As a business, you’ll have paid heed to the warnings from across the corporate landscape that cybersecurity should be one of your main concerns. You’ll have installed cybersecurity software across your business in order to give you a layer of protection against these threats and risks. But are you doing enough – and could you do more? This article looks at the ways in which you can go the extra mile to bolster your cybersecurity and to ensure that your firm is as secure as possible from hacks, breaches and other threats that could have a serious impact on your firm.
As you may have read online, there are many instances in which multi-million pound damages are generated by a hack that was only made possible by mistakes made by a company’s worker. In these cases, it’s difficult to blame the worker: they should not be blamed for the malicious and illegal activity of a bad actor. Yet there are ways in which you can take responsibility for your staff in order to teach them the correct, safe behaviors that’ll decrease their risk of being hacked. This might include:
- Teaching good password security and ensuring that your staff’s work passwords are different from their personal ones
- Asking your staff to learn about the most common hacks, many of which are simple
- Teaching about the danger of malicious links contained in spam emails, which are among the main sources of breaches
- Ensuring that your staff have good device security and are careful when they’re traveling with work devices
If you’re confident that you can deliver these lessons on your own, you should send around an email or you should run an in-house training session. If you’d prefer to bring in external help to underscore this messaging, there are dozens of firms that you can pay to teach your staff the correct, safest online behavior.
Your firm will always have a weak spot. Like a chain, the weakest point of your business’ digital infrastructure will be the place at which your entire security apparatus breaks – if it’s found by malicious actors. The key here is to locate these weaknesses yourself and to patch them up before any bad actor finds them and decides to exploit them. You can do this by hiring a cybersecurity specialist to always search your backend for weak spots and back doors.
Often, firms will operate in the cloud. That means that the potential for a weak spot to develop is far greater, as your firm and your files will be linked across multiple different servers and services. As such, you should be extra careful to ensure that you’ve set up your infrastructure with as few weak spots as possible. Again, that’ll take the expertise of a trained cybersecurity expert, who you can bring in on your permanent staff or as a consultant.
It’s not just hacks that can be dangerous for your cybersecurity. From time to time, you can score an own goal by linking up services in your backend that accidentally grant a staff member access to documents that you’d thought they could not access. Now, it’s unlikely that most staff members would ever search for these and fewer still would view them or download them. But the risk here is that their permission to access sensitive documents could lead to a hacker easily being able to take important data from your firm.
This means that you need to investigate your privileges network. Research how you can make your escalating privileges – by which only certain people can access certain documents – more watertight. It’s easy to make a mistake here, but it’s equally easy to remedy a mistake if you spot it early. Bear in mind that this is also one of the key ways in which sensitive data is stolen from businesses.
There is such a thing as cybersecurity insurance. Indeed, most large and medium-sized firms will have a policy in case they’re hacked or subject to a ransomware attack. Of course, insurance is there for when your worst cybersecurity fears are realized, and you find that your firm has been hacked. That will mean that your cybersecurity has failed. But at least you’ll have access to the funds required to close your vulnerability and deal with the fallout of the hack.
Policies for cybersecurity vary, so it’s important to look carefully at the small print in order to understand what exactly you’ll be covered for in the event of a hack or an attack. Many policies will offer you ransomware protection in particular, which helps you when attackers steal your important data and threaten to delete it unless a ransom is paid. Others will give you protection for when you lose cash due to interrupted business services that occur as the result of a hack that you could not avoid.
It might seem like a bland point, but common sense should always prevail when cybersecurity is concerned. For instance, you shouldn’t go to the toilet in a cafe, leaving your laptop open on a table as you do so, in case it’s stolen. You should keep your personal devices separate from your work ones where possible, and your passwords different and constantly changing. You should protect all your devices with two-factor identification, to give you the best chance of avoiding a breach if hardware is stolen.
Regarding software, you should also abide by commonsense principles. Try not to engage with smaller software providers that may not be able to offer you a high level of security. Avoid using software that has been proven to be insecure, and always do your research to see how certain programs are rated for their cybersecurity provisions. Finally, you should always ensure that your cybersecurity protection software is updated and leading the market in protection, as this is your first safety net in the case of an attempted breach.
There you have it: the key ways in which you can enhance cybersecurity across your business in the latter part of 2022, giving you security and confidence for the future.