In this digital age, much of what we do takes place online. While this progression has made conducting business more convenient and accessible, this trend has also brought with it a broad range of security risks.
As everyone may already be aware, every system connected to the web is vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks. While companies can acquire the best cybersecurity software to safeguard their network, it is undeniable that even the best programme is rendered obsolete over time as hackers continue to uncover vulnerabilities and create new exploits.
So how can your company stay ahead of the abundance of cybersecurity threats present in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape? As is with everything else, preparation is key. While you may never be able to create a completely threat-free cybersecurity environment, there are steps you can take to stay ahead of emerging threats; let us share what they are.
5 ways to stay ahead of hackers
1. Keep learning
Malicious parties are constantly trying to find ways to overcome or get around companies’ security measures, which is why businesses need to regularly stay up-to-date on the latest in IT security. As the adage goes, knowledge is power, and it is one of the most effective lines of defence against cyberattacks.
However, this type of continuous learning and staying ahead of nefarious hackers should not be limited only to the business’s IT division; it must also extend to all employees working there. The weakest link in any cybersecurity measure is typically the human element. Human error is often the main cause of any security breach. This is why it is crucial for every employee to undergo at least the basic-level IT security courses.
2. Know your network and monitor your activity
Your business’s network activity can serve as the first warning system for any potential cyber-attack. By regularly monitoring your company’s network, you may be able to stem the tide of a cybersecurity threat and nip it in the bud. However, to do so, you have to understand the “normal” traffic and usage levels for your network so that you can spot any irregularities immediately.
Additionally, by investing in related tools and software, you can bolster your network security by setting up a system that can send out automatic alerts when it detects any issues or anomalies within your company’s IT infrastructure and its networks. This improvement is a must-have since early detection is often key to successfully thwarting a cyber-attack.
3. Know where your critical data is stored and who has access to it
The greater the number of people who have access to your company’s critical data, the greater the risk of a security breach. However, businesses often have to allow data access to a number of essential employees so that they can do their job, leaving their IT infrastructure more vulnerable. As such, it is vital for business owners to be fully aware of every individual who has access to their digital assets.
Moreover, stringent policies must be enforced to fully control who should have access to which data. One effective method is to restrict the IP addresses that your approved employees can use to access sensitive information. In addition to that, you should often audit your list of users and access controls to identify any potential gaps.
4. Bolster your backup system
It is vital to remember that the company’s backup systems more often than not serve as the only access point to the organisation’s databases, work applications, and other digital assets when its central IT infrastructure has been compromised. Therefore, it is essential for you to bolster your backup system as well.
Components like immutable backups, encryption at rest, air-gapped data copies, and even hardened backup operating environments are critical to any security strategy and should not be overlooked. You should also consider implementing the 3-2-1 rule, storing three copies of your company’s data on two different media, with the last one being kept off-site.
Moreover, to further secure your backup environment, you are encouraged to implement backup solutions that run on the Linux OS since common malware, like ransomware, typically targets the more commonplace Windows OS.
5. Enable multi-factor authentication
With the increased prevalence of cyber-attacks, a multitude of organisations has begun implementing multi-factor authentication systems. If you have ever logged onto any government website, you will be familiar with this feature, as you will be requested to provide a one-time password (OTP) in addition to your username and password.
This multi-factor authentication system has proven to effectively deter phishing attacks and restrict access to company accounts, applications, and other critical assets to key employees only. Whether it is through a physical device, such as Google’s Titan Key, or a multi-factor authentication software, there is no denying the need to have such a system in place to protect your enterprise and its IT infrastructure.
As long as companies continue to deploy technological solutions to achieve their business goals, the threat of cyber-attacks will be ever-present. It is impossible to eliminate every security threat and loophole, but you can still aim to protect your company’s data by staying ahead of malicious hackers. This can be accomplished by bolstering your organisation’s cybersecurity system.
Additionally, we recommend getting all your employees on board with cybersecurity training. Nurturing their understanding of cyber-threats and their consequences is essential to reducing the risk of a security breach. At Bridging Minds, we provide an extensive selection of IT security courses to equip your employees with the latest cybersecurity knowledge. So hurry up and sign up now before the slots are filled up!