If there is one thing you should never handle with levity over your company, then it has to be your data security. There is a consistent record of data breaches occurring every day. And a Risk-based Security report claims data breaches exposed 22 billion records in 2021!
That's a massive blow to the confidentiality of private and sensitive records! And the type of crimes these data thefts can be used to perpetrate is even costlier on companies and their customers.
Despite the level of sensitization on data security, World Economic Forum says 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. These errors occur either by carelessness from an employee, lack of VPN protection, weak passwords, or clicking infected links.
You can secure your business digitally by implementing best security practices for this technology age.
Create a Digital Security Plan
Your business’ digital security plan is a non-negotiable aspect of securing your business. Your digital security plan should be an official document covering your company’s cybersecurity protocols. You do not have to institute a set of unwritten security policies, which becomes vague too. Make the digital security plan incorporate regulations that everyone in the company can easily reference to prevent costly data breaches.
Assess Your Current Digital Landscape
In securing your digital network space, it is essential to know the digital assets your company has and how they are being used. Take all the records of company devices, software, and network hubs that are actively being used. Also, ensure they are kept up-to-date.
You should also be able to answer questions like how employees share files with clients and their colleagues. Do you have employees working remotely? Do your remote workers use public internet connections? How often do you back up your company data? Is the process manually done or automated?
Who are the workers with access to sensitive businesses? Do they all need that access?
While employing software, hardware, and digital policies to uphold your security framework is essential, providing answers to the given questions will help to bolster your digital security strategy.
Understand Common Cybersecurity Threats
For you to secure your business digitally in a very effective way, you need to understand the common cybersecurity threats. Some of the most common threats are:
1. Lack of Network Access Control (NAC) Implementation
Network Access Control(NAC) is an approach to reinforcing security systems and accessing management of a proprietary network by controlling how a network is being accessed. It restricts how resources to endpoint devices and users are provided. It provides endpoint security protection such as firewall, antivirus software, and vulnerability assessment utilizing system authentication methods and security enforcement policies. When not implemented, a company’s network assets can become highly vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. NAC is very critical to modern businesses, allowing companies to monitor users and devices on a network and every task they perform.
2. Deploying Weak Passwords
In 2021, a report showed that the top-most used password on the web is 123456. It also showed similar figures in the list and they include 123456789, 12345678, 1234567, qwerty, qwerty123, and even ‘password.’
No wonder accounts are hacked daily. It actually only takes seconds to hack accounts using any of the given codes as passwords. Securing your business with weak passwords is as good as securing with no password. Consider a more improved password complexity to secure your networks.
Use strong passwords with at least 12 to 15 characters long, containing lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and special symbols. Ensure that all your employees adhere to the rule of utilizing solid passwords across the network. An easy way to ensure this is to invest in password tools that offer vigorous password enforcement.
3. Sharing Files Via Email
Emails have become a goldmine for many hackers who intercept files from unsuspecting senders. Even though it is a popular file-sharing medium by many businesses, especially small business owners, it is however not safe.
Companies that depend solely on sharing files via emails are at risk of diverse security issues. They can receive phishing attacks or be hacked. Many hackers find it easy to intercept email attachments without either the sender or recipient being aware of them. They can steal data from the email attachment that will be used to carry out further crimes and attacks on either the company or the client.
Another thing to know is that if your employees are consistently receiving company files through email, they will likely trust a file that seems to be sent by a colleague. And if they unknowingly download an infected attachment, they may have given the hacker access to the entire network.
Consider an alternate file-sharing approach such as cloud software or a secure file transfer protocol (FTP) client, and make it a policy in your company never to share files via email.
4. Not Using a VPN for Public Wi-Fi
Most companies around the world have embraced remote and hybrid work models. And because employers can almost not predict at which point or end a remote employee is working from, it is essential to sensitive them in using public WiFi responsibly.
Virtual Private Networks, also VPNs are effective for disguising a user's identity while on a public network. It also encrypts data sent between parties, so a hacker cannot steal information being transferred. Small, medium and large corporations should invest in VPNs that will be compulsory for every employee.
5. Working With Untrusted Service Providers
Another potential threat to your network security is working using devices gotten from shady and unguaranteed service providers.
Research everyone gaining access to your data to be sure that they are credible systems before opening access. If the company you contact records mishandling other people’s data, yours is not likely to be lucky—distance yourself to save your business and customers' data.
Running a secure business digitally can be pretty demanding. And one thing you must think of is to familiarize yourself with how cyber threats can affect your businesses badly. You’ll avoid errors that can badly affect your business.