Industries have preferred to move their businesses online that have allowed them to grow organically. However, everything is not so bright as they are perennially faced with the risk of data breaches.
The security threats in the industry are immense and can be estimated from the fact that 4.1 billion records were compromised in only the first half of 2019. There have been significant data breaches at Clearview and Marriott, with almost 5.2 million records being breached at the latter. According to the 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report from Verizon, 70% of the breaches were caused by outsiders, and 86% of the breaches were financially motivated. It has resulted in organisations deploying stringent cybersecurity practices in place.
In this article, we will discuss some of these practices that your IT team can adopt top thwart any cyberattack.
Have a strong password policy
Studies have shown that reason for most data breaches can be attributed to weak passwords. All employees must have a strong password that adheres to the global password best practices.
The IT team must create a policy document that should cover the password creation best practices to which all employees have access. A secure password can help in prevent brute force attacks and prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data.
Restrict access to sensitive information
The IT team must also have a policy regarding granting access to sensitive data. While a particular section of employees needs to have access to confidential information, there should be a process approval process towards this with a clear set of directives how access can be granted.
There must be an audit trail that will help the IT team to audit access to critical data in the company.
Install SSL Certificate
The website is used to capture essential client demographics and, in some cases, even financial information. The data must be encrypted, and that is the reason you must Buy SSL certificate. It will help to encrypt the communication between the web server and the browser of the visitor.
E-commerce companies need to adhere to the PCI-DSS guidelines, that requires that to install an SSL certificate.
Keeping the software updated
It is vital to keep the CMS of the website updated. Mostly, the updates help to plug any vulnerabilities that could be there in the earlier versions. It is easy to set up notifications for any new updates to the CMS. You must also have the operating system of all systems in the office updated to the latest versions. Also, it is important to stay updated with any patch upgrades to the antivirus as it will help to prevent any cyberattacks.
Backup data at regular intervals
It helps to keep a regular backup of all data across the organisation. If you are faced with the unfortunate event of a data breach, you can restore systems to normal faster if you have the relevant data with you. The IT policy must have a dedicated section for a backup plan detailing the frequency of such backups and the storage process.
Ideally, the backups must be taken at least fortnightly with incremental backups every one or two days.
Have a plan for BYOD
As more and more employees bring their devices to the office, it is important to have a policy that ensures the security of the in-house systems. The IT team must ensure that all such external device are connected only using a VPN and only by entering the allocated user credentials.
There must be a separate policy for wearable devices and smartphones too. For smartphones that need to access the official network must be protected by a two-factor password using the in-house password best practices.
Train your employees
Businesses must train your employees and keeping them aware of the latest techniques to prevent any cyberattack. It must also include how they must avoid phishing emails and also how they can create an effective password. It helps small businesses to train their employees on how to use the networks around the office.
The employees must also be informed to be cautious when they are using their devices in public places. Ideally, employees must not access public Wi-fi systems, nor should they access the office systems from public locations.
Need for anti-malware software
Malware is a major cause for data breaches, and these must not be allowed to breach your defence. Studies show that several data breaches were initiated through phishing emails that could insert malware into the network. This makes it necessary to have anti-malware software installed to prevent your systems from falling prey to malware.
The growing number of data breaches has led to businesses boosting their networks and other associated software. It is also important that your employees use robust passwords to prevent any brute force attack. They can also use two-factor authentication when accessing very sensitive information. It is also important to encrypt your systems and buy SSL certificate. It will help you to encrypt communication with your visitors.
A documented cyber policy can help you to have all protocols together at one place and can be accessed easily by anyone in the organisation. It will be a many-pronged strategy in preventing a data breach. Organisations must be able to thwart data breaches, and it all starts by having a robust cybersecurity framework.
Hackers do not discriminate between businesses, and you may include the standard cybersecurity practices that we have discussed in this article.