February 7, 2023

5 Essential Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Business Secure From Cyber Threats

The number of internet users is rising daily, and so is the number of cyber crimes. Today, everybody is a potential victim including businesses. In 2022, the world witnessed one of the biggest data leaks in video game history.

In September, Rockstar Games Inc. was a victim of a black-hat hack that leaked footage of one of their upcoming games: GTA 6. Though the leak may not have had much impact on the final game, it showed a flaw in the company’s defenses.

Developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) are also creating more opportunities for cyber threats. Today, operational technology (OT) cybersecurity is a rising concern. You may be asking yourself what OT is in cyber security.

Operational Technology refers to hardware or software used to manage industrial processes. OT is used in manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. 

OT systems initially did not have an internet connection. However, thanks to developments in the IoT, OT systems are now on the internet. On one end, this development has challenged what is possible with OT and improved operations. However, it has also exposed OT systems to cyber crimes.

Today, it is not just the big companies that fall victim to cyber-attacks. Small and medium enterprises are also victims of cyber threats. Research shows that 61% of small businesses were victims of cyber attacks in 2021. Also, note that 51% of small businesses have no cybersecurity measures.

Therefore, regardless of your business’s size, you need to take steps to secure your business from cyber crimes. Remember it is not just the IT security you have to worry about, there is OT cybersecurity to worry about. Let us look at some tips and tricks you can use to keep your business secure:

  1. Risk Assessment

One of the best ways to secure your business from security threats is to perform a risk assessment test. A risk assessment aims to identify potential threats to your networks, systems, and information. This way you can come up with ways to mitigate them.

You can start by analyzing the flow, access, and storage of data. Find out how foreign parties will try to access and obtain this data. If you use cloud storage, you should also factor it in. You could also enlist the help of your cloud storage provider in such a case.

List the possible events and assign them risk levels depending on the impact of each breach on your business. Once you are done, use this analysis to create a security strategy. The security strategy should contain information about how to deal with each security concern listed.

Ensure you review and update your strategy regularly. Remember, there are new cyber threats every few months, so it is better to stay alert. You should also update your security strategy when you make changes to your system.

  1. Backup Your Data

Most businesses today collect data for different reasons. This may include data meant for record keeping, marketing purposes, research, or strategic purposes. Every company has data that cybercriminals are targeting.

You should create backups of your data and store them properly. You can store the backup data in cloud services or physical drives in your facility. The backups will come in handy when your data is stolen or lost. 

Ensure that you have a routine to back up your data regularly. This will reduce the data you lose when you restore your system using your backups. It is also good practice to encrypt your data. Encryption makes it impossible to read your data without an encryption key.

  1. Ensure Your Business Partners are Secure

Sometimes your business partners may be a security threat. Keep a close eye on third parties that have access to your network such as suppliers. These parties may be a security threat. To ensure you keep your business safe, ensure they have security protocols that are as good as yours.

  1. Train Your Staff

According to research, 95% of cybersecurity breaches result from human error. This means that your staff is a huge security risk. There are thousands of scenarios of employee error that may leave your system vulnerable to cyber threats. However, in some cases, the employees do it intentionally.

You need to invest in training your employees on practices that may help keep your business safe. This could include educating them on password etiquette and the importance of strong passwords. 

Also, teach your staff about phishing techniques and how to stay safe on the internet. 

Also, come up with policies to safeguard your network. These policies should also cater to customer information and devices. Also, remember that confidentiality is a crucial part of data protection. 

  1. Secure Your Devices

You have to protect the devices in your network against cyber threats. There are several ways of protecting hardware. First, you can focus on physical protection. This includes creating physical barriers to prevent unauthorized access to company devices. It also includes: locking, password protecting, and hiring guards to patrol areas such as your server rooms.

You can also secure your devices by installing antiviruses on your computers. The antivirus will help safeguard against spyware, ransomware, viruses, and phishing scams. Ensure that the antivirus also scans and eliminates any malware found on your computers.

You should also update your software regularly. This is because software vendors release updates that improve security and patch security vulnerabilities. Finally, protect your devices through your network.

Ensure that you are using WPA2 protection for your network. You can also use a proxy server as a firewall. The server will control incoming and outgoing network traffic to keep your users safe. You can also use the Syslog server monitoring tools to optimize your network activity.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a major concern today, and new threats are emerging regularly. You need to protect your company and business partners by beefing up your cybersecurity. There are several ways you can get started  to protect your business

You can begin by doing a risk assessment and setting up a security strategy to handle these risks. You should also invest in training your staff on good security practices. Also, ensure you secure your network devices and company devices.

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