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Since the onset of Covid-19, businesses large and small have become exponentially more vulnerable to cyber threats. Our growing reliance on technology, networks, software, and even social media can inadvertently invite cyberattacks that can lead to catastrophic loss of business and personal data.
So what is the biggest cybersecurity threat to your business?
You and the people you work with.
You might think we’re talking about disgruntled employees. They can certainly be a concern, but you and your trusted colleagues are much more likely to be the risk.
Malicious emails have increased by 600% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, thirty-seven% of organizations have been affected by ransomware attacks in the last year, and experts estimate that a ransomware attack occurs every 11 seconds.
Research shows that the most common IT security threats are: untrained employees, not having a security policy, employees bringing their own devices or working from home, using cloud-based applications and not having no disaster recovery plan.
Taking a few preventative steps can significantly reduce your business’ risk from these threats. Let’s see how each of them breaks down.
Employees put their company’s data or systems at risk when they lack the training required to understand the latest cyber threats. In fact, 46% of cybersecurity incidents last year were due to employee error.
So what should your employees do to make your business safer? Here is the shortlist:
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails or text messages;
- Do not open or download attachments from unknown senders;
- Never click on pop-ups;
- Use a strong password system, with two-factor authentication;
- Do not visit unsecured websites (look for the lock icon in the search bar).
No clear IT security policy
Your IT security policy should be the go-to resource for mitigating threats. A comprehensive policy should cover employee training, protocols in the event of a threat or breach, and how employees should protect valuable data onsite and remotely.
Your IT security policy should also address issues around using your own device (BYOD), establish cybersecurity regulations, and include step-by-step instructions for dealing with a threat.
A cybersecurity policy should cover:
- A list of confidential data;
- Security measures for devices for professional and personal use;
- Email security;
- Data transfer measures;
- Disciplinary action if the rules are not followed.
Bring your own device and work remotely
Many people use their own devices at work or when working from home. But when they download and access sensitive data and information, it can compromise IT infrastructure if their device doesn’t have the same level of security as your business.
Here are some steps your employees should take to protect company data:
- Connect to secure Wi-Fi via a virtual private network (VPN) whenever they access company data;
- Install a firewall, antivirus and advanced endpoint protection;
- Ensure that software and operating systems are automatically updated;
- Never link a business account to a personal account;
- Enable two-factor authentication on their devices and platforms.
The cloud offers tremendous advantages over traditional on-premises storage: from dramatically increased data storage capacity and cost-effectiveness to easy accessibility and collaboration. But hackers can access any information you store in the cloud.
What can you do to ensure data security in the cloud? In addition to the tips we’ve already listed, you can also:
- Read the User Agreement carefully before signing up, including the type of encryption provided by the service;
- Do not upload personal information (such as your birthday, mother’s maiden name, your children’s school, or activity schedules) to the cloud;
- Do not store sensitive information (credit card numbers, passwords, passport information) in the cloud.
No disaster recovery plan
If a breach occurs and your data is erased, corrupted, or held for ransom, a disaster recovery plan ensures your business can minimize losses. A disaster recovery plan, in addition to an IT security policy, helps your business respond quickly, recover as quickly as possible, and minimize damage and costly downtime.
At a minimum, your disaster recovery plan should do the following:
- Identify your assets;
- Use data replication redundancy. This means storing data on hard drives, saving it to the cloud, exporting it to encrypted flash drives, and using hybrid cloud storage;
- Regularly test backups and restore services.
These preventative measures go a long way, but nothing can replace the help and expertise of trained cybersecurity professionals.
It is no longer enough to rely on the protection of traditional technology. There is a clear need to perform threat assessments and implement cybersecurity measures to reduce your organization’s risk of cyberattacks.
At Adaptive Office Solutions, cybersecurity is our specialty. We keep cyber crimes at bay by using analysis, forensics and reverse engineering to prevent malware attempts and patch vulnerability issues.
By investing in multi-layered cybersecurity, you can leverage our expertise to strengthen your defenses, mitigate risk, and protect your data with next-generation IT security solutions.
To schedule your cybersecurity risk review, email us at [email protected]
This story was sponsored by Adaptive office solutions.