With more devices than ever before now connected to the internet, the risk of cyber hacks is growing year on year. A lot of businesses are wondering how exactly they can plug security gaps, with users connecting through laptops, mobiles, tablets, and a range of other devices.
Luckily, it might not be as complicated as you first thought to protect your business and its data, and we’ve run through some of the quick wins you can apply today.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Applying multi-factor authentication (MFA) software to your systems means users have to go through two or more levels of verification before they can access any information. You’ll have no doubt encountered this type of tool if you’ve ever done any online banking, but there are plenty of off-the-shelf packages you can apply to your small business.
As a minimum, you should be using MFA software on your administration accounts, but it’s a consideration too for protecting particularly sensitive data or systems.
Back Up Your Data
You shouldn’t ever be complacent and think your data can’t be breached. Organizations across the globe, from the smallest to the largest, have been victims of cyberattacks, so it always pays to have backups of your data so you can start from scratch in a worst-case scenario.
A lot of companies back up to an off-site data center, but we’re seeing increasing numbers of organizations switch to cloud solutions. Economies of scale mean these solutions are relatively inexpensive and you can rest easy in the knowledge that you can revert to a clean version of your systems and data if you were to fall victim to ransomware.
Employ a SASE Solution
Not only are staff logging into company networks on numerous different devices these days, but they’re also doing so from all over the globe. Gone are the days of everyone working together under one roof as the explosion of remote working has given birth to modern, flexible workforces.
SASE, or secure access service edge, is a solution that puts security right on the edge of your network perimeter. New companies like Perimeter 81 are leading the way in this type of solution that controls access right down to the device level. You can control exactly what people can log into and when, and even what devices they can use to do it.
The vast majority of data and security breaches come from human error. Whether it’s clicking on a phishing link, sending the wrong email, or leaving a laptop lying around at the airport, good old human error is a difficult gap to plug. The best way to do this is with consistent training. It’s no good just sending out an email to staff asking them to take care, you need to devise a training plan that continually reminds employees of their cybersecurity responsibilities and do’s and don’ts.
This needs to be updated for a constantly evolving threat landscape too. Make sure your staff is aware of what to look out for and how to best take care of themselves.
Patch and Update Regularly
You’d be surprised at just how often breaches occur because an organization has failed to apply basic patches. Human nature can lead us to put off certain tasks in favor of those we feel are more important at the time, and when we see patch and update alerts we’ve all been guilty of kicking the can down the road.
However, it’s important you enforce updates and make sure staff can’t skip them, however inconvenient it might be at the time the update goes in.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
Make sure every laptop and mobile device capable of connecting to your network is encrypted. Encryption works by scrambling emails, texts, and files into ciphertext, making it unreadable to any malicious actors that might try and access the data.
It’s a great way to protect your most sensitive data and the most secure way involves the use of keys to decrypt data on receipt. Make sure your users keep their keys confidential and that they’re protected via passwords. As technology advances, we’re seeing more and more ways to decrypt and access information and are seeing tools like face, retina, and fingerprint scans utilized to protect information. Make sure you stay up to speed with the latest tech and use what’s best for your organization.