The beginning of a year means a time for planning and making those new year’s resolutions. You may be focusing your business’ resolutions on increasing sales and reducing expenses. However, your business should review its cyber-security posture and set goals for improving it. If you read last year’s headlines, you will have noticed a lot of reporting on hacking, ransomware, and scams. It wasn’t your imagination, there was an increase in cyber-crime during the pandemic as cyber-criminals took advantage of employees working remotely and business’ security being stretched thin.Cyber-crimes are only likely to increase and evolve throughout this new year. Make cyber-security a key priority and increase your cyber-resilience, minimize risk, reduce legal liability and protect your business from the types of threats that have dominated the headlines.Adopting the cyber-security resolutions below will make a difference to the overall security posture of your business.
1- Strong Email Security
Email security is a critical part of a business’ overall cyber-security and the best way to secure it is to throw in as many walls up between you/your employees and cyber-criminals. Using a spam filter may not seem like a lot but it’s a great first line of defense against potential threats. It is a filtering solution that determines which incoming emails are phishing, spoofing or just spam and which are safe to open. It’s not perfect but it helps keep junk email and malicious links/attachments out of your inbox. Having a strong email security that always runs, detects and filters messages with inserted malware is crucial. Malware can be delivered via email in the form of an infected attachment or a link to a malicious download. An email security system can help scan messages and files in order to remove malware found on systems. Furthermore, the anti-spam must check if the links within the messages are secure or if they are leading the user browser to a malicious website. If the latter is true then the anti-spam should block them from accessing the malicious website to keep the user safe.
2- Robust Endpoint Protection
The reality is, it has become harder and harder to prevent devices from getting infected, where an antivirus alone is not enough to protect against cyber-attacks anymore. Antiviruses can help with the majority of known threats, but cyber-threats are constantly evolving. Therefore, it has become impossible to have the perfect anti-virus that stops all threats. This is why layers of security are needed in case the anti-virus does not catch the latest evolved virus.Enter the endpoint management and protection layer. An endpoint is any device that connects to a business network; endpoint management allows organizations to monitor every device that connects to the network. With this, one can run scans that track access and usage as well as detect and respond to security alerts/incidents. In some cases, it uses artificial intelligence to detect any abnormal computer behavior. This security control is especially important when employees are accessing business data while working remotely because this ensures that their home devices are just as protected as office devices and hackers cannot take advantage of the work-from-home trend.
3- Employee Cyber-Security Training
When it comes to cyber-security, the most significant threat is human error. That’s right, employee mistakes account for a larger percentage of data breach incidents. But security threats cannot be avoided or reported if they’re not recognized. Empowering employees with cyber-security best practices and how to recognize common cyber-threats is one of the most important ways to keep a business clear of ransomware or malware attacks. Cyber-security training helps employees learn about the threats they face, how to spot the signs of an attack, and best email security practices. They need to be aware of their responsibilities and be accountable when using a device to access the business’ network and/or data. You can access some great trainings through CompTIA’s Security Awareness Training for Employees. However, when searching for cyber-security education, look for a program that goes beyond awareness and focuses on skills and implementation. Our team is up-to-date on the latest cyber-security strategies and training methods that include phishing attack simulations. Talk to one of our security experts today to learn more.
4- Protected Access to Accounts
This one has two parts: strong password and two-factor authentication. Most people use the same username and password for all their accounts. With the addition of obvious and easy-to-remember passwords you’ll be making it easy for hackers to steal your credentials and access your data. Creating strong and unique passwords will improve your cyber-safety. Ensure they are between 8-15 characters long and a mix of characters without dictionary words. For extra secure passwords, follow the tips and recommendations in our blog- Strong & Secure Passwords. We admit, it can be a challenge to come up with complex passwords and then remembering them. For that reason, we recommend using a password management tool like our PassVault solution. Contact us to learn more about it.Using strong passwords and changing them regularly is an important step but adding two-factor authentication takes your security to the next level. It requires two forms of authentication to confirm your identify. This helps verify your identity and renders stolen user credentials worthless to hackers. It may add a minute to the login process but provides stronger protection for critical business data that is priceless.
5- Maintain Software Updated
You see update notifications pop-up while you’re in the middle of doing something important, so you click on the ‘remind me later’ button and swear to install it later. As annoying as they may be, these updates are imperative to maintain and should always be installed as soon as they become available. Outdated software makes the devices you work with vulnerable to hackers. Updates are designed to deal with vulnerabilities in the coding of the software that allow hackers to get into your systems. These vulnerabilities are public to the whole world and there is a race against time for vendors to patch the public vulnerabilities. Updating your software can block cyber-attacks by preventing hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities. Ensure you are running the most up-to-date versions of the software your business works with and take a minute to click on the ‘install now’ button instead leaving it for a later time. Cyber-criminals will jump at any opportunity to gain access to your networks. As we face new and highly sophisticated cyber-threats this year, it is important to upgrade and maintain a robust cyber-security business strategy. Knowing how difficult it can be to stick to new year’s resolution, let us help you make and keep these important cyber-security resolutions with our advanced solutions. Make an appointment with our security experts today.