Hackers and cybercriminals constantly seek to circumvent your security systems and gain access to the sensitive data of your customers and staff. Hence the need to protect yourself from cyber-attacks.
Indeed, cybersecurity must be part of every company’s plan for growth, regardless of whether you use advanced cloud computing or stick with email and maintaining a website. According to Reuters, digital information theft surpassed physical theft as the most reported fraud over ten years ago. All companies that use the Internet must create a culture of security that enhances business and consumer confidence.
What Do We Mean by ‘Cybersecurity Measures’?
Cybersecurity measures protect IT systems, data, and applications from threats that can come from inside and outside an organization. These measures include prevention, detection, and response to cyber attacks. They are put in place because any information stored on a computer, electronic device, or the cloud can be hacked.
With the proper measures, you can prevent those threats and attacks. A robust cybersecurity strategy has layers of protection to defend against cyber crime, including cyber attacks that attempt to access, modify or destroy data; extort money from users or the organization; or seek to disrupt normal business operations.
What Is Attack Resilience?
Attack resilience helps an organization to protect itself against security risks, defend against and limit the severity of attacks, and assure that business operations continue despite a security breach. Put simply: attack resilience is the ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks.
This ability focuses on what happens when cybersecurity measures fail. Ideally, your cybersecurity risk management program is so resilient that a successful attack provides little or no more benefit to the attacker than the resources needed to launch it.
What Are Some Cybersecurity Measures?
Companies need cybersecurity measures to protect their business, customers, and data from growing cybersecurity threats.
The following are some best practices that can help your organization implement robust cybersecurity measures that reduce your vulnerability to cyberattacks and protect your critical information systems without interfering with the user or customer experience:
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are essential for information security. Avoid using personal details in your password, change the password frequently, and never use the same password across multiple accounts.
A password is required to access almost all computers and web-based apps. Be careful, however, to establish complex answers to security questions and passwords, so that hackers will have a difficult time guessing it.
Create a password policy that encourages employees to use secure passwords, including requirements for uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Look at various technological options, such as scheduled password resets, to enforce your password policy.
Develop Strict Access Controls
Complex passwords are not enough. You should also think about developing strict access controls. Multi-factor authentication, which demands more information than just a password to gain access, is a good example.
Multi-factor authentication helps to protect sensitive data by adding a layer of security, leaving malicious actors with almost no way to log in as you. Even if a malicious actor had your password, he or she would still need your second and perhaps third-factor authentication, such as a security token, cell phone, fingerprint, or voice. At that point, from the attacker’s perspective it’s more efficient to give up on you and look for an easier target.
Install Reliable Antivirus Software
Antivirus applications can block most software assaults by detecting questionable online activities. A good antivirus program is a must-have component to improve your network security. It is an extra line of defense against unwanted attacks that may find their way into your network.
Anti-malware software is another necessity. These programs detect and remove different types of malware, ransomware, viruses, adware, and spyware. They also screen and filter emails and downloads that could be hazardous. To stay protected against the latest frauds and fix any issues, you’ll need to keep this software updated.
Put Up a Firewall
A firewall is a collection of applications that work together to restrict unauthorized access to data on a private network. These are excellent gatekeepers between your computer and the Internet, and they’re a critical tool to the spread of cyber hazards like viruses and malware.
Putting up a firewall helps protect a small business’s network traffic, both incoming and outgoing. For example, it can prevent hackers from attacking your network by blocking certain websites. It can also be programmed to restrict private data and confidential emails from the company network.
Back Up Important Data and Information
Critical data includes spreadsheets, word processing documents, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable and payable files. Back up data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store copies offsite or in the cloud. This way, your information will still be intact even if your systems are compromised.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks
If you have a Wi-Fi network in your company, assure that it is secure, encrypted, and hidden. Wi-Fi protected access version 2 (WPA2) is an increasingly common standard for online security.
To prevent hackers from learning critical information about your Wi-Fi network (like model or brand), change the name of your router or wireless access point, also called a service set identifier (SSID).
In addition, create a personalized password to administer the router to prevent hackers from hijacking your wireless network. You can also use a complex pre-shared key (PSK) passphrase for added security.
Raise Cybersecurity Awareness
Your employees significantly contribute to the security of your organization. Make sure they know their duties and the applicable policies and procedures. Provide regular cybersecurity awareness training.
When your staff is integrated into your defenses, you will see fewer mistakes and incidents of negligence, such as falling for scams, social engineering, and phishing attacks. It is far preferable to invest in proper employee training than to risk a data breach due to unintentional behavior.
Who Is Primarily Responsible for Applying Cybersecurity Measures?
One could say that everyone is responsible for cybersecurity, but it’s still important to note that roles determine specific functions.
General cybersecurity measures, such as password management, must be implemented by individual employees. More complex measures, however, such as installing an antivirus or backing up data, should fall to individuals with greater authority in the organization, such as the IT or cybersecurity department.
Large businesses tend to incorporate and monitor cybersecurity measures with a group of specialized professionals who make up the specific department in the area. On the other hand, small businesses appoint people to design and implement cybersecurity measures, with the same person performing more than one function.
Regardless if it’s a large organization or a small business, cybersecurity responsibilities must be specifically assigned and well-defined.
Make ZenGRC Part of Your Risk Reduction Plan
ZenGRC software for risk and workflow management is an easy-to-use platform that tracks your progress and enables you to identify high-risk areas with intuitive reporting and insights.
Any organization’s security toolkit should include a comprehensive governance, risk, and compliance platform. ZenGRC provides better visibility to better manage risks and mitigate exposure.
Contact us for a free demo to learn more about how ZenGRC can be an integral part of your organization.