Data breaches and cyber-attacks have shown a rapid rise in the last few years. Though cyber security preventive measures and technology have improved, hackers have also become more proficient and are using sophisticated and hidden ways for attacking network.
These cyber-criminals attack in multipleways as shown in the below picture, to grab your personal or business information.
These attacks are made to steal and misuse your business data, and hence it is crucial to safeguard your business with strong cyber security measures.
Network Security +Web Security + Application Security +Information Security +Operational Security = Strong and Secured Cyber Security.
In this article, I have focused on some important cyber-security measures which can shield your business data against cyber-criminals. Let’s have a peep into a few of them.
Best Cyber-Security Practices to keep your Business Data safe:
Use Complex Passwords:
One of the top reasons, why hackers can instantly gain access to your network is easy to guess passwords. Many corporate business owners are careless in creating a complex password or don’t realise the importance of the same, and face major business challenges when data breaches take place.
A password becomes complex when a proper combination of alphabets, numbers, special characters, symbols, upper case and lower case are used. Password Vaults and use of complex passwords make it impossible for hackers to penetrate through them for accessing network.
- Change your passwords frequently
- Use different passwords for different accounts
- Never re-use any previous passwords
- Never write your passwords on paper or share it with anyone
- Use 2 factor authorization
- Use long passwords
- Passwords should not contain your name or ID
- Use password manager for unique passwords
- Buy And Install SSL certificate for your Business Website:
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a security protocol which protects data communicated between web servers and browsers with encryption security.
Its visual trust indicators are clearly seen in the URL and address bar; i.e. green padlock in the address bar and https in the URL.
- It provides encryption security which gives a tough time to hackers for decoding and penetrating sites.
- It boosts Google rankings
- It instils trust in visitors visiting the site
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) have put SSL security as a compulsion in its compliance. Such is the security strength of SSL.
Comodo PositiveSSL is an entry-level certificate which is quite popular and trusted all across the globe. This Domain Validation SSL when installed on a website encrypts all your data with 256-bit encryption security standard and is compatible with most of the browsers and servers.
Buy SSL certificate, install it on your business site and secure your business.
Don’t open Suspicious-looking Emails:
Any emails sent from public email domains, having spelling errors in emails, wrong spelling of domain name, emails having suspicious attachments or links etc. are distrustful and you need to be cautious while opening such emails.
Best is to avoid opening such emails, because there may be phishing emails who lure you into grabbing your sensitive information. Never click links on emails sent from unknown sources, because they may guide you to infected sites, causing damage to your device as well as business.
Educate all Employees:
Ignorant employees who are unaware about cyber-security measures pose a threat to your business. Cyber-criminals are becoming more tech-savvy and are using unique methods to penetrate your network and destroy your business. These criminals target the low level employees for penetration and go till the top once they get a chance. There are cases where employees fall in phishing traps set by these criminals, and their ignorance puts your business data at huge risk.
Point Research Report on Information Security indicates that 77% of the IT guys feel that their teams are unprepared for cyber-security challenges.
Educate employees at all levels about these cyber security measures and security protocols by conducting training sessions regularly. Depute an IT guy well versed with the latest cyber threats and raise the awareness bar for the safety of your business.
Install a trusted antivirus software:
You cannot stay alert all the times. Hackers don’t give warnings before making an attack on your network. Though your employees are well trained and educated about the cyber security measures, it may happen that they accidently click on phishing emails due to negligence or pressure to stay alert.
These phishing emails load malware into your network and that’s where installation of anti-malware software comes in the picture. Also install anti-virus software on your desktop or laptop too, because it protects your business data by removing viruses, spyware, adware, botnets etc. This software also filtersspam and harmful emails;and helps restore compromised data.
Update them regularly to get rid of new viruses, and keep your business information safe.
Norton Security Premium, Bit Defender Total Security 2020, Kaspersky Security Cloud 2020 etc. are some of the best antivirus software’s available in the market.
Use Multifactor Authentication:
Dual Protection or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) means verifying the identity of the user using multiple credentials. This additional level of security secures the data, because the computer grants access only when all the factors are authenticated.
Example:MFA is a combination of authentications like retina scan, password, pin number, facial recognition, and codes sent on email id etc.
The main benefit is that hackers find it difficult to authenticate all the factors for gaining unauthorised access to your network, thus preventing data breach attacks.
Use the Principle of Least Privilege:
POLP (Principle of Least Privilege) means permitting only essential privileges to all employees. Granting privileges in common to all employees can prove fatal for your business, because chances of misusing it or compromising business information may bind to increase.
By restricting access to systems on outside job functions, the employee cannot misuse data and if they do so, the risk is restricted to the user access only.
Limit Employee Access to Data and Information:
Maximum data breaches begin from the company itself. Internal dissatisfied employees or terminated employees of the company may cause harm to your business.
Create Role Based Access Control (RBAC), and restrict access to authorised employees, which will keep your data safe from being vulnerable against attackers. Critical data access should be given to highly trusted employees only and not shared amongst the entire staff.
Access control policy is one of the best security practices to protect confidential data of your business. Document each access given to employees, update it when new accesses are given or removed, and disable login and user credentials of terminated employees with immediate effect to secure your client data.
A step ahead is to monitor user activity and behaviour and identify any suspicious behaviour. Disengage the employee from important accesses, if any alarming behaviour is noticed. This precautionarymeasure goes a long way in protecting your business information.
Regularly Back Up all Data:
In today’s era you cannot do business without computers and servers. They are storages of your business information and they also need backup securityin case of contingencies.
An emergency like system crash, hard drive failure, corrupted drive etc. may happen any time, and the only thing which comes to rescue is back-up.
Man-made attacks like Spyware and Malware attack your data, and make it infected. To prevent data loss, it is important that all your data like word documents, databases, electronic spread sheets, HR files, accounts database etc. are all stored in a safe place.
Backup all your company data on external storage device regularly and divide the backups amongst important employees to alleviate internal threats. You can also use Cloud Backup wherein your cloud data is stored in another location which can be restored when needed.
Hire trained IT professionals,who can automate backup process and develop recuperation solutions as per your business requirement, for additional security.
It takes just one click to allow an intruder to penetrate into your business. Right knowledge, right security measures and right approach to breach vulnerabilities can prevent disasters. Stay alert and prioritize your business data safety by implementing these cyber security practices.