This is the digital age where most records, paperwork, and ongoing projects are kept online, either locally or on cloud networks. There is nothing more important than cybersecurity in such an environment. You must take the right precautions to prevent cybersecurity threats and protect your business data..

Here, it is crucial to understand that all data, ranging from finances to advertising campaigns, run through networks. In fact, this interaction between people, software, and diverse networks forms a complex dance that’s at the heart of a modern business.

1. Why Cybersecurity is of Paramount Importance

As a business owner, manager, or employee, you are always in possession of a constantly growing amount of confidential data. This sensitive information may belong to the customers and other employees. It may even be the proprietary ideas of your organization.

The fact remains if it is valuable to you – it is valuable to any number of malicious actors out there who might try to steal it from you.

Even a single security breach may potentially expose the personal information of thousands of people, if not more. Apart from immediate financial losses, such breaches can also lead to long-term loss of trust of your customers. Strong cybersecurity measures can help prevent data and identity theft, as well as various other cybercrimes.

2. Secure Data Storage

This concept collectively refers to the processes and technologies typically used for the integrity and security of stored data. Key secure data storage measures include:

  • Encryption of the business data
  • Both software and hardware access control mechanisms
  • Software protection against viruses and other data corruption threats such as ransomware, for instance

Secure data storage is critical for any organization or company dealing with sensitive information. Without the proper security protocols, hackers can slip through your system.

3. The Importance of Regular Scans and Checks

Just about every IT system has at least a few flaws. Once discovered by IT professionals or hackers, these flaws become known as “vulnerabilities.” If cybercriminals find vulnerabilities first, they might exploit them to invade your system and steal valuable business data.

However, regular vulnerability checks can help find and isolate such flaws and vulnerabilities and keep your business data secure. While simple scans are not a “magic bullet” that would permanently safeguard your data, they can go a long way in eliminating many security gaps in your system.

4. Tools For Online Security

There exist many tools that can help create a more secure IT infrastructure in your organization and prevent cyber attacks.

Access Control System

As the term implies, this system would restrict access to individuals authorized to work on particular networks, workstations, and systems. By carefully reviewing and limiting access permissions, you can avoid leakage of organizational data. Moreover, an effective ACS such as an IP access control system would also help narrow down the points of access, which your IT team may monitor more easily.

Antivirus Software

The cyber threat spectrum is growing every day, with new and more powerful viruses and malware being developed by malicious actors. Such threats require the latest antivirus software to enable you to maintain your data security. Today’s advanced antimalware programs provide full-spectrum protection and are regularly updated to keep up with the security threats developed by hackers and other criminals alike.

5. The Importance of Secure Networks

Your organization’s network security is of paramount importance when working over a LAN, the internet, or any other method. It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is – it won’t be absolutely safe. In fact, no network is ever totally immune to attack. That’s why an effective and stable network security system is indispensable for protecting corporate, employee, and client data.

A fully operational network security system will help your business reduce the risk of data theft and sabotage. It will also protect all the workstations in your office and even your remote employees from harmful spyware and other malicious programs.

6. Key Points to Consider When Setting up New Networks or Devices

If you are creating a network or even setting up new devices on an existing network, it is important to do so securely. Make sure that the OS and antivirus software have been installed and are up-to-date. You should also remove all irrelevant apps and programs from the new device. If it is a pre-used system, it would be a good idea to scrub the hard drive and install everything once again. You can also take the following prominent actions when installing new devices or updating your network:

Implement a Unified Endpoint Management System

UEM solutions enable organizations to monitor both workstations as well as mobile devices connected to their network. They aim to provide a single management interface for all the connected endpoints. An effective UEM solution will provide a consolidated view of all the devices linked to the organization’s network.

It will enable you to manage and monitor not just Mac, Windows, and Chrome operating systems but also Android and IOS systems for mobile devices. In a nutshell, installing a UEM system on all devices, both old and new, would allow you to monitor a hybrid workspace that would also include people working from home or even abroad.

Secure Your Routers

Routers are often the weak points of access in the case of new networks. You must change their default passwords as soon as possible since such information is often available online.

Add Firewall Protection

A firewall is a network security system that monitors and filters both inbound and outbound network traffic. It is your first line of defense against malicious actors bent on stealing your data.

7. The Importance of Strong Passwords

Both administrator and individual passwords are crucial for the security of your business network and all its data. Some of the main points of password security include the following:

  • Long and complex passwords may be hard to memorize, but the more complex the password – the lesser the chance it will be compromised.
  • Your passwords should be alpha-numeric with at least one uppercase character. This combination of alphabets and numbers should be further strengthened with commas and percentage signs for optimum security.
  • You must never write down your password or leave it lying around, and you have to implement the same rule for everyone in the organization.
  • Always refrain from using the same password for multiple devices to prevent hackers from breaking into different workstations.

8. What to Consider When Sharing Files Online

File sharing enables people from various geographical locations to work together on the same project. While being highly convenient from a business viewpoint, it can cause a lot of grief in case of security breaches. You can make your file-sharing system more secure by following these tips:

Limit the Recipients

No need to mass-mail a document if it’s not required. You should only share sensitive information and files with relevant people.

Protect Your Files with Passwords

This way, only people who know the password would access it. Send them the password through a medium with end-to-end encryption, such as a password manager or similar apps.

Set Sharing Time Limits

Use a file-sharing service provider that would allow you to set a time limit to the link of your file. If the file is not opened during that time, the link will expire.

9. Providing Security Awareness Training for Your Employees

Security awareness training is one of the biggest factors that influence the security of your business data. Ideally, you should aim to create a “security culture” in the organization. You can do this by holding regular seminars and workshops where security professionals will teach everyone how to prevent and mitigate security risks. From setting strong passwords to securing files, your security briefings would help your team develop the awareness they need to keep data secure.

The Bottom Line

Data breaches are a direct threat to the security of your organization. Apart from causing financial losses, they can destroy your brand’s image in your target market. Few customers would trust a company that allows their personal data to be leaked to hackers and other criminals.
However, the creation of a strong cyber security culture in your organization can help alleviate this problem. Ultimately, the key to a more secure IT environment is to be proactive when it comes to cybersecurity. Your team must be well-versed in security protocols, and your systems should be protected by firewalls, up-to-date antivirus software, and strong passwords.
If you follow the above measures, you will be able to mitigate the risk of a security breach to a great extent.

** This article was published in collaboration with Cybernews