With 64% of companies that have experienced web-based attacks, cyber security is more important than ever. And that is not all. FBI reported a staggering increase in reported cybercrimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The complaints have jumped by as much as 300%!
Cyber threats are real and hackers keep finding new ways to gain access to your systems and your sensitive data. Data breaches are not only expensive, but they can diminish the reputation of your business too.
So, what can you do to improve your organization’s security measures and lower the risk of breaches on your systems? Let’s take a look at six effective ways to prevent cyber security threats.
Enable multi-factor authentication and change passwords frequently
A simple method to increase security is to change passwords regularly. Having different strong passwords for every application your employees use and changing them often benefits your security, but it’s not enough.
When it comes to applications that access the internet, enabling a two-factor authentication process is an effective way to increase the level of protection against both external and internal threats.
If cybercriminals gain access to employee passwords using phishing scams or a hack, it will be much more difficult for them to access your systems.
Educate your staff
One of the most efficient ways to improve business security is to educate your employees. Cybercriminals use various scams to trick your staff and gain access to your data.
They may send fraudulent emails and impersonate someone in your organization. Also, it’s easy to fall into their trap when hackers ask for personal information or access to certain files since emails can be convincing, and links may seem legitimate to an untrained person.
This is why educating your staff about cyber-attack prevention is crucial.
The best way to ensure protection against cyber threats is to provide a comprehensive cyber security course to your new employees. Besides this, make sure to provide extra training and refresher courses periodically.
Annual training sessions that cater to all levels of your enterprise will ensure your staff is well-informed on how to guard against security threats.
Implement robust internal controls
Controlling access to your systems is a necessary part of a well-crafted cybersecurity strategy. For example, your former employees or contractors may be able to access your system later on if you don’t block their access.
Or, a person could walk into your office and access your network or infect it by simply plugging in a USB key into one of your computers.
To ensure greater security, monitor who has access to your systems.
This applies to your Wi-Fi network too. Make sure it’s secure and hidden, so only your employees can access it. Otherwise, an infected device that connects to your business network can compromise your entire system.
Keep your software up-to-date
Another common way for cybercriminals to gain access to your network is via your system and software that isn’t fully updated. This leaves your systems with weaknesses hackers are notorious for taking advantage of.
The need for constant updates is frustrating, but it’s vital in protecting your business. The purpose of updates is to fix any problems that weren’t detected when the product was released.
To keep your system and software resistant to malicious attacks, consider getting a patch management system. Instead of updating your entire infrastructure frequently, you can let this useful software manage and install all the necessary patches and keep your systems secure and up-to-date.
Regularly back up and encrypt important business data
If you fall victim to a cyber-attack and lose your crucial business data, you may incur significant financial losses and downtime. Creating regular backups of your most important business data is an essential step in keeping your business up and running.
Data breaches sometimes happen even if you enforce proper security measures to protect your business. So regular backups are your best chance of avoiding a total loss in case your data gets erased or corrupted due to a cyber-attack.
Encrypting your data is also helpful in protecting against data breaches, especially when it comes to sensitive information.
Even with the worst-case scenario, your business operations will continue. That way, you’ll avoid high costs if your company prepares well.
Antivirus software and firewalls are a must
Finally, make sure to have efficient antivirus software in place. Install this software on every computer your employees use and keep it updated.
To achieve an integrated approach to system security, besides following the steps listed above, install a firewall too. Putting your network behind a firewall will further improve your defense against cyber-attacks.
New types of data breaches emerge every day, so it’s best to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic and block suspicious data packets.
Cyber-attacks can cost you your livelihood, and hackers target businesses of any size, so a robust security strategy is essential in mitigating cyber threats. Make sure you take the necessary steps to improve your business’s security and avoid financial loss and damage to your reputation.