Cyber Security Awareness amongst employees has emerged as one of the primary concerns that a business must focus on in the modern, digital age. Imparting basic skills needed for cyber security to employees has often been the critical differentiator between companies that get compromised and those that don’t.
The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack is a case in point – the global cybercrime “epidemic” managed to attack those businesses that had not made necessary updates to their Windows systems.
Had the global cybersecurity awareness levels been higher and if more organizations across the world were following better cyber security practices, perhaps the number of attacks and the damage they’re able to cause today would be much lesser.
In this blog, we highlight some basic cyber security best practices that businesses should follow to protect themselves from cybercrime, as well as to protect the data of their customers, clients, and partners. This list is just indicative and only scratches the surface in terms of what you can do to ensure greater cyber resilience for your business.
7 Cyber Security Best Practices To Follow
1. Review Encryption Software: It is important to review your current encryption processes, and keep up to date with the latest technology. With cyber criminals getting more advanced every day and the number of people trying to steal information for monetary gains growing, it is crucial to review your encryption software and ensure that it is up to scratch.
2. Review Vendor Security: It is important to review the third-party security because your data gets transferred between your company and theirs. Your company can be as secure as you want it to be, but if the people who receive and handle your data do not have the same level of security, your data and the sensitive information of your customers continue to be at risk.
3. Invest in the IT Team: As a company, your IT team is your first line of both defense and offense. The people who make up your IT team need to be trained and updated with the latest information on what to look out for in terms of cyber-attacks and potential issues. Having meetings with your IT team, understanding their concerns, and investing in the best possible resources for them are all great ideas if you want to ensure that you have a good cybersecurity posture.
4. Understand your Backups: Check and understand how you backup your data on a regular basis. Backing up your data is an important operation, crucial to business functioning; but it is also one of the key components of a ransomware readiness checklist. If your backup technologies are secure and your backup processes are foolproof, that’s half the battle won against ransomware attackers as they won’t be able to block your access to your own data.
5. Review Authentication Processes: The way that authentication occurs in a business should always be recorded, and the way that employees use certain systems should have checks and balances to ensure that there is no use in bad faith. Authentication processes should be as watertight as possible, and it is important to have a record of who has what access within a business. Privileged access users should be monitored and trained with a greater degree of diligence.
6. Continue emphasizing strong passwords: As a security-focused business, you’ve probably already highlighted the importance of using strong passwords for your staff. But this is one aspect of good cybersecurity hygiene that needs continuous reiteration.
Often one leaked password is all it has taken for cyber criminals to unleash large-scale attacks on massive organizations. It should also be made mandatory for everyone to use multi-factor authentication to log in to their systems or corporate accounts. This adds another very important layer of security.
7. Staff Training: Finally, cybersecurity training is key not just for general employees, but also for IT teams and everyone in the management. It is important to make sure that your entire company is well trained in cyber security awareness and cyber incident response training.
In terms of cybersecurity awareness training, every employee must understand their individual roles and responsibilities when it comes to cyber security. They must understand the importance of not opening malicious links, suspicious emails, or pop-ups that look untrustworthy. These and other phishing tactics lead to most identity thefts and ransomware attacks.