Recent world events have accelerated what was already a growing concerned for businesses: cybersecurity.
Despite knowing the dangers and how likely it is to suffer an incident, many businesses do nothing to prevent it. Some aren’t capable of allocating a decent enough budget. Others completely disregard security, hoping they’ll get lucky.
Unfortunately, hoping to get lucky is no longer feasible in today’s state of affairs.
Businesses must start strengthening their cybersecurity right away.
Why cybersecurity is becoming a popular topic in board rooms
Business executives are seeing first-hand how damaging a cyberattack can be.
It can cost thousands, if not millions, to recover from, whether it’s for recovering data, paying the ransom, or other activities to address the incident. The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million.
That’s the highest number in the 17-year history of IBM’s cost of a data breach report.
Another factor to consider is how likely an incident is to occur. Not only are cyberattacks disastrous for a business, but they’re also very common.
Ways businesses can improve their cybersecurity
Despite the alarming numbers, only 50% of businesses in the US have a cybersecurity plan. Of those with a plan, most have done nothing to adjust to recent developments and much higher probabilities of an incident.
Here are some ways businesses can strengthen their cybersecurity:
Evaluate current cybersecurity measures
Even if you already have a cyber disaster plan, it likely needs some modification. New developments are happening daily in cyberspace, bringing new vulnerabilities and attack vectors.
Perform routine risk assessments to determine the security posture of your most important assets. Identify flaws and implement changes in reasonable time frames to minimize the risk of a breach.
Cultivate a security-aware workforce
Human error is the number one cause of cyber incidents. Whether it’s forgetting to install updates or falling for a phishing scam, employees are constantly liable to make a mistake that can jeopardize the organization.
Phishing is one of the most common tricks employees fall for. Training can significantly reduce the rate at which employees fall for phishing and other scams. Update the training materials consistently to educate the workforce on the latest vulnerabilities.
Back up all important business data on the cloud
Creating backups is another way to safeguard against data breaches. A backup will make a ransomware attack much easier to handle, as the hackers will lose all leverage.
Physical copies of data are good to have, but there are also many cloud storage solutions for business. The data you store on the cloud will safely reside on a third-party server, far away from any vulnerabilities within your own network.
When it comes to creating backups, it’s vital to do it regularly, as outdated backups serve little to no purpose.
Control data access
Not all employees need to have full access to company data. In fact, nobody in the company should have complete access apart from senior management. Data control measures limit data access for employees to only the data they need to do their jobs.
These measures are implemented through authentication, ensuring that the user has permission to access the data in question.
Outdated software is another common factor that leads to data breaches. Software updates contain critical security fixes to address vulnerabilities. Network administrators need to make sure that all company devices are updated regularly.
Strong passwords and 2FA
Businesses are slowly moving away from BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.
Even though it’s cheaper, it’s much harder to implement security controls on personal devices. Perhaps the two most important security controls are a strong password and two-factor authentication.
All business devices and accounts must be protected with a strong password. If your business uses many services and accounts, utilize a password manager to make it easier for employees to remember and implement strong passwords.
2FA is also critical to prevent unauthorized access to devices and accounts.
Cyberattack frequency is growing at a rapid pace. Many businesses have outdated security plans, while some don’t have a plan at all.
To strengthen cybersecurity, businesses need a concentrated effort from everyone in the company. Network administrators have a huge responsibility to keep business data safe.