Years ago, you heard about Target’s data breach, the attack on Ashley Madison and Experian’s expensive hack and thought: not me. So, to defend against the hordes of hackers striving to break into your business and pilfer your precious information, you installed antivirus software on all your computers.
Then you forgot all about it.
Well, it’s 2018, and cyberattacks are getting much more complex. No longer will a firmware firewall and a flimsy browser add-on protect you from those interested in stealing your business’s data. More likely than not, your business is woefully insecure, and unless you act now to build your cyber defenses, you will suffer a devastating data breach in the coming months. Last year, more than 350,000 businesses were hit by hackers, and this year promises even more victims. If you truly want to keep your data safe, here’s how to finally do cybersecurity right.
Change Your Mindset
Your business will never be secure against cyberthreats if you don’t take security seriously. Therefore, the first step toward true cybersecurity is a change in your attitude. Security requires knowledge and commitment – not hope and prayers – which means you need to alter how you view protecting your business from attack. When your mindset changes, your behavior will surely follow, so the sooner you recognize the need for complete cybersecurity in your business, the sooner you will start doing cybersecurity right.
Consider Your Security Strategy
You can hardly use the word strategy to label your current security efforts. A solid security strategy is sophisticated, offering multiple methods of defense and a response plan should something go awry. When building your business’s security strategy, you should consider the following:
Of every tech tool in your business, your network is the most precious. Should your network be compromised, there is little hope of protecting your devices or data. Comprehensive network security systems automatically safeguard networks, endpoints and clouds without affecting network performance. That means you can stay safe and get work done without any downtime.
Intrusion detection & prevention
You should know as soon as an attack penetrates your defenses. To accomplish this, you should have an intrusion detection system (IDS) as well as an intrusion prevention system (IPS), which can distinguish malicious traffic from the typical traffic on your business networks and alert appropriate parties of likely threats.
How many devices connect to your business network? What kind of devices are they? What software is installed on those devices? If you don’t have an immediate answer to these questions and if you can’t answer them without counting on your fingers, you desperately need an asset inventory tool.
Not all antivirus programs are built to protect businesses, so your first step should be verifying that your current antivirus software is doing the utmost to keep you safe. Next, your strategy should determine who (or what) will track antivirus updates. No antivirus program can function effectively without up-to-date versions and the latest patches, so updates are a critical element of cybersecurity.
Successful management is all about mitigating risk, and the same is true of cybersecurity. A significant portion of your strategy should concern how you will determine and measure your security risks as well as how often you will reassess.
Draft Your Security Policy
You might be important within your business, but you aren’t the only person in your organization responsible for maintaining cybersecurity. In fact, everyone is. To inform the width and breadth of your organization about your new approach to cybersecurity, you should distribute a cybersecurity policy, to which every employee is beholden.
Boilerplate security policies exist online, but you should strive to draft your own policy to ensure it addresses your organization’s needs appropriately. You should specifically discuss devices and procedures that currently impact your business. You might also survey your employees to learn what would motivate them to practice stronger cybersecurity and build their responses into your policy.
Once your policy is complete, you should distribute it to your workforce and answer questions about it as necessary. You might even hold a meeting to explain the most important elements of the policy, so no employee will be confused and create weakness in your security.