There’s really no turning back now. The world of work is taking place online more than ever before. This year especially has seen countless organizations have to pivot and adapt to changing conditions. The good news is that many businesses have been able to do it and they’ve seen the benefits of taking operations remote. However, there’s no denying that all of this evolution has come with increased risk.
With more and more business communication and transactions occurring online, concerns about cybersecurity are more pressing than ever before. Malicious cybercriminals and hackers are waiting in the wings to take advantage of increased online traffic in the business space and get their hands on sensitive company data.
In fact, this reality has led to many of our clients taking cybersecurity more seriously than ever before. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about existing risks and advice on the best cybersecurity strategies to mitigate them. As a team of experienced cybersecurity specialists, we welcome the challenge and are committed to helping businesses and organizations in all industries deploy durable and proactive cybersecurity strategies.
A huge part of this commitment is all about education. When it comes down to it, we might be the experts when it comes to cybersecurity for business, but if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that sharing our expertise to empower professional teams is some of the best support we can offer.
The more information we share, the more confident business teams will feel developing custom-tailored strategies to secure their organizational networks. That’s why we’ve created this brief cybersecurity intro-guide that offers a starting point from which professional leaders can start taking cybersecurity by the horns.
When it comes to cybersecurity, proactivity is always the best policy. The more time and effort you put into creating a reliable cybersecurity plan, the better chance you have of staying prepared and catching issues before they become full-blown problems.
The following 7 tips are designed to help you develop a baseline from which a dynamic and customized cybersecurity strategy can grow. If your organization is trying to get serious about cybersecurity and take charge of your network, these tips will empower you to take the first steps and put your concerns to rest for good.
Take a focused approach & start small
Cybersecurity can seem like a massive and daunting task when you’re first getting started. However, the best advice we can give here is to not get overwhelmed. The key is to take a very focused approach and start small. It may sound counterintuitive, but when it comes to developing cybersecurity strategies, little by little is the best way to go.
Start by looking at the most critical and high-traffic areas of your network. Look for vulnerabilities and assess risk. Do your research and check out trusted sources for cybersecurity guidance. When in doubt, reach out to a team of cybersecurity professionals who can help run a comprehensive security analysis of your network and give you clear and strategic consultation on where to start and what to plan for.
Know thy enemy
It might sound dramatic, but getting strategic about cybersecurity is like going to war. A huge part of the battle is coming to know the threats your network is up against. The more you know about potential risks, the better you’ll be able to develop relevant and reliable strategies to mitigate them.
Keep a finger on the button of trending scams and attacks. Remember that understanding the different kinds of attacks and scams is really important. Do you know what kind of social engineering scams are floating around? Do you know the key points of access that hackers most commonly try to exploit? The more you get inside the head of the enemy, the stronger your defense will be.
Password policies are non-negotiable
Long gone are the days of choosing willy-nilly, easy-to-guess passwords. The fact is, hackers are getting more and more sophisticated when it comes to hacking login credentials and gaining unauthorized access to organizational data. This means that professional teams must be extra vigilant when it comes to choosing secure passwords and changing them on a regular basis.
Set a schedule for password changes and get password policies on paper. Password protection is about more than employee accounts too. WiFi networks must be thoroughly secured with strong passwords to prevent network hacking. Also, if you have more employees working from home nowadays, remember that their home networks can be breached while company data and resources are being accessed. Talk with your team about the importance of password protection both on-and-off site and get password policies on paper for easy reference.
VPNs are your new best friend
While password protection is a good start, there really is no substitute for virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs offer fully-secured and fully-encrypted platforms on which teams can access company data and resources safely. In an increasingly ‘online’ business world, cybersecurity professionals recommend VPNs as the ultimate secure-access solution.
Look into different VPN solutions and determine which one might be best suited for your operational needs. More than anything though, be sure to choose a VPN provider carefully and thoughtfully. Avoid too-good-to-be-true ‘free’ VPN options and look for a provider who has a reputation for deploying VPN solutions in the business space. As always, it’s a good idea to consult with a team of professionals about their recommendations when it comes to VPNs.
Layer-up with multi-factor authentication
We talked a lot about the importance of passwords, and without a doubt choosing strong passwords is critical. However, in a fast-paced and constantly evolving cybersecurity environment, passwords only offer one layer of protection. That’s why today, best practice is to beef-up your login credentials by deploying multi-factor authentication technology.
Set up all your business accounts and networks so that they can only be accessed by using multiple forms of user authentication. This could involve receiving a special code to a specific email or phone number or could even include more innovative biometric technologies like fingerprint or face scans. No matter the method you choose, you can never have too many layers of security to defend your business data.
Don’t get lazy – stay on top of network updates and patches
We all hate that dreaded update notification. No matter how often it arrives or how many times we’re told it’s important, many of us have got in the habit of clicking ‘remind me later’ or ignoring the request altogether. However, we’re here to tell you that when it comes to your business network, avoiding updates and patches can be a cybersecurity nightmare.
Network updates and patches often contain key fixes that address network glitches and points of vulnerability. This means, the more you commit yourself to regular updates, the easier it will be for you to avoid network exploitation. Set a regular schedule for network updates and patches and include automatic reminders. When your hardware tells you it’s time to update or patch, do it immediately or as soon as possible to ensure your network is operating at peak security performance.
Disaster recovery & business continuity planning are an investment
No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but when it comes to cybersecurity, the fact is that cyber-attacks and network breaches will happen. It sounds pessimistic, but it really is a matter of when not if. That’s why creating plans for responding to and recovering from the worst-case scenario really is a business investment.
The more you make contingency plans for an unexpected cyberattack, the more confident you’ll feel in bouncing back. Taking a proactive approach like this can really save you endless time and stress – and yes, it can even save you money and could potentially mean the survival of your organization.
Create proactive and comprehensive plans for responding to cyber disasters and for continuing business operations in the face of a network breach. This should include backing-up data, creating emergency communication plans, and strategies for immediate response in the case of a breach.
The tips and recommendations we’ve offered above layout a useful floorplan for organizations who are ready to take a more deliberate and strategic approach to cybersecurity. However, the reality is, these tips only scratch the surface. Cybersecurity is an important and ongoing commitment, and the more professional teams try to make it a consistent part of their quarterly and annual planning, the more in control they’ll feel.
Because cybersecurity planning is all about the long-game, organizations should never hesitate to reach out to a team of cybersecurity specialists for guidance, consultation, and support. As we mentioned, the cybercrime landscape these days is a battlefield, and partnering with a team of professionals is the best weapon you could bring to battle.
Need support getting tactical with cybersecurity? We’re on standby. Reach out to us anytime at (613) 828-1280, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.fuellednetworks.com.