Lately, businesses have become increasingly more dependent on their technology and technology systems to function properly. That’s not just because of the superior capabilities of the systems themselves but also because they provide business leaders with information that can help them make sound decisions and take swift action.
However, without proper planning and attention, these powerful tools can be easily exploited by other companies and even competitors — or even used to harm the company itself — if any steps aren’t taken to strengthen its defense against cyber attacks. Here are eight steps from https://fomoconews.com/ that you can take to ensure your business is ready for any threat that comes its way:
Identify potential threats:
Conduct a risk assessment of your company’s security measures. You’ll need to know how vulnerable your system is so you can identify the most important security controls and what improvements are needed to prevent a breach. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a free tool available to help with the risk assessment process.
Keep up with updates:
Ensure that you have all security patches installed, that your antivirus software is updated, and that all passwords have been changed, especially if they have been compromised in a previous breach.
You can avoid certain vulnerabilities by using a third-party firewall to block unauthorized attempts to access your network. For example, you could install a firewall that blocks outside access to the Internet and blocks all outgoing and incoming email and scanning for viruses. You can also implement a dedicated hardware firewall or security appliance that controls traffic between computers inside the company’s private network . This helps prevent the kind of “back-door” penetration that’s common in today’s Internet environment.
Create a security plan:
Consider the various security controls that you’ll use to protect your network and software and identify any gaps that need to be addressed. For example, consider recommending that employees use two-factor authentication for their email accounts to assist with the prevention of unauthorized access. You should also consider physical security such as locking down or removing access to vulnerable equipment such as PDAs and cell phones.
Conduct a vulnerability assessment:
You can perform a vulnerability scan to determine if your software and systems are vulnerable to penetration. This is a critical step since it provides an opportunity to identify security vulnerabilities and take steps to fix them. The NIST provides free online tools that can test your system for vulnerabilities. However, you should still take the time to scan your systems manually using NIST’s scan tools before you scan your system with a vulnerability scanner.
Learn about security basics:
As an owner or manager, you need to be aware of basic security principles such as the difference between confidentiality and integrity. You should also understand how attackers might gain access to your network and what steps you might take to prevent it. Security basics can also include related areas such as data confidentiality, data integrity, availability, recovery, backup and recovery planning.
Implement access controls:
You should use separate accounts for different types of users to protect sensitive data and resources. For example, consider restricting non-admin users to Internet access only while using work servers . Also, use account lockout policies to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your systems or engage in unauthorized activities such as copying sensitive data or downloading malware.
Overcome employee resistance:
Employees are typically unwilling to perform certain security tasks, especially when they depend on their computers for their work. Some employees also have a mistaken belief that all security measures are meant to prevent legitimate work from being done, but this isn’t true. You should be aware of the risks and the potential for damage so you can provide a proper solution. Also, you can help by making sure customers know about the importance of information security and how it pertains to their businesses.
Some businesses aren’t necessarily “hackers” themselves; they often act as targets, especially if they store sensitive data or provide an international service.
Remain focused on your data:
Make sure that you’re aware of who has access to your company’s data, both your employees and any third-parties you work with. You should also understand the requirements that protect personally identifiable information (PII) or other sensitive data. You can help reduce the risk of improper disclosure by ensuring that policies are in place to limit access to PII and only allow access on a need-to-know basis.
Explore the latest threats:
Stay on top of the latest threats against your business by subscribing to online services such as those offered by SANS and ISC2 .
As a business owner or manager, you can’t avoid information security because it has become a necessary part of running a successful company in today’s world. You can, however, take steps to ensure your company is as well protected as possible from outside threats and make sure that you have contingency plans in place for those inevitable times when one of those threats does occur.
Be on the lookout:
Make sure that your employees know how to identify and report any suspicious activity, such as an email that seems to be from a system administrator but includes instructions to install malware. You can also conduct training sessions on business intelligence and information security.
Conduct penetration tests:
A penetration test monitors your company’s defenses and identifies critical points of weakness so you can fill in the gaps. Penetration testing is particularly helpful after you’ve updated your security system and updated software, because it identifies vulnerabilities that attackers might attempt to exploit . You can also conduct a simple test of your business’s security by trying a local “phishing” attack that sends malicious emails from random email addresses to your employees to see if they open the attachments or click on the links inside.