The days were no business owner had to worry about data breaches are long gone. Today, almost every company knows that hackers have become an everyday concern, and there’s only one way to deal with them: stepping up their cybersecurity game.
Working with outsourced services and IT staffing companies is a great way to do so, but certainly not the only one. Here are 5 cybersecurity goals your business can look up to in 2020.
Raise Awareness Constantly
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Chances are most of the people working with you aren’t aware of how important cybersecurity actually is. All it takes is one mistake from any team member to compromise your entire system. The risks are permanently out there: phishing schemes, easy-to-guess passwords, unintentional malware downloads, etc.
People are both your weakest point and your strongest resource. If you want to prevent highly avoidable catastrophes, keep all staff well-informed and up-to-date with your company’s cybersecurity policies and practices. Running an internal communications campaign is a great start. Let everyone know how to identify phishing emails, make sure downloads don’t come from unsafe sources, and encourage them to create strong passwords and keep them safe.
Have an Emergency Team Ready to Go
Did you know most cyberattacks are only discovered after 6 months? A scary figure, yes. Companies aren’t used to keeping an eye on their systems for data breaches, as their focus often remains on running their business.
That’s why teaming up with an IT outsourcing company for monitoring solutions is a great idea. If something ever goes wrong, you can be sure there is someone behind the screen that will detect it and begin a contingency plan. Having access to a dedicated IT cybersecurity resource might be the most cost-effective way to guarantee your system’s integrity at all times.
Secure your Wi-Fi network
Businesses can’t afford to use Wi-Fi networks as any other normal user would. And having a strong password for it won’t cut it anymore. Anyone can access improperly secured networks. This means that people with a bit of tech knowledge and the right motivation can easily collect data from your systems, from exchanged emails and company records to shared files. Ultimately, this can lead to even bigger breaches.
Make sure all firmware and software run at their latest versions, set up public and private access networks, and turn off your router’s Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). Here’s a good article on a few other ways to secure a business Wi-Fi network. In any case, just a few simple precautions can save you from enormous headaches in the future.
Limit the number of devices that can connect to your Wi-Fi network
You have no control over the devices people bring into the office, nor you shouldn’t. However, if you let your network accept every new or external device without question, you might be leaving an open door for hackers. Some people can unknowingly carry malware on their phones or laptops that can end up accessing your systems via Wi-Fi.
To help with this, you can limit the number of devices that can connect to your Wi-Fi network using a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. Although using a DHCP makes your network extremely secure, it can come up as impractical in many cases, as it requires you to type the IP address of every device that will have access to your network.
On the other hand, if your company already has some sort of bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) policy, you’ll have to put extra effort into making sure people take into consideration the appropriate cybersecurity measures.
Create a Password Rotation System
I used to be one of those people that used the same password for everything. One day, I got hacked and most of my accounts went down immediately. No business can afford this situation. The truth is that the longer your passwords remain unchanged, the easier they become to guess—and the longer hackers will have to stay inside your system.
While a Password Rotation System can be hard to enforce at first, its costs certainly outweigh its benefits. Changing your passwords frequently eliminates the possibility of unauthorized users attempting APT attacks over extended time periods, and nullifies the threat of password guess algorithms that knock on the door until someone opens it. However, be sure to never keep every password listed on a single location, and keep different passwords for every system and platform.
Some Final Words
Unlike what many people think, maintaining proper cybersecurity measures is not as hard as it seems. With a bit of hard work and research, or with the right help, your company can be safe from most (if not all) threats out there in the cyber world. Make cybersecurity one of your top priorities for 2020, and you will not regret it.