The role of cybersecurity in business should never be ignored, because every year, cyberattacks are occurring at an alarming rate globally. It’s no wonder, recent reports from International Data Corporation (IDC) show that global spending on cybersecurity reached over $100 billion in 2019 and will increase even more this year.
The increasing use of technology in companies has created many entry points for attackers to exploit, making cybersecurity a prime focus for most businesses globally. Gartner predicts that 100% of all large companies will have to discuss cybersecurity at some point this year with their board of directors, making it a fundamental focus that can no longer be left to small IT departments to manage.
Today, data is more vulnerable than ever before. Thus, cybersecurity is essential because it allows you to operate your business efficiently. Also, it helps in keeping your customers’ data safe. However, implementing cybersecurity best practices goes beyond staying ahead of risks and disasters that might derail your company’s success; it’s also about using the latest technology to protect your company.
When creating your cybersecurity strategy, it’s useful to use a layered security model. That model should begin with the internet, and it should end with your employees.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a set of threat protection techniques used to protect internet-connected systems, such as data, software, and hardware from cyber-attacks. Both individuals and companies can use cybersecurity to protect themselves against unauthorized access to data and other computerized systems.
The aim of implementing a cybersecurity strategy is keeping computers, servers, mobile devices, and networks and the data stored on those devices safe from attackers with malicious intent. The goal of cyberattacks is to access, delete, or blackmail a company or an individual with sensitive data, making cybersecurity crucial. The projected global tally for cybercrime damages by 2021 will be $6 trillion.
A report by Gartner shows that global enterprise software spending surged up 8.5% to $454 billion in 2019, compared to just a 0.5% increase to $3.74 trillion for overall IT outlay. The research firm also predicts this trend will continue with a 10.5% rise in software spending in both 2020 and 2021. That shows cybersecurity is a field that is continually changing because the advancements of technologies open up new avenues for cyberattacks.
Although significant security breaches on large companies often get publicized, small businesses also have to concern themselves with security breaches because often they are a target of viruses and phishing. According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, about a third of data breaches in 2018 involved phishing.
To protect your company, employees, and individuals, you should implement cybersecurity tools, risk management approaches, and training. Also, you should update your systems regularly as technologies change.
How to Protect Your Company from Cyber-Attacks
Keeping your company safe from cyberattacks goes beyond implementing an endpoint protection software. Train every employee on what to look out for before, during, and after work each day. Because cyberattacks, such as phishing or spam, can significantly affect your business.
Educate your employees on password security and best practices. We all know that the fundamental building block of an effective company security plan is following password best practices. However, it’s daunting getting your employees to do it. A strong password should be long enough; it should have multiple character sets, and it shouldn’t use complete words. Change your passwords regularly and don’t share them across accounts.
The Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 63% of data breaches occur because of lost, stolen, or weak passwords. You can use a password manager like LastPass to generate and remember strong passwords for every account your employees use.
After training your employees, it’s up to your IT department to provide security software, such as Symantec, Fortinet, or CrowdStrike.
To hold each employee accountable, have every employee sign a document that they have been informed of the cybersecurity policies, and they understand the actions that may be taken if they don’t follow security policies.
Network Security Monitoring
Network security monitoring is essential in detecting external threats; it also helps in detecting internal threats.
The Intel Security Report ‘Grand Theft Data’ found that internal actors account for over 40% of security breaches. Although over 50% of data breaches are unintentional, losing data and financial cost can hamper the success of a company.
Network security monitoring tools have features such as:
- Network-based threat detection
- Proactive network queries for “hunting” for suspicious traffic.
- Integration with multiple threat feeds.
- Create and automate security alerts.
Thus, having a network security monitoring system can help you detect suspicious traffic and protect your network and data before any malicious acts can occur.
OS Security Patches
Operating Systems (OS) are regularly being updated with security patches once vulnerabilities are identified. So, it’s essential to apply these patches and reboot systems frequently to protect your business from cyberattacks.
Hackers love OS vulnerabilities, and they take advantage by writing code targeting those vulnerabilities. They package the code into malware. The malware can steal your data or allow cyber attackers to gain access to your organization’s data. Applying security patches frequently removes security holes. So, keep your systems updated to safeguard your business from security threats.
Application Security Patches
Just like OS, applications are also regularly updated to address newly discovered flaws. For example, something as simple as opening a PDF can put a company at risk if you don’t update the application. So, it’s essential to update all the applications to keep your company safe from cyberattacks.
Use Multi-Factor Authenticators
Another way to protect your company from cyber attacks is to enable multi-factor authentication for all applications that access the internet in your organization.
Having only a password login for your employees isn’t enough. Because if the passwords are compromised through a phishing scam, hackers can easily access your systems.
Enabling multi-factor authentication for all logins instead will require employees to provide more information instead of just one. Thus, it’ll be difficult for unauthorized persons to access your company’s systems.
Cybersecurity is a moving target because cybersecurity threats get more advanced every day. So, to protect your company as much as possible, every employee should make cybersecurity a top priority. Also, stay on top of the latest trends for attacks and the newest threat protection software. Your company depends on it!
Get in touch with CyberMSI to discuss your company’s needs. We will work with you to find the best fit cybersecurity solutions for your business.