollars. Therefore, have a look at the ten cybersecurity practices that can help you safeguard your business against such threats.
- Cybersecurity assessments: It can get tough to build a proper defense if you are not aware of where you currently stand. Therefore, regular cybersecurity assessments should get done to maintain a good security plan. The assessment will highlight all the strengths that you can amplify and the weaknesses which you can improve. If you start with an assessment, it will give you a clear perspective of the steps you need to secure your business. By doing this, you will also avoid wasting money and effort on resources that do not apply to your business.
- Create a dedicated insider threat role: According to modern cybersecurity practices, an insider threat program is essential. The reason for this is because having employees who have access to the company’s data can be risky since they can leak the information or damage the equipment. If you have a company that has sensitive data that can ruin your reputation if it is exposed to insider attacks, then you must invest in the program.
- Conducting phishing simulations: Phishing attacks are known to be very prevalent this year, and many companies have experienced it. Phishing simulation involves training your employees on how to avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files. The simulation will create awareness amongst employees about the effects of phishing attacks and learn about the latest tricks of the attackers.
- Assess third-party vendor risk: Many breaches have affected large brands through vulnerabilities found in small third-party vendors and suppliers. Business owners need to make sure that cybersecurity practices are part of the criteria when you are considering working with any vendor. You need to know what they do to protect their networks, systems, and data. You must implement a process to review the security measures of your key vendors. Periodical assessment of their cybersecurity measures will ensure that they are not putting your organization’s security at risk.
- Secure remote working: Many remote employees make the mistake of accessing corporate networks through unsecured public Wi-Fi networks while traveling or on work trips. They should get trained and educated about the precautions they can take to avoid these risks. They should be introduced with options such as VPNs and anti-malware programs.
- Privilege access management: When you are assessing the tools that your team uses, you must also take out the time to define access privileges. Make sure that only administrators have access to passwords and other confidential information. The rest of the staff should only get limited access to the data that is specific to their job. By doing this, if an attacker gains access through someone’s credentials, the impact of the damage can get limited to the rights defined solely for that person.
- Keep software updated: Any software that is utilized by your company should be updated to the latest firmware. Old apps are more prone to attacks that can steal information and cause severe damage. While there are many antivirus software programs that routinely up on their own, however, there may be some programs that may not have this function. They should get checked on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that all of them are up to date.
- Invest in an employee monitoring app: There is only so much that you can monitor while your team is working remotely. To get insider details about who your employees are interacting with and what information they are sharing with your competitors, business owners should invest in monitoring apps. One such app is XNSPY. Purchasing the app does not cost as much as the benefits it gives to ensure the security of data worth millions. Some of the features of XNSPY are:
- It gives you access to the complete call log of the monitored device. Employers can even download the calls and listen to the conversations of their employees remotely to check that sensitive information is not being leaked.
- It gives you access to the employees’ official email accounts. You can monitor them to check that confidential information is not getting shared with anyone.
- You can use the GPS-tracking feature to ensure that your employees are at their workplace during office hours.
- You can use the alert-based function to set up alerts of contacts, location, and suspicious words. Every time those words are used, or the location is visited, you would get notified about it.
- It lets you view your browsing history. You can use this feature to ensure that your employees are not researching about any suspicious activity. It can also be used to see that employees are not wasting their time browsing for leisure at work hours.
- It grants you access to all the text messages which are sent and received on the monitored device.
- Back up your data: Backing up your data regularly should be a mandatory practice. Keep in mind the malicious ransomware that is the trend these days. They steal your data and ask for ransom money to give your data back to you. That is why data backups are a good practice to include in your basic security policy.
- Incident response plan: As the owner of a business, you must realize that even after all the protection and defensive programs that you implement, it will not give you a 100% guarantee of keeping you safe from cyberattacks. However, a well thought of incident response plan can minimize the effects in case you fall prey to it. The plan should include a way that ensures that the most equipped team members get notified immediately if a problem gets detected. Every employee should know about the necessary steps that should get taken. It includes their responsibilities about responding to the threat. You should also chalk out ways on how to communicate this to organization leadership, external stakeholders, and the public if and when it is necessary.
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To keep your company safe from cyberattacks, diligent, and effective cybersecurity strategies should be made. Following the strategies that we have listed can lower the impact of the attack, if not prevent it completely. These solutions are cost-effective, so even the small scale startups can use them for their benefit.