Cybersecurity breaches are on the rise and it is expected that they will reach 15.4 million by 2023. Although technological advances have made it easier for organizations to improve their security measures, hackers are using sophisticated tools. This means that in addition to strict cybersecurity policies being implemented You must also take proactive steps to reduce your cybersecurity risk.
Your data security is a critical responsibility for your organization. It could have a huge impact on your business. You could lose revenue or experience operational disruptions. Customers could also be affected. Data breaches can also lead to reputational damage, which could even result in your company being forced out of business. How can you decrease cybersecurity risk for your company when everything is at risk? Here are 10 strategies you can use to reduce cybersecurity risk in your organization.
Top 10 Tips to Reduce Cybersecurity Risk for Your Organization
1. Encrypt Your Data and Create Backups
All sensitive data should be encrypted. Hackers can only access your data if it is saved in plain text. Data encryption on the other side, however, restricts data access to those who have the encryption key. It ensures that no unauthorized party can access the data even if they gain access. Data encryption software can even let you know if someone is trying to alter or tamper with the information.
It is important to regularly back up your data. Data loss can sometimes be caused by cybersecurity breaches. If this happens and you don’t have a reliable backup, it can cause operational disruptions that could lead to a loss of revenue for your company. The 3-2-1 rule is one of the best data backup strategies. This strategy requires that you have at least three copies of your data. Two of them should be on separate media and one should be kept in an off-site location.
2. Conduct Regular Training for Employees
Phishing emails to employees are one of the most common ways that malicious hackers gain access to your database. Statistics show that more than 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent worldwide. These emails contain malware that is disguised as links and allows hackers to access user data including login credentials.
Phishing emails can be difficult to spot as they appear legitimate. A hacker might send an email asking for personal information to impersonate leaders within the organization. This information could be revealed if the employee is not properly trained. It is important to conduct cyber security awareness training. Inform your employees about the most common forms of cybersecurity attacks, and the best ways you can prevent them.
It is important to emphasize the importance of checking email addresses before you reply and checking links before you click on them. Don’t forget about the organization’s policy regarding sharing sensitive information on social media.
Also read: Top 10 DDoS Protection Services for 2022
3. Keep Your Systems and Software Updated
Your cyber security and digital safety are greatly affected by software and system updates. they not only provide new features but also fix bugs and patch security vulnerabilities. That can be used.
Malicious hackers create code to exploit vulnerabilities. Most of the time, This code usually comes in the form of malware that can be harmful to your entire system. So, Make sure to use patch management software to automatically manage all updates and maintain information security.
4. Use Strong Passwords
Weird fact: Over 80% of data breaches in organizations are caused by weak passwords. Hackers don’t require much to gain access. Hackers only need a small gap to exploit your system fully.
The technology for cracking passwords has advanced greatly and simple passwords are no longer sufficient. To prevent cybercrime within your company, you should use complex passwords and implement multi-factor authentication strategies. Employee password sharing should be discouraged so that no one computer can be hacked.
Several security risk mitigation strategies that you should use when passwords are concerned include:
- Passwords must contain at least 8 characters
- They should contain alphanumeric characters.
- They should not contain any personal information.
- They should be original and have not been used before.
- They should not be able to spell correctly.
- Keep your password safe and secure in an encrypted format.
With many employees now working from home, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) is becoming increasingly common. To monitor the strength and integrity of saved passwords, recommend iOS users to enable Security Recommendations.
5. Monitor and Assess Your Vendors
Your cyber security may be highly dependent upon third-party vendors. This is why you shouldn’t ignore vendor risk management. This will allow you to mitigate third-party risk and not rely on incident response alone.
You should place your main focus on:
- Cybersecurity risk: Onboard vendors using the correct strategies and monitor them throughout your relationship.
- Compliance, legal, and regulatory risk: Make sure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws, agreements, and regulations.
- Operational risk: If the vendor is an important aspect of your company, make sure they don’t disrupt your operations.
- Take control of your strategic risk by ensuring that the vendor does not interfere with your ability to achieve your organizational goals.
Do not leave cybersecurity up to chance. Make sure you take steps to reduce third-party exposure.
6. Reduce Your Attack Surface
Your attack surfaces are your entry points or vulnerabilities that Malicious hackers may be able to gain access to sensitive data. These could include IoT, software, web applications systems, or employees who are susceptible to social engineering attacks like whaling, phishing, and others.
There are three main types of attack surfaces:
- Physical attack surface: This refers to organizational assets that hackers can access if they have physical access.
- Digital attack surface: These assets are available via the internet and are not protected by firewalls. Your corporate servers/operating system and other known assets are all digital attack surfaces.
- Unknown assets like a forgotten website or other assets can also be used. Rogue assets include apps that pretend to be your company.
- Social engineering attack surface: This is one of the most important, yet often overlooked attack surfaces. The hackers use human psychology to manipulate employees into disclosing sensitive information.
To determine your threat landscape and identify security gaps, conduct an attack surface analysis. This will help you reduce attack vectors.
7. Pay Close Attention to Physical Security
Cyber risk management policies for organizations tend to focus only on cyber risks, and completely ignore physical properties. Do a security assessment to determine if your critical infrastructure is protected from security breaches. Also, you should review your data protection policy to determine whether it contains data disposal strategies.
Imagine a situation where your online security is good but your office has been hacked and someone has rummaged through your files. It would be a terrible situation! It is not uncommon for janitors to go through garbage and get personal information about employees and customers.
You should ensure that restricted areas are secured with high-value systems. Biometrics and keycards are also good options for 2-factor authentication. You can be sure that no one can access your area if the keycard is stolen or lost.
8. Put a Killswitch in Place
A killswitch can protect you against large-scale attacks. This is a reactive cybersecurity protection strategy that allows your information technology department to shut down all systems when they detect something suspicious until the issue is resolved.
Cybercriminals aren’t likely to cover their tracks, even if they don’t expect to be caught. To ensure that your IT security teams are able to verify the integrity of server logs, they should regularly review them. Network forensic analysis tools are also recommended to analyze the information flowing through your network.
Human error is the cause of most ransomware and malicious firewall attacks. Many of these attacks can even be caused by employees. Statistics show that 94% of companies have been affected by insider attacks. To ensure that new hires are not a security risk, scan them. Employee negligence is another major source of cyber risk.
Human error is the cause of most ransomware and malicious firewall attacks. Some of these problems can even be caused by your employees. Statistics show that 94% of companies have been affected by cyber security breaches due to insider breaches. To ensure that you are able to verify the identity of all your new hires, They are not a cyber threat to your company.Also, you should take steps to prevent employee negligence. Cyber risks are exacerbated by this.
9. Install Firewalls
Cyber security threats are getting more sophisticated and hackers constantly find new ways to access data. You should install firewalls to protect your network from cyber-attacks. Reliable systems will protect you against brute attacks and prevent security incidents from causing irreversible harm.
Firewalls also monitor your network traffic to detect suspicious activity that may compromise your data integrity. They protect your data privacy and prevent complicated spyware from getting into your systems.
When choosing the firewall that is right for you, be careful. You should choose a firewall that provides full visibility and security control over your network and applications. It should have both protection and prevention capabilities, as well as a simplified security infrastructure.
10. Make a Secure Cybersecurity Policy
The policies you have in place can greatly influence your organization’s cybersecurity. Are you able to provide guidelines for data breach detection and prevention? What frequency do your IT teams conduct penetration testing or risk assessments? Your guidelines are the key to success!
Examine your policies to identify any potential loopholes. You should also have these guidelines:
- Disaster recovery: A disaster recovery plan is required in the event of a breach. Your IT and employee teams should know what the next steps are. This is a plan to reduce the time you are offline and ensure that your operations can resume as quickly as possible.
- Access management/control: This policy identifies who can access sensitive information and reduces the chance of unauthorized access. Data mishandling can have both legal and financial consequences. Make sure you specify who is allowed to access what information and in what circumstances.
- Security testing: The policy should specify the frequency of your cybersecurity checks. This will allow you to detect vulnerabilities before they are too late. You should perform security testing such as vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and security posture assessment.
- Incident response plan: This is a document that outlines the steps and procedures to be followed in the event of a breach. This plan outlines the responsibility of information security professionals and helps to reduce your response time.
Your plan should include a clause that details the consequences of data misuse and the legal actions that will be taken against employees who are responsible. This will deter insider attacks.