No business, regardless of its size and scope, can afford to compromise on data security.
In fact, almost two-thirds of all cyberattacks target smaller businesses, since hackers often assume them to be easier targets. As technology continues to move forward, the threat landscape changes and evolves along with it too; so there are always new threats and new vulnerabilities to worry about. That’s why companies need to take a proactive approach toward protecting their systems and data. Here are five cybersecurity solutions you’ll find in any successful organization:
1. Multi-Factor Authentication
Relying on passwords alone is not enough when it comes to locking down important systems. That’s why online banking services, for example, invariably ask users to provide some additional evidence to prove who they are. In a similar way, cash machines give out money only to someone who has both the correct card and PIN combination, while many online accounts require you to use an authenticator app on your phone to enter a one-time password. Multi-factor authentication provides a crucial extra line of defense, especially when using web-accessible systems.
2. Virtual Private Networking
Many people don’t think twice about connecting to the internet through an unsecured wireless hotspot. However, while it might be convenient not to have to ask someone for a password, these networks are inherently unsecure.
With the right software, any hacker can intercept communications between the connected computer and the local router. Fortunately, a VPN allows you to safely connect to any public, office or home network by encrypting all data in transit. They’re also very easy to implement, and they can work with any internet-enabled device, including smartphones.
3. Password Management
Every company should enforce a strict password policy that all users must adhere to when they’re creating new accounts for accessing your systems. Many programs and online platforms have a password policy built in, but you should also establish your own. This is necessary because many people choose passwords that are easy to remember, which also means they’re notoriously easy to hack or even guess. Not only should passwords be changed every few months – they should also have a minimum length of at least 14 characters and make use of both numbers and letters.
4. Security Updates
Malware works by taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in applications and programs, which is why developers like Microsoft and Apple regularly release patches and bug fixes for the hardware or software they sell.
Although most software comes with some form of automatic update function that downloads and applies these fixes without any user input, enabling it can cause other programs to stop working or computers to freeze while updates are installing.
Updates should be planned so that they are not applied during business hours and deployed in a staggered approach to avoid the risk of all computers possibly being affected by the same problem from an update. Ensure Windows systems have System Restore enabled in case they need to be recovered back to the restore point prior to the time of the update.
It is critical that systems are updated regularly with the latest security updates, but using a well-planned approach will reduce the risk or inadvertent problems and/or interruptions from occurring.
5. Employee Training
Even if you have all the latest and most effective cybersecurity systems in place, there is still no substitute for having a clued-up team consisting exclusively of people who understand the threats and know how to identify them. Given that many online scams, for example, don’t even involve malicious software, it has become more important than ever to conduct ongoing security awareness training. By training your employees and getting everyone involved, you’ll be able to transform them from the weakest link in your cybersecurity strategy into an unstoppable human firewall.
You owe it to the future success of your organization to keep clients’ data safe, and that’s why cybersecurity should be at the forefront of your IT strategy. Here at Vertex, we provide cloud services backed up by proactive cybersecurity. Call us today, and make troubleshooting computer problems a thing of the past.