Cyber security is not an issue you can afford to ignore. Cyber attacks grow ever more sophisticated and hackers don’t sleep. A serious data breach is catastrophic for a company’s reputation, but with technology increasingly entwined in our everyday lives, businesses need a multi-faceted action plan if they want to minimize risks.
There is no 100% effective method of preventing cyber attacks and data breaches, but if you implement the following strategies, you should be able to maintain the integrity of your systems.
It is important that you run background checks on all employees before they start work for you. Data breaches are sometimes caused by disgruntled employees with an ax to grind. A simple background check could reveal any issues and prevent this person from being placed in a position of trust.
Educate the End User
End users are a weak point in any security system. It is pointless implementing a password system if people choose ridiculously weak passwords such as ‘password’ or fail to install antivirus software on their computer.
Most data breaches are caused by human error, so run training programs and educate your end users on key issues such as the importance of strong passwords, social media security awareness, and how to spot phishing attacks.
Create an Inventory of Assets
How many assets does your company own? By assets, we mean computers, tablets, external hard drives, flash drives, servers, etc. If the answer is “I don’t know”, you need to create an inventory of assets.
Without an inventory, how would you know if a laptop went missing or a flash drive was left on a train? If these devices contained confidential client data, which then fell into the wrong hands, it would be disastrous.
Computers contain a lot of data, yet when they are replaced by a shiny new one, we don’t think twice about dumping them in a bin. Unfortunately, throwing a computer away doesn’t destroy the data contained therein. Anyone could remove the hard drive and retrieve the data.
Assets must be permanently destroyed before being disposed of. An NSA approved degausser ensures permanent data erasure before assets are thrown away.
Protect Your Network
Networks are a major vulnerability in any business. End users are free to download software programs, forget to run security scans, or access dubious websites, all of which can infect your network with malware or malicious software.
You need to actively manage network security, including monitoring whether end users are using antivirus and internet security, installing recommended software patches, and adhering to social media and internet usage policies.
Adopt a Multi-Layered Approach
Installing desktop antivirus software on computers is not enough to protect your business from hackers or malware. Instead, adopt a multi-faceted approach that includes email scanning for spam and malicious downloads and robust firewall security on network servers.
Once you have a data security plan in place, monitor it regularly and keep it updated to reflect the latest technological advances in the field of cyber security.