Day by day, cybercriminals devise new ways to gain unauthorized access to and manipulate data belonging to others. To maintain their shady practices, they’ve perfected methods to operate unseen, taking advantage of weaknesses in web infrastructure. Everybody with an online presence can be a target, either for monetary or other similar gains.
Cybercrime can take many forms, targeting individuals and businesses across industry and geographical lines. And according to Statista, the cost of data breaches in the global healthcare sector alone between March 2021 and March 2022 amounted to over $10 million. There are similar figures in other industries, including technology, energy, research, finances, education, etc.
While many businesses have always maintained a significant online presence, many others have only recently transitioned to the web space in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this helps industries to move the business forward in a changing world, it also increases the number of potential targets for cybercriminals.
And as these criminals continue to evolve, businesses must also ensure that they update their security measures to keep them at bay. Irrespective of which category your business falls into, cybersecurity must rank high on your plan. The financial loss resulting from a data breach can be enormous, but the damage to reputation can have even greater repercussions.
Enterprises can reduce their vulnerability to cyberattacks by instituting cybersecurity best practices into their work processes. These practices can be effective only if they are holistic, covering organizational and individual behavioral patterns. Some of these practices are discussed below.
Cybersecurity best practices for your enterprise
The following are some of the practices a business organization can imbibe to safeguard its operational data:
Use firewall protection
Intruders usually try to take advantage of the exchange of information over your network to gain access and implement their plans. A firewall helps prevent them from accessing your websites, emails, and other internet-enabled information sources. Ensure anyone who uses your company’s website at work installs firewall software on their devices to maintain the integrity of your network.
Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication is an effective tool for regulating access to sensitive information. This authentication method grants users access to a company’s resources only after they’ve provided two or more verification factors, reducing the possibility of a successful cyber-attack. The verification factors may include biometrics, text messages, emails, security questions, and time-based security codes. So, even if a malicious party stumbled on your password, they would still be unable to access your network without verification. Dedicated IP VPNs like Nordlayer come with two-factor authentication.
Improve security consciousness of employees
A company’s employees are an integral component of its security infrastructure that the company must maximize to stay protected. Ignoring this essential component can undermine the organization’s security efforts.
The first step at this stage is to help employers understand their place in the company’s security architecture, which should help them appreciate the importance of taking necessary security measures at work.
The next step is to make regular security training a part of the company’s culture. One hour every other year can be grossly insufficient for the amount of security-related knowledge you need to share with your employees. A security handbook can also come in handy here. The goal is to ensure that employees know possible threats and all the steps they can take to secure company assets.
Develop a solid password policy
A solid password policy can help you ensure your organization’s network is secure by stipulating specific standards all passwords must meet to be valid. Many policies include specifications on password length, character mixture, word combinations, etc.
Backup data regularly
Many cybercrimes are targeted at gaining or blocking access to a company’s data, which is central to the company’s business. This trend has increased the importance of backing data up in a safe and secure secondary location. Besides safeguarding your data from intruders, your backups can also guard against human errors, system failure, and natural disasters, as it guarantees access to your data in cases of emergency.
Maintain hardware regularly
Keeping your computer hardware in a fully functional state can contribute to the integrity of your security measures. Ensure that all components are regularly updated, as older firmware may be incompatible with newer software security updates, making the entire system vulnerable. Newer hardware models are also more efficient and have higher capacities, making it easier to react to cyber-attacks.
Regulate third-party access
Because of the nature of businesses, it may be impossible to prevent third-party access to the company’s IT infrastructure. In such cases, the company must take extra measures to regulate the access that third parties like vendors and contractors have to its assets. This regulation involves knowing at all times what each party has access to and when. By monitoring their activities, you can quickly detect any attempts to compromise the system.
Audit your cybersecurity regularly
Cybersecurity audits are thorough examinations of an organization’s IT infrastructure. They measure the level of compliance with security policies and procedures and ensure the system is fully functional. They can also help identify weak points in the system that outsiders can capitalize on to attack.
With businesses increasingly dependent on the internet for service delivery, making cybersecurity measures an integral part of a company’s culture is essential. A company’s employees are crucial to its security endeavors and must be thoroughly equipped to implement all security procedures as outlined and swiftly respond to cyberattacks.