Cybersecurity is something that can seem like a futuristic, far-off concept. Yet, you couldn't picture our current world without cybersecurity. Which can lead you to not see the value of locking up your data until it’s stolen. The news cycle is dominated by stories of companies suddenly regretting not improving their cybersecurity plans until it was too late.
Recently, Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, Optus, had 10 million users’ data exposed thanks to a cyber-attack. The average cost of a U.S. data breach hit an all-time high in 2022 at $4.35 million, according to a report buy IBM and the Ponemon Institute. It's critical for businesses and individuals to learn how to spot a cyber attack to prevent costly data breaches.
So what should you and your business do? Here are some easy ways to protect your data from hackers.
Talk to your employees
No cybersecurity plan can exist without your employee’s cooperation. Training and expectations to not share passwords, not leave computers unlocked, and other basic cybersecurity precautions don’t happen unless you communicate them.
It’s also good to take stock of what’s going in at your organization. Ask who is taking customer data, where it’s stored, and what security measures are already in place. There’s no excuse for a security breach caused by poor communication.
Practice good Device Management
Do you know where all your company laptops are? With Work from Home becoming more and more popular, people are accessing your network from across the country. Make sure that you have the settings that, if a device does become compromised, it doesn’t take the rest of the company network down with it.
Multi-Factor Authentication is key
Multi-Factor Authentication is a verification method where a user can only gain access to an online system after presenting 2 forms of verification. Typically, by entering a separate code sent to the user by phone or email to establish identity. This helps ensure the user is authorized to access the system and not someone who has taken an authorized device.
Consider what’s going out online
Hackers are employing all sorts of unusual methods to attempt break into companies. One of them is scanning online job postings to see who is hiring for IT or Cybersecurity positions. If there’s a job vacancy, that may indicate a vulnerability in your company. If you are in the process of hiring, make sure to give extra attention to any unusual activity on your systems.
Invest in a cybersecurity framework
Now that you are more familiar with basic cybersecurity measures, you can invest in the future of your company. A great way to do that is with a cybersecurity framework. A framework is composed of best practices for cybersecurity.
Todd MacQueen, In Time Tec Director of Information Technology, recommends NIST Cybersecurity Framework or CIS Controls. He said CIS splits the framework into implementation groups, and the first group can be done by any business. You don’t have to have a cybersecurity team or even a strong IT team to implement the framework.
A cybersecurity framework is a great option for those starting out, as money spent on things recommended by experts is money well spent. Ready for the next step? Learn what a cybersecurity expert can do for you.