Data security has become a major concern for businesses around the globe. The rise of cloud computing has increased the amount of sensitive information stored online.
Hackers now target companies using ransomware attacks, phishing scams, or other methods to steal valuable data.
How Can Organizations Protect Themselves Against Cyber-Attacks?
To ensure that your company remains secure, you should implement strong password policies, encrypt files and databases, monitor network traffic, try to use reliable security software, and train employees on cybersecurity awareness.
When it comes to passwords, make sure they are long enough not to be guessed by hackers. You could also use multi-factor authentication (MFA) – this involves the user entering another code from their phone or email when logging into accounts. This way if someone gets access to your account, they’d have to know both your username and password.
If you need any assistance with implementing these measures, I recommend checking out our tips for mitigating the risk of data loss in your organization.
1. Strong password policy
Employees should have unique passwords for all their accounts. They should use at least 8 characters with alphanumeric characters, special symbols, and punctuation marks. Passwords must be changed regularly.
2. Encrypt files and database transactions
Data should be encrypted so it cannot be accessed by anyone without having the encryption key. Encryption is also sometimes used as an additional layer of protection for email attachments, such as PDFs and images.
3. Use two-factor authentication
Add another level of security to your account login process by requiring users to provide both a username and a code when logging into an account. This helps prevent someone who steals one set of credentials from accessing your account.
4. Avoid storing user credentials
Usernames and passwords should never be stored as plain text. Instead, store them securely and access them through services like Google Authenticator.
5. Don’t share confidential information
Information such as financial details, bank account numbers, or social insurance numbers shouldn’t be shared via email or any other means unless absolutely necessary.
6. Implement multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires more than just a username and password to log into an account. It includes things such as entering a recovery code sent to a mobile device, sending a code to a text message or phone number assigned to the user, scanning a QR code, or typing a passcode.
7. Avoid phishing emails
Phishing scams often involve fake websites that look similar to legitimate sites. Emails claiming to come from these sites may trick recipients into sharing personal information. Cyber threats continue to evolve rapidly, so stay alert and keep up to date with new developments.
8. Check the cloud
Cloud computing allows companies to pay monthly fees instead of annual fees for on-premises storage solutions. But this comes with risks since data could potentially be lost due to natural disasters or malicious attacks.
9. Keep an eye on the perimeter
A cyberattack begins when hackers gain physical access to company premises, so make sure exterior doors and windows are locked and secured. Ensure you perform regular audits to ensure your organization has effective controls in place.
10. Test systems regularly
Run tests on your IT infrastructure and applications periodically to identify weaknesses. If an attacker uses previously unknown exploits, take immediate action — patching can help limit exposure. A penetration test of your network helps find exposed vulnerabilities.
11. Update operating systems regularly
Stay current with patches and bug fixes for operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux. Create backups of important data every day. Consider investing in technologies that are designed to protect against cyberattacks.
12. Get outside advice
Hire experts when needed and consult with industry professionals to learn about emerging trends and best practices. Look for indications of insider threat. Remove unused software, as it can leave your system vulnerable to hacking attempts.
13. Do not click on links in unsolicited messages
Never open or download attachments from emails or instant messages that appear suspicious. Report any unusual behavior that may indicate a possible cyberattack. Users should not be able to change group memberships or permissions on other users’ files. Store data on internal drives using specialized secure storage options.
14. Turn off administrative shares
Only turn off administrative shares when absolutely necessary. Disable unnecessary hardware – reduce the amount of internal hard drive space available to programs and data. Plugging in external storage devices or keyboards with unsecured USB ports puts sensitive information at risk. There are many free online resources, such as VirusTotal, Norton Antivirus, and McAfee LiveSafe, which will scan for malware automatically.
15. Practice safe browsing habits
When visiting unfamiliar websites or downloading files, run antivirus software first and avoid clicking on links inside suspect documents. Computer equipment needs to be properly maintained to increase its security.
Use messaging apps that encrypt conversations to reduce the risk of data theft. Set up alerts to notify you of spam sent to specific addresses or keywords. Block access to content that’s been flagged as harmful. Deleting old emails can remove evidence of a breach.
16. Secure your smartphone
Password protects your phone and uses fingerprint identification, pattern recognition, or PIN codes to unlock it. Virtual private networks (VPN) connect computers, cell phones, and tablets directly to a trusted third-party server, making them seem as though they were connected to a local network.
Limit access to information that might expose your organization to security breaches. Updating your web browser to the latest version can help detect and block malware before it makes it onto your computer.
17. Choose the right SSL certificate
Select a site with a valid digital certificate as proof that the site is secure. Encryption is a way to scramble data so it cannot be read except with special keys.
The best way to minimize losses from cyberattacks is to implement a comprehensive “cybersecurity program” that covers all aspects of network defense, including basic prevention strategies, incident response, education and training of personnel, vulnerability assessment, and monitoring.
The goal of this program should be to stop attacks before they happen and to recover from those that succeed. To achieve this, organizations must address three areas: technical, organizational, and human factors.