Rapid digitalization has made today’s cybersecurity landscape highly complex and challenging.
Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president, and CEO, said: “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”
Security threats have increased in size, complexity, and variety as is evident from the stats given below:
Cybercrimes account for losses amounting in trillions of dollars, as per Juniper’s research, in 2019, the amount was $2 trillion.
A 2019 press release by Global Market Insights indicated that by the year 2024 the cybersecurity market will be a $300 billion industry.
As per Small Business Trends, small businesses face a major cybersecurity threat as 43% of cyber-attacks were aimed at small scale organizations, in the past. Cyber-attacks are the primary reason for around 60% of small companies to go out of business.
The internet is rife with such alarming cybersecurity statistics. Still, businesses, especially small ones, neglect the importance of having proper cybersecurity practices in place.
So, if you are a business owner, this article is for you.
Here is a checklist of cybersecurity measures that every business should put in place to protect itself from the harms of cyberattacks:
#1 Use complex passwords
Strong passwords translate to good security.
- You should make your password difficult to guess by using at least 8 to 12 characters.
- You should use a combination of lower case and capital letters, special characters, numbers, etc.
- You shouldn’t use easy to guess things like your name or date of birth as password.
- Update your password from time to time and avoid using the same password everywhere.
- Never use the same password repeatedly. Keep updating.
You can create a password policy for your organization to help your staff follow best practices of password security. Seek technology solutions like Microsoft Office 365 or G Suite that enforces password policy by scheduling password reset at regular time intervals.
#2 Keep your software up to date
You should update your programs and software as soon as an update or patch is available. Updates help protect you against bugs and vulnerabilities.
They ensure that your programs, software, and devices are up-to-date so that you don’t fall prey to cybercriminals.
#3 Don’t open suspicious-looking emails:
You should never open suspicious-looking emails even if they seem to be from some organization you know. They may be phishing emails to steal your credit card or bank information.
Most phishing email scams are successful because they target unsuspecting users and are made to seem like they are coming from a trustworthy source. Once an email link is clicked upon, they extract money or personal data from the users.
You should also make it a habit to change your email password from time to time, ideally within 60 days. And never write it down anywhere.
#4 Install firewalls
Firewalls are like a guard between your system and the internet. They are among one of the most trusted methods of preventing cyber attacks like viruses and malware from spreading.
You need to ensure that your firewall is configured properly, else it may not be as effective as it should be.
#5 Install a trusted antivirus software
Any cybersecurity strategy is incomplete without reliable antivirus software. In addition to antivirus, you should also go for anti-malware software to completely protect your business. They act as the first line of defense in your security network. They detect and remove viruses, spyware, malware, and adware. They also filter out harmful emails and other downloads.
#6 Train your employees regarding cybersecurity policies in your organization
Your employees should not be the weakest link of your cybersecurity strategy. They shoulder the responsibility of propelling your business and should protect it as well.
Ensure that they are properly trained regarding their roles, organizational cybersecurity policies, and procedures.
#7 Use cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution
As they say, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Don’t wait for something untoward to happen to your data. Invest in a good and reliable cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution like Acronis.
It will help you backup your critical business data on the cloud at regular intervals of time to ensure your data safety.
With it, you are safe in all calamities – man-made or natural. Even if your systems get compromised in case of a cyberattack, your data will be safe with you.
Read details in a report by Forrester.
#8 Control access to safeguard critical data
In your organization, implement role-based access i.e. only authorized or trusted individuals should have access to business-critical data, and not everyone. You can also implement a few more things:
- Restrict data from being copied from the system to storage devices.
- Restrict physical access to computer networks and you’re your premises.
- Utilize application controls to limit access to services or data.
- Put a limit on sending and receiving certain email attachment types.
#9 Install an SSL on your site
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a security protocol to establish an encrypted and secure communication link between a web browser and a web server.
An SSL certificate provides you with a number of benefits:
- It helps in boosting website security.
- It helps the website visitors know that your site is trustworthy.
- It helps in improving the SEO of your website, helping it rank better in search engine results.
You can find a reliable and best-in-class SSL Certificate with ZNetLive.
#10 Safeguard your Wi-Fi network
If you are still using outdated wireless networks, it’s time to switch to WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 3) as it has more robust protections than the old versions.
You should also change the name of your router or wireless access pointer to prevent it from being breached by the hackers. You should use a complicated PSK (Pre-shared key) for added security.
#11 Safeguard your devices
In this era of mobility, we carry a lot of our valuable business data in laptops and smartphones. Because of it, they are more vulnerable to theft. You should use password protection, data encryption, and should have remote wiping option to erase your data from your stolen or lost device.
#12 Regularly monitor for intrusion
There are multiple IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection System
/Intrusion Prevention System) tools like H/W firewall Fortinet and Cisco ASA
device that you can use to monitor your systems and network activities.
In case of any unusual activity, they generate an alarm, like an email alert, depending upon the activity that has been detected by the software.
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Which steps are you taking to protect your organization against attacks? Let us know in the comments section.
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Read details in a report by Forrester.
Barkha, the Business Intelligence head, manages organizational workflow, analyzes company’s strategies and refines them. Strategic Consulting, including sales strategies, are her major expertise, and intelligent BI tools are her best friends. She is the bonding force of our team, who plans and regulates each and every step we take.