Many organizations know they are not truly prepared for a cybersecurity attack. And many accept the stress of this knowledge because they lack the resources or the talent necessary to ensure that their data is safe. They simply cross their fingers and hope they won’t have to deal with the aftermath of a successful breach.
However, not taking proactive action today can destroy your business tomorrow. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to increase your security and prepare for the future.
9 proactive steps for security
To ensure that your organization is protected, begin by taking the following steps:
1. Train and test employees — Education is the first step to prevention. Employees are seldom aware of how hackers can use them to break into their company’s computer infrastructure. Train employees on threats and create ways for them to report suspicious behavior. Test your employees on their response to and understanding of threats by creating data breach drills.
2. Keep your firewall updated — Regular maintenance and updates are necessary to keep your firewall up to date with the latest threats. Predefined rules will prevent users from accessing unauthorized or dangerous websites and files — and will monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic for review if a breach occurs.
3. Encrypt your data — Encryption is essential to protecting your data because it makes everything unreadable by unauthorized users. This includes data stored on-premises and in the cloud. Everything from files to flash drives can be encrypted with the right technology.
4. Utilize a VPN — A virtual private network (VPN) protects your company’s information when employees are working out of the office. Public Wi-Fi networks open up the possibility of data being stolen, whereas a VPN extends the security of your on-premises environment outside the physical confines of your building.
5. Require login authentication — Utilize a two-step authentication protocol for employees to log on to systems, and restrict access to applications that are relevant to their work. Biometrics, security keys, and one-time login codes provide an even greater level of security.
6. Create a countermeasure plan — Security breaches happen — and they even happen to companies with robust security measures in place. Having a current and comprehensive plan in place to address a breach if it occurs is essential to mitigating the effects of such an event on your business.
7. Schedule regular system audits — Having a system audit is one of the first steps to understanding your vulnerabilities. However, it’s important to perform audits regularly since new threats surface daily — and every upgrade or addition to your network opens the door to new weaknesses.
8. Hire a hacker — Hackers who have devoted themselves to assisting businesses in protecting themselves are a great asset when identifying vulnerabilities and implementing more robust security measures. Over time, they can attack every aspect of your infrastructure, including on-premises systems, data stored in the cloud, and third-party applications such as in the case of BYOD and internet of things (IoT) devices.
9. Implement proper offboarding policies — When employees leave your organization, they may unintentionally leave you vulnerable. Ensure that all company devices and credentials are returned promptly. This includes ID badges, key cards, company credit cards, cellphones, iPads, and computers. But don’t wait until items are returned to act. From the moment employment ends, access to databases should be terminated and any sensitive documents protected.
At ProTech Training, we can help you fully evaluate your current system and provide strategies and guidance to reduce vulnerabilities. We can also work with you to create a comprehensive countermeasure plan in the event your systems are breached. Our many security training programs include:
With all you have to lose, don’t wait until it’s too late. Regardless of your company’s size, budget, or faith in your existing cybersecurity measures, enlisting a professional outside assessment will give you peace of mind and help you navigate into the future.
Learn how to protect your company. Contact me at ProTech Training at 800-373-9188 ext. 112 or by email at: [email protected]