Admit it. Most small businesses have a cybersecurity strategy that doesn’t go beyond antivirus. That’s might be efficient somewhere in the 1990s. But that is not enough to stop today’s sophisticated attacks. In other words, today’s threats can easily outwit your basic antivirus. Top of that, the digital world is already plagued with ever-increasing cyber incidents.
Here are some terrifying cybercrime incidents for you…
- Nearly 30,000 websites are hacked every day.
- Cybercrimes are estimated to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.
- Average ransomware demands $1,077.
- And 60 percent of small companies closed within 6 months of cyberattacks.
We hope that you wouldn’t make them part of these scary statistics. Therefore, you need to work over your cybersecurity strategy.
Audit Your Business Data:
First of all, you need to ponder over data being collected and used by your business, requiring you to conduct a data audit. The data audit should be made on the following points:
- How much data is made of public information?
- Which data is the most sensitive?
- Which data might not impact your business if compromised?
Data auditing will also help you view the trail of changes made to customer data by your staff, helping you figure out the right details instantly. From there you can resolve the problem faster, which keeps your data as flawless as possible.
Utilize Multiple Authentication Systems:
Authentication is done to confirm an identity of a user, machine, or device by comparing submitting credentials against existing authorized identities before providing access to a system or application. It is just like using the right password and username to get access. However, relying on a traditional authentication system is not sufficient.
To maximize your security, consider using multiple authentication factors. As the name suggests, this is the method in which a user is granted access only after providing two or more factors to an authentication system. For example, apart from the password, the system might ask you some things that only the user knows. This additional form of identification also includes sending OTP to the registered cell phone and to provide a fingerprint scan.
Have HTTPs on Your Website:
Have a look at the beginning of the URL of your website. What did you see? Is it HTTP or HTTPs? If it is HTTP or you don’t care if it is HTTP or HTTPS at all, there is a great risk to the information being exchanged between you and your visitor.HTTPS is the encrypted version of HTTP, meaning that it protects the communication between the browser and server from being compromised. The data exchanged between these two points remains safe. HTTPs websites have SSL/TLS Certificated onto their servers.
Enabling HTTPs on your website not only protects the information but also keeps you in the good books of Google.Google has previously said that HTTPS websites would get a minor ranking boost over their HTTP counterparts. For example, if two websites have the same specifications and content, Google would prefer showing HTTPS before HTTP to the users.In a nutshell, having HTTPS is beneficial from both security and ranking viewpoint.
Use Strong Passwords:
While passwords are the first line of defence, they can be easy to decode if not created carefully. In other words, weak passwords like 1234, ABCD or your date of birth are a low hanging fruit for cybercriminals. Today’s cybercriminals are so sophisticated that they can easily guess your passwords, thanks to the advanced hacking tools. It is better to strengthen your passwords rather than regretting data incident later. Here’s how…
· Avoid Using Personal Information:
Avoid using your name or names of your beloved ones or pets in your passwords. Don’t put numbers like phone number, address or date of birth, either. Such pieces of information are publicly available, on forms or social media profiles.
- Create Long Passwords Composed of Various Texts:
A good password is of 10 characters being composed of numerals, alphabets, upper case/lower case, and special characters. And such passwords are not easy to crack.
- Avoid Writing Them Down:
Many people are likely to write down their passwords under their keyboards, on a notepad or somewhere else. Stories about cybercriminals looking for passwords through trash also termed as dumpster-diving, are real. Make sure no one is watching or looking over your shoulders when you use a password in public places. While it is better to memorize your password, you can use password manager tools to keep your credentials protected and encrypted.
- Change Your Passwords:
Make sure to change your passwords more often, especially those being used for financial accounts and important servers. Sticking to the same password for years can risk your information.
- Use Different Passwords for Different Accounts:
Avoid using one password for more than one account. If one account is hacked, then it would be a cakewalk for a cybercriminal to hack others too. You can use password generator tools to create unique and strong passwords.
Backup Your Data:
Imagine you wake up with the news that you have lost your data due to data incident, employee negligence or system crash. You will have peace of mind knowing that you have an efficient backup system in place. Otherwise, it’s of no use of pulling out your hair in frustration.
Keep in mind that data loss can take place at any time and for all reasons. This might be crashes, physical damages, theft, or user error. The threat of ransomware can’t be sidelined. That’s when a threat actor injects a virus on your computer that encodes your data, making it useless. You might have to pay a ransom so that the hacker can “release” your data, with no guarantee that they can do so. Frequent backups and IT maintenance let you restore either specific files or your entire data easily.
Here are some tips to improve your data backup:
- Storage is affordable, so it makes sense to just back up every piece of data.
- Use cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox when you can’t afford external HDDs to backup your data.
- Try to have both physical back-ups in HDDs and cloud backup so that you don’t have to rely on only one option.
- Choose an efficient system for application data that is a challenging thing to backup as the data can change daily.
- You can choose online backup services in which a vendor will handle the stored data, thereby helping you manage your data in a better way. Most online backup services are often encrypted and protect the data from loss triggered by technological issues or online threats.
However, the best data backup solution is the one that goes well with your requirements. That depends on the kind of data you have. Here check out our infographic more information.
Assess Your Security Posture:
An organization’s security posture is referred to the entire security status of your IT infrastructure, including hardware and software items, services, information, and networks. Besides, it also includes the control and measure you have in place to prevent cyber-attacks; your ability to defend and how proactive you are.
Assessing your security posture lets you know where you are standing in cybersecurity. Generally, the assessment is built around the following considerations:
- The security of your organization.
- How comprehensive if your cybersecurity strategy?
- How efficient are cybersecurity measures?
- Can breach risk be measured accurately?
- The vulnerability to attacks and breaches.
To improve your cybersecurity posture, start from conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment. It helps you identify the level of threats across various assets across your workplace. This way, you can determine the suitable action to improve your security posture as well as enhance the security controls you have in place to protect against potential attacks. Third-party vendors should be included in your cybersecurity risk assessment.
Once you are done with the identification of vulnerabilities, rank those according to the risk factor—from most risky to the least risky. This will help you identify what to prioritize when it comes to improving the security posture. Also, consider automating your cybersecurity solutions to eliminate painful mundane and repetitive tasks in the cybersecurity.
Last but not least—educate your employees on cybersecurity as they can be the most vulnerable link a criminal always looks to exploit.
Learn How to Deal with Insider Threats:
You can have the best antivirus systems. You have the best cybersecurity practices in the places. But it requires just one corrupt man in your people who can risk your sensitive data. Yeah, we are talking about someone who is not loyal to your business. They can sell information to your rivals out of greed or vengeance. And these people or such practices are known as insider threats. The name sounds interesting. Isn’t it?
An insider threat can be anyone, whether it’s a current or former employee, contractor or even your business partner. In 2017, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, sued its former employee Anthony Levandowski, who is then at Uber, for stealing over 14,000 internal files to provide them to his new employer. Keep in mind that insider threat is the biggest cause of data breaches. And they are more dangerous than any other form of a cyber attack. After all, they are familiar with your data, passwords and systems.
Therefore, it is important to deal with them. Here are some important steps to do that.
- Perform background checks on your employees before hiring them. Make sure to call their previous employees to know them better.
- Keep an eye on your employees. If they are dissatisfied and not happy, it might be the sign that they are up to something. Reach out to them to find what troubles them.
- Control access to your data.
- Use action monitoring software to check what’s happening on their systems.
- Make sure to change your passwords when an employee leaves your company.
Work with a Managed Security Service Provider:
Not all businesses have a dedicated IT team. If you are one of them, you can work with a managed security service provider . They have dedicated teams of experts to constantly monitor your company’s data. Apixel Singapore is managed it support services provider that can ensure your peace of mind when it comes to data and network. We provide several layers of protection, reducing risks, identity theft, and watching for a potential threat. This way, we are really useful for small businesses to safeguard their critical information.
So you must have understood how to improve your cybersecurity strategies. It all takes you to review your infrastructure, identify the existing and potential risks, and take action accordingly. There is no right time to work over your cybersecurity. You never know when your data can be compromised. It is better to prepare than to regret later.
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