Written by: Kevin Gardner
Cybersecurity is growing increasingly important as more and more of our daily lives interact with the digital realm. Technology has brought many great advancements for society; however, it has also brought some risks. For businesses, especially those with significant databases, defending against potential breaches is very important. The following suggestions should help.
1. Give Access Permissions Cautiously
When you are determining whether a team member needs access to a certain part of your network or your data set, be picky. Obviously, it is important for those who need access to have it. However, there may be many cases in which you are giving permission to access some portion of your network when that permission is unneeded.
Having loose permission control means that if a hacker gains access to someone’s credentials, he or she may be able to access a large portion of your network. Conversely, tight controls mean that access is more compartmentalized.
2. Implement a Zero Trust Policy
Consider using a zero trust policy in your network. This is an approach to security that assumes that all traffic, regardless of its origin, is untrustworthy. It involves checking all traffic before providing authorization to access the destination within the network. The benefit of this approach is that it prevents cybercriminals from impersonating a trustworthy traffic source to gain authorization. As many organizations implement remote work policies, using zero trust security is becoming more and more important.
3. Conduct Regular Training
The weakest portion of any organization’s cybersecurity is the people. Some estimates put the prevalence of social engineering (manipulation of people to gain valuable information) at around 98% of all hacks. In other words, a huge number of breaches involve tricking people in some way rather than focusing purely on breaching the technical security (although both are often used together).
Therefore, regular training on how to identify and respond to cybersecurity threats is important. This can include identifying phishing messages, setting strong passwords and knowing how to report something suspicious. No amount of training is foolproof, but every little bit can help.
4. Ensure Vendor Compliance
It isn’t just your team that can be breached. If you have vendors that interact with your network in any way, you will need to ensure that they are also compliant with security best practices and any relevant regulations for your industry. This can include your hardware and software suppliers that power your IT systems. It also includes any vendors that may simply connect to your system in some way or that your people connect to from your network. While different vendors present different levels of risk, it is good to be aware of their security practices.
5. Use Effective Passwords
Login credentials are among the most important elements of any security system but are also among the most overlooked. Since team members can set their own passwords, it is easy for them to use weak passwords. Try setting a minimum length for passwords. Additionally, train team members on good password practices. You can harden key systems with multi-factor authentication. However, this is not practical in every scenario. So, getting your people in the habit of setting strong passwords that they change from time to time is a good idea.
6. Have a Response Plan
Finally, you should be thinking about breaches not just as problems that may happen, but also as issues that will happen eventually. In other words, you need to be ready to respond. In some cases, a rapid response plan can limit the extent of the breach. Even if this isn’t possible, responding promptly can help to limit your financial and legal exposure in the event of a hack.
Discover more about protecting your network against breaches. With the right security measures, you will be ready for anything a cybercriminal can throw at you. In the modern, digital world, hacking and breaches are realities of life. So, it pays to invest time and energy into being ready.
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