4 Critical Steps to Secure Your Business

Critical Steps to Secure Your Business

Businesses are more exposed to cyber risks than ever before. Thanks to the digital revolution, companies hold more sensitive data than ever before. Coupled with the increasing sophistication of cyber attackers, the average business must prioritize cybersecurity ahead of every other business function.

Cybersecurity can seem intimidating, thanks to the mix of acronyms and technical jargon that dominates it. However, effective cybersecurity often comes down to installing a set of basic best practices. Once you have the following processes in place, you’ll reduce your risk of a data breach significantly.

Prioritize Email Security

Email inboxes are one of the most vulnerable parts of your company. Email security is often overlooked for fancier protection solutions. However, more malware is delivered through company inboxes than anywhere else.

Phishing, a method where a malicious actor sends malware via email, remains a top concern for cybersecurity experts worldwide. Curiously, phishing has managed to remain a top security threat despite significant technological advances. Why?

Human beings are still the weakest link in every organization’s security apparatus. As a result, an email that spoofs a CEO’s message or links to a genuine-looking but malicious website is likely to fool even the most experienced employee.

One way of heading off this risk is to use software that monitors and tracks emails before they’re delivered to inboxes. These platforms act as email filters and reduce the chance of a phishing email working its way into an employee’s inbox. You can build custom approval workflows for borderline cases, increasing the software’s efficiency in the long run.

Think of email security software as a firewall for employee inboxes. Much like a firewall that protects your network, email security software filters harmful traffic out and ensures your employees are safe at all times.

Invest in Employee Training

Since humans remain the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity,  it stands to reason that you must invest in training them effectively. With employees working remotely and utilizing digital tools for communication and collaboration, the risk of a data breach has increased.

By training employees in cybersecurity practices, companies can educate them on how to identify and avoid cyber threats, thus reducing the risk of a successful attack. It also helps create a culture of security within the organization, making it easier to protect sensitive information and maintain the confidentiality of critical data.

Unfortunately, cybersecurity training is often seen as a one-time event, rather than a continuous process. As technology and cyber threats evolve, employees need to be updated with the latest information and practices. If training is not engaging or interactive, employees may not retain the information and may not apply it in their day-to-day work.

You must make training a priority and allocate resources to develop and implement training initiatives. Involve experts in the field to design programs that are up-to-date, interactive, and engaging. Encourage participation and provide opportunities for hands-on practice.

Assess the effectiveness of your training and make necessary adjustments to ensure that your employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves and the company from cyber threats.

Encrypt Data

Data encryption converts plain text into code to secure sensitive information. You can encrypt your data with encryption software, hardware, or services to make it unreadable to unauthorized individuals. This encryption can be applied to data in transit, such as email and file transfers, and data at rest, such as stored files and databases.

Implement encryption protocols, such as SSL/TLS, to secure data transmitted over networks. While evaluating solutions is critical, take the time to establish policies and procedures for managing encryption keys. Make sure your service provider uses a strong and widely-accepted algorithm.

Note that encryption can impact the performance of your systems and networks. Strike a balance between the need for security and performance. It’s best to begin by conducting a risk assessment to determine the types of data that need encryption and the impact a breach would have.

Review and update your encryption processes regularly to ensure they are effective and adapt to changing needs.

Monitor Network Endpoints

Endpoint security is the protection of devices that access your network, such as laptops, smartphones, and servers, from cyber threats and other unauthorized access. As with data encryption, the right endpoint security solution (EDR) goes a long way toward securing your network.

However, you must back this solution up with robust policies. Examine your password policies and mandate changes in the right frequencies. Using a password manager to govern access is a good move. If your employees work remotely, define device access policies and mandate the use of VPNs.

Make sure your network’s assets are up to date and are configured correctly. Lastly, create an incident response plan that defines the actions your team will take when encountering security incidents.

Security is a Priority

Make sure you review your security policies regularly and implement the tips in this article to secure your network. Educate your employees and focus on changing their behavior towards incidents instead of building awareness. Over time, you’ll minimize the risk of a data breach and future-proof your business.

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