Cybersecurity is more critical for businesses now than ever. Some of the largest companies that have had data breaches in recent years include Yahoo, Facebook, and Marriott, to name a few. With some simple changes, management can ensure cybersecurity is a top priority for its organization.
First, for your workforce to take cybersecurity seriously, they need to understand why it matters. It’s essential to educate your employees on:
- The potential consequences of an IT security breach to the business and its customers.
- The common tactics of hackers, such as phishing emails.
- The appropriate internal processes employees should take if they think they’ve been compromised.
Encourage your IT department to host cybersecurity workshops for each department and review internal processes on an annual basis.
Many companies either are lacking a cybersecurity policy or have not reviewed the policy in years. Make sure to create, or update, the cybersecurity policy to ensure it includes:
- Clear instructions on how employees should report potential cybersecurity compromises.
- Instructions on how to create safe passwords and manage them securely.
- Detailed instructions on internet use at work (i.e., banning websites that are not secure).
- Processes for how to store and protect sensitive data and information.
After creating the new policy, or updating the old one, make sure to circulate it with all of your employees.
Create a Cybersecurity Aware Culture
So much of your organization’s cybersecurity depends on your employee base. The fact of the matter is, one small action from an employee can have drastic consequences on the business. Make a genuine effort to create a culture of cybersecurity awareness.
Include cybersecurity training in the employee onboarding process. This ensures that all new employees are given the proper tools to protect themselves and the organization. Next, reinforce training of all current staff, regardless of their department or title. It can be helpful to host an annual training seminar where IT presents on the latest cyber engineering and social attacks, and the preventative measures employees can take against them.
Additionally, create a culture of transparency. Make it clear that employees will not be punished or ridiculed for “falling” for a cybersecurity scam. This ensures that employees will report incidents quickly, without the fear of repercussions, and your IT team can respond quickly.
Update Your Systems
Your IT department likely has a handle on this, but it’s worth stating. Sytems are more vulnerable to attack when they’re operating on an outdated version. Make sure that all systems are constantly upgraded whenever possible. This includes all applications on all workplace systems, such as phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Zero Trust Networks
On average, cybercrime costs an organization $13 million. And, the average number of security breaches rose 11% in 2018 from the year prior. With these shocking statistics, businesses have started to take cybersecurity more and more seriously.
One proven way to protect your business is with zero trust networks. This type of secure network identifies every network user and verifies each device before granting access. And, this type of network applies its security steps regardless of the location of the user is trying to access the system from. Is the threat inside the building? That won’t fool a zero-trust network (as the name implies).
Zero trust networks allow system administrators to control which users have access to what areas. In the event of a potential attack, this allows the system administrator to investigate and track unauthorized user attempts, unusual activities, and suspicious patterns. This enables system administrators to see where their networks are vulnerable and fix these patches.
Encrypt Your Data
Encryption is the process of encoding data or information, so it is unreadable unless you have proper authorization when accessing it. When you store and move sensitive data, make sure you encrypt it. Make this a regular habit for any employee within your organization that is responsible for handling confidential information.
Don’t let the fear of a cybersecurity threat stop you from advancing your business. With the proper measures in place, you can continue to develop and digitally transform your business without risking your cybersecurity. There are many IT consulting firms, such as Wavestone US, that offer assistance in these processes. These firms specialize in helping organizations transition through a digital transformation without putting themselves at unnecessary risk. They can also identify any current cybersecurity breaches your organization may have and not be aware of.
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