Whist we all agree that each and every business has to know and incorporate cybersecurity practices, there is a certain level of insecurity as to which road to take. Business owners remain unsure as to a safe but all-encompassing set of basic rules. With so much cybersecurity talent out there, we reached out to the professionals to give us a better understanding of how we should lay down the path ahead for small, medium and large business owners.
The vast majority of cybersecurity professionals feel that it is a matter of time, not if you will be breached but how, and at what level and depth. Over 50% of businesses now admit that they have at one stage been attacked. This accounts for both external and internal threats. Your level of preparedness and a multi-faceted approach will determine the extent to which your organization may suffer from an attack.
Outlined here are 10 cybersecurity practices we believe that you should be incorporating for your Business IT safety, immediately:
- It all starts at home – Educate your Staff
Your workers, are unfortunately, the thorn in the side of IT security practices. You must mitigate the level of risk. Basic training must include password protection skills, recognition of phishing scams, simple malware applications and company privacy policies.
- Protect Sensitive Data and Detect Insider threats
Continuing on with the same theme, be wary of your workers. A recent survey revealed that data theft is a major concern for security professionals. Access to important data, needs to be monitored and controlled. Regulate physical access to all your computers and network processors.
- The same applies for contractual workers
Whilst you are busy staring down your full-time staff, don't forget that other contractual workers may also have access where it isn’t necessary or where it may put you at a higher level of risk.
- Apply a formal detailed approach to Security Management.
Implement and enforce a risk-based framework that supports your IT workers and gives them a chance to successfully detect incidents and be both reactive and proactive instantly when an attack occurs. Not only that but where your staff and IT users are concerned, the requirements need to be officially outlined from the time of onboarding. Your employment contracts for new employees and third-party vendors and suppliers should quite succinctly outline their security responsibilities.
- Human Errors
Furthermore, and pointing the finger yet again at your greatest asset and your weakest link, best cybersecurity practices need to take in human errors. Not all hackers use the backdoor to gain access to your data, some walk in straight through the front and your staff hand them your private data. Attempts by phone and emails to gain access is a very real problem in the workplace.
- Are you fully Backed Up?
Organizations must have a complete and fully-functional data set to be used in the event of an attack. This seems like a pretty obvious best practice rule and business owners are frequently surprised to the extent that in standard practice, this is not fully implemented.
- Make Someone Responsible
Whether you have an individual or an entire department, there must be accountability when it comes to both maintaining and securing your tech. Make sure this is crystal clear and that this individual or department is aware of what this responsibility entails.
- Develop an Incident response manual
As mentioned earlier, the professionals all agree that you are highly likely to be breached. Make sure you do your due diligence and have your response plan prepared and ready to put into action before it happens to limit damage.
- Extend this plan across your wireless devices.
Remember your mobile phones are as vulnerable as your desktops and need security at the same level.
The hackers are so inventive which means that to stay ahead, you need to be abreast of emerging weaknesses in your IT networks. To ensure that you are still protected, use the freshest security software available for viruses and malware and remember to protect all public-facing websites across all pages.
These best business practice guidelines serve as a necessary starting point for businesses in general. We strongly advise also paying attention to more specific regulations, like HIPAA or ISO, will offer more advanced and detailed standards geared towards a safer cybersecurity working environment.