5 Ways Small Business Benefits from a Network Security Plan
Cyber attacks are a real threat to businesses of all sizes.
The damage they're causing is no laughing matter.
It's estimated that cyber attacks could lead to damages of over $6 trillion in the next few years. That's almost double the damage caused by cyber crimes in 2015.
If you run a business, it's important to take cybercrime seriously. Denying the risks, or failing to prepare could cost you--big time.
Read on for a closer look at cyber security and five strategies that will help you and your organization with cyber attack prevention.
Understanding Cyber Security
Many businesses and organizations are spending big bucks on cybersecurity and with good reason.
There's nothing more disheartening than losing important to data to a less than scrupulous individual or group.
The potential financial losses can be significant too. Hackers can take both money and important data and documents.
While immediate financial losses have an obvious impact, having your data compromised can have long-term consequences. Customers and partners may lose trust in your brand and stop doing business with you. If your data security is compromised, it could have serious long-term effects on your business.
What Cyber Security Looks Like
Cybersecurity is more than just using anti-virus software or setting up a firewall.
Keeping your business safe electronically is a holistic approach that involves protecting all of your organization's data and electronic assets. It's important to have a cybersecurity plan in place that covers all aspects of your business. This includes everything from your policies, to how you manage devices and software.
1) Assess the Risks You Face
Before you get started preventing cyber attacks, it's important to take a look at your motivations and what you'd like to achieve. Every business is different and will have security requirements specific to their structure and the products or services they produce.
Take a look at your organization's hardware and data usage. Are employees working online most of the day? Or are most offline with limited electronic needs.
It's also important to understand the different types of cybersecurity threats and which ones could affect your business. The threats a bank faces, likely don't apply to a local hardware store.
Understanding the weak points, where malware or other threats are most likely to infiltrate your organization is vital to preventing cyber threats.
2) Make Security Part of your Culture
One of the most effective things you can do to keep your company safe from cyber attacks is to foster a culture that's focused on security.
Employees are often the place where security threats infiltrate an organization.
The thing is... We're all human. We make mistakes. Employees will sometimes choose an insecure password or fall prey to a phishing scam via email or the phone.
The best way to prevent these sorts of issues is by properly training all employees in good cybersecurity practices and building those practices into the company culture. Encourage employees to do the right thing with passwords and other sensitive information and be aware of simple threats like phishing or malware.
3) Encrypting Data
If your organization stores a lot of data on customers, employees, or for other purposes, it's vital that you encrypt the data.
Hackers are on the lookout for that extra bit of data--a social security number, bank account number, or otherwise--that can help them gain access to something of value. If you're storing a lot of sensitive data and not protecting it with encryption, it's that much easier for someone outside of your organization to gain access to it.
How you encrypt your information depends entirely on how your data is stored and what systems you're using. But, don't let details or software limitations prevent you from taking action on this important point before it's too late.
4) For Cyber Attack Prevention: Make Sure Your Hardware is Secure
Another important aspect of cyber attack prevention is ensuring your hardware is up to the task.
Not only is it important to make sure your computers are up to date, it's also vital that you keep them from walking away. While this might not seem like a cybersecurity issue, stolen computer equipment can lead to big-time security problems.
Make sure you have firm policies in place about what can and can't be done with computer hardware--and where it can be taken. Using secure docking stations and devices with features like Kensington locks built in can really help keep portable items like laptops more secure.
Important hardware like servers should remain in a closed, locked room at all times.
5) Monitor Access Rights
Monitoring and restricting access rights is another reliable way to help secure your organization from cyber attacks.
Let's face it, not everyone in your office needs access to everything on your network. Some users just need access to basic features, while others will need more robust permissions.
Setting up an environment that controls and limits access can help prevent employees from compromising sensitive information.
It's also important to adjust access once an employee leaves the company or transitions to a different role.
Setting up two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA or MFA)where possible is another great way to help reduce the likelihood that an employee's account will be compromised. This may be the single simplest things most companies can do these days!
Putting It All Together
Cyber attack prevention is serious business.
Keeping your Los Angeles based organization secure from data or financial loss is vital to surviving--and thriving--in the twenty-first century.
But, it doesn't have to be complicated.
Keep your organization safe and secure by preventing security risks before they become a problem.
Need help securing your business from cyber threats? Get in touch with us today.