The average cost of a data breach worldwide reached 3.86 million U.S. dollars in 2020. In fact, the United States alone faced data breaches worth 8.64 million U.S. dollars this year.
These figures show how dangerous IT security threats can be for your business if not mitigated properly and in time. You need to be proactive and invest in cybersecurity to safeguard your sensitive business data from data breaches, and other cyber threats such as phishing, brute-force attacks, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and SQL injection.
Fortunately, preventing these cyber-attacks from destroying your business is within your control to a great extent. Let’s take a look at some key strategies you can leverage to eliminate cybersecurity risks.
Ways to increase the IT security of your business
1. Extensive Cybersecurity Training of Staff
You can protect your business from cyber-attacks and data breaches by providing comprehensive cybersecurity training to your employees. Regular training ensures that your workforce is vigilant and aware of how to protect their system from potential security threats. Your employees should be trained in the following practices:
- Employees should not click on suspicious email links and attachments, especially if they are from unidentified senders.
- They should never install unauthorized software on their business system.
- They should practice safe internet browsing habits such as identifying suspicious and spoofed domains, recognizing secure connections by knowing the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, and limiting their Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on social media.
- They should identify insider threats and report any suspicious online activity to the concerned authority.
You can take the help of Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to update your employees on the latest cybersecurity measures. Further, MSPs conduct regular phishing simulations to give you an overview of how prepared your employees are to identify and report potential cybersecurity threats.
2. Regular Updates of Software and Systems
Software companies regularly introduce new updates to fix security bugs and vulnerabilities in their products. You can partner with an MSP to ensure that your software is always updated and patched. Your outsourced IT staff will monitor your business network and ensure that you have the latest software. In case an issue arises with the software, the MSP will patch the software or contact the software company directly to resolve it.
3. Proper End-Point Encryption
You can boost your business's defense by protecting and securing various end-points such as servers and workstations from getting infected by cyber-attacks.
End-point protection works as a multi-layered security solution and protects your business against malicious activity. It creates and enforces rules for end-points based on your company's requirements. It further evaluates an end-point before giving access to the network on the basis of the security standards defined by your organization.
4. Incorporation of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA works as an additional layer of security and blocks unauthorized login attempts.
When you log in to your system with your username and password, a unique one-time password (OTP) is sent on your registered smartphone number or email. To gain access, you need to enter this OTP as well.
MFA can also be activated through biometrics such as iris scan, and facial and fingerprint recognition to verify the authenticity of a user. So, even if cyber-attackers do acquire your email address and password, they will not be able to access your system without the secret code sent to your device. As a result, they will not be able to take undue advantage of your critical business data.
5. Installation of Anti-Virus and Firewall
Anti-virus software identifies, prevents, and even removes malicious software such as viruses and Trojans from your business's system. It analyzes your business's computer programs and compares them to known types of malware. It also scans your organization's computer for behaviors that can signal the presence of new and unidentified malware.
Firewall works as a filtration system and scans data packets trying to enter your business’s network. Each data packet is analyzed against a set of identified threats and malicious codes. If found to be a security risk, the firewall immediately blocks it from entering your organization’s network.
6. Comprehensive Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
Managing and securing your organization's unstructured documents such as vendor invoices and research reports containing critical information becomes easy with ECM. It digitizes all your paper documents and organizes them according to your company's requirements. ECM takes into account the following steps:
ECM captures and imports your business's documents into a secure digital repository. The documents are captured using electronic forms and scanning. It can also manage your business's already digitized content such as Microsoft Office documents and Excel spreadsheets.
It further helps you retrieve your digitized documents by using a full-text research.
All in all, ECM effectively transforms your critical business data into a digital format and makes the document available to the right employee at the right time. As a result, it reduces the risk of data breaches from malicious insiders and improves your overall business security.
7. Limited Access Control
You should make use of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) technology to restrict employee access to the business’s network based on their role within your organization. 74 percent of data breaches take place through the misuse of privileged credentials. RBAC makes use of the least privilege principle and provides your employees only the amount of privilege they require to do their job. This limited access ensures that your business’s sensitive data is protected from unintentional human errors and malicious insiders.
Cyber-attacks can be catastrophic to your business. Robust online security can ensure that your organization's critical data is secure. Also, good cybersecurity practices can prevent your organization from falling prey to IT security threats.
Mitigating cybersecurity threats should be your top priority. You can easily protect your company from cybersecurity attacks and threats by following the above-mentioned security measures.
Nate Freedman, CEO, Tech Pro Marketing