More than ever before, modern businesses rely on technology. Their efficient functioning relies on internet services, which is unlikely to alter in the near future. As a result, as organizations get larger, computer networks develop, and massive volumes of data are sent every day between computer systems. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 68% of organizations across various industries believe that cyber security threats are growing. According to an FBI assessment, cyberattacks have grown by 300% since the epidemic began. Securing businesses large and small is vital to ensure the safety of all organizations and customer data.
Remote Work has Changed How We Think about SecurityThe pandemic has changed the working environment. Employees are now working remotely on their gadgets, which has increased the number of cyber threats. The average cost of a data breach has increased by $137,000 as remote employment became more popular. You might be astonished to learn that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Google blocked almost 18 million phishing emails and malware every single day. And 81% of cyber security experts in the United States believe that their day-to-day job has changed dramatically. Companies that are now employing digital channels due to the pandemic are likely to do so in the future.
- Remote Work Cybersecurity Allowing workers to access corporate information remotely may expose the organization to cybersecurity concerns, which might harm the company. Prior to the pandemic, most individuals worked in an office with a hub-and-spoke arrangement, which the IT Security team was in charge of. It meant that video meetings, emails, document management, and instant messaging were all routed via a single point of security within the workplace.
- Those in the Office Must Be Aware of Security Vulnerabilities However, those still working from the office and looking to expand their network also come with many responsibilities. A poorly secured network poses many security issues, exposing you to cyberattacks. It's not simple to protect your company and sensitive data from fraudulent activities, but it's critical.
Identify the Network AssetsIt may seem obvious, but the first step to securing your business is to figure out what you need to protect. Operating systems, software applications, computers, routers, switches, firewalls, and so on are all examples of network assets. Intangible assets, such as data or private company knowledge, are also available. Making a list of your devices can help you visualize what needs to be safeguarded.
Determine your Compliance RequirementsWhat is cybersecurity compliance? Cybersecurity compliance ensures a set of risk-based controls to safeguard the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of data stored, processed, or transmitted. Depending on your industry or the organizations you work with, you may be required to comply with any number of state, local, national and industry-wide cyber security requirements. Different standards may overlap depending on the sector, causing confusion and extra effort for firms that use a checklist-based approach.
- Your Compliance Requirements can be Layered For example, a pharmacy must comply with HIPAA due to processing PHI (protected health information) and PCI DSS, which is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a collection of guidelines designed to guarantee that all businesses that process, store, or transfer credit card data do so in a secure manner. This pharmacy may also be subject to state and federal data privacy laws. Consult a lawyer or other compliance expert to determine what obligations your specific organization is subject to.
Implement 2FAOne of the most cost-effective and underused solutions in cybersecurity is two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication should be required for all sensitive documents, financial data, banking, and other services. Requiring two-factor authentication on all essential business accounts can help to decrease the danger of a compromise spreading throughout the firm.
- Two-factor authentication should be mandated on all devices Instead of SMS authentication, use an app like Google Authenticator wherever feasible. SMS 2FA may be bypassed entirely by SIM switching and other techniques. While authenticator software may not be able to stop a determined attacker, it can lessen the chance of your business succumbing to common assaults.
Perform a Risk AssessmentUnderstanding your network's flaws is a crucial step in developing a sound security strategy. A risk analysis will assist you in identifying and assessing potential network hazards. Unpatched vulnerabilities disclosed on the dark web are a target for cybercriminals, and there is no one-size-fits-all method to combat them. Because these attackers are becoming more clever, relying just on antivirus software is no longer sufficient.
The goal of a risk assessment is to:
- Look for potential network flaws.
- Locate any unwanted background programs that may be attempting to take advantage of your network.
- Detect any undesired open ports on your connection that attackers might use to get access to the program.
- Examine your firewall and antivirus software's capabilities to handle threats and assaults.
- Determine your network's encryption level.
Also, the report should suggest countermeasures to these weaknesses like upgrading an application or investing in new assets.
Require Security Awareness TrainingYour network security strategy is only as good as the individuals responsible for putting it into action in the end. It's critical to have a security-first strategy, which can't be accomplished without comprehensive and ongoing employee training. Employees should be aware of the security risks present in everyday communications and know-how to report an incident in case one occurs.
- Your Employees are Your First Line of Defense from Cybercrime Cybercriminals use typical mistakes made by your employees to target you and launch an attack. Your team members will acquire confidence from ongoing security awareness training, and they will be able to recognize dangers and avoid traps such as social engineering attempts. Follow these steps, and your organization will be on the right track for security in 2022.