Data breaches seem to be in the news all the time at the moment. For businesses, this means that finding ways to keep their IT systems secure is crucial to prevent their company information and customer data falling into the wrong hands.
The impact of a data breach can have far-reaching consequences for businesses and government entities. SecureLink emphasizes that individuals who have any involvement with government entities that access or manage sensitive information from the US Justice Department need to ensure that their processes and systems comply with CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) policies. This is important because phishing, malware, and hacked VPNs or credentials are the most common attack vectors used to hack into government networks.
The negative consequences associated with data breaches can include negative publicity, damage to the reputation of a business or government entity, disgruntled customers, and even a hefty fine to boot. The effects associated with falling victim to a cyber-attack demonstrate how important it is for companies to take cybersecurity seriously, and make it a priority for their business.
A growing number of businesses now class cybersecurity as a priority for their company. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, found that 78% of UK businesses surveyed now rate cybersecurity as a priority issue. This was an increase on the last survey in 2018 when 74% of UK businesses rated cybersecurity as a priority issue. This demonstrates the growing awareness of the very real threat to companies that cybersecurity issues pose. The 2019 survey also found that 32% of the businesses surveyed had fallen victim to a data breach or cyber-attack.
To prevent your business from being targeted in a cyberattack, you will need to have systems in place to prevent this from happening. The following security measures can help you to protect your company from hackers, and reduce the possibility of a catastrophic data breach.
Review Your Physical Security Measures
Your business’ physical security and cybersecurity may seem like two separate entities, but in fact, to keep your business safe, it is essential to integrate them. Physical security measures such as alarm systems, CCTV and keycode access to areas of the building help to keep unauthorised people from accessing your business premises. These systems guard against theft of your stock and equipment, preventing intruders from entering your property.
Just as standard security precautions protect equipment and stock from being stolen, they should also be considered from a data breach perspective too. Security measures, such as keycode entry systems, can also be used to help protect IT equipment too. Making sure that access to your server room is limited to only those that need to enter is one example of this.
Care should also be taken when staff members are using business equipment outside of the building. Extra care should be taken with items such as memory sticks, laptops, and work mobile phones. If any of these items were stolen, then they could leave the business vulnerable to being hacked. The theft of work equipment containing customer information could cause a GDPR breach too – click here for more information. This could have severe consequences for the company.
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Most modern businesses are heavily reliant on IT for a large proportion of their daily activities. From customer databases, through to invoicing systems, there is a lot of sensitive data stored within these systems. Most businesses use a variety of different applications for various functions. This inevitably means that different users will need access to different systems. If you allow all of your employees access to every system, even if they don’t need to use it, you are increasing the chances of the systems being misused.
Tightening up the security of your IT systems is a proactive way to manage their protection. If your staff have the impression that there is a relaxed approach to system access, this could potentially be exploited.
To prevent access authorisation issues arising and leading to security breaches, it is vital to make it clear to staff how they can help to protect the systems. Educating staff, so that they know they should never share passwords, or allow other staff members to work under their username should help to send out a clear message that the business takes authorised system access seriously.
No business owner wants to think that their staff could be dishonest and exploit their company, but it is far better to be prepared and guard against this.
Stay Secure on the Go
While the above issues are focused on security in the workplace, it is essential to protect your business outside the office too.
Nowadays, many people work at a distance. The numbers of people that work from home are on the rise. This was made possible thanks to innovations in technology. The internet has made it simple to work from pretty much anywhere in the world and to stay connected. While it may be possible to work from anywhere, it does not mean that it is safe to do so. Using shared internet connections and WiFi hotspots can leave your business vulnerable to a cyberattack. Unfortunately, hackers may be waiting to intercept your information when you enter passwords or share information using public WiFi. Luckily it is possible to work around this and keep your IT systems and information safe when working outside the office.
Using VPN Programs helps to keep business IT and information secure while using a public network. A VPN or virtual private network enables a public network to be used securely by extending the private network across it. This makes it possible to log in to work systems remotely via the VPN securely. Using a VPN means that your employees will be able to access the private network from their phone, laptop or another device when they are working from home, or out in the field.
Get Expert Help
One essential tool for keeping your business cyber secure is to keep your IT systems up to date. Advances in cybersecurity happen all the time, but hackers are also continually finding new ways to steal data. This makes it all the more important to keep your systems up to date so that you are using the latest technology to protect your systems.
IT systems can be tricky to manage, which is why it is useful to get some expert help. Hiring an IT professional or outsourcing to an IT business can help to keep your technology up and running. This will enable you to benefit from a professional review of your systems and to have someone with expert knowledge overseeing their maintenance.
An IT expert should be able to advise you on the best ways to keep your business safe from cyber-attacks and to implement this for you.
Your staff play a significant part in the battle to keep your business secure. Oversights or user errors can all make it easier for a cyberattack to happen. Therefore, it is imperative that your staff are well educated on cybersecurity, GDPR, and how these can be breached.
While cyber-attacks and GDPR are phrases that you hear a lot about, understanding how they apply from a business perspective is vital.
It is crucial that employees understand the importance of keeping their passwords safe and not allowing other staff members to access their computer. From a physical security perspective, employees should be aware of the measures that they need to take to keep company IT equipment safe when outside the office and the importance of using a VPN to access the company’s systems from other locations.
Review and Revise
As hackers are always looking for new ways to access data, it is vital that businesses continue to revise and review their cybersecurity. Continually updating your cybersecurity precautions should help to make it less likely that your company will fall victim to a cyber-attack. Looking after your businesses IT and protecting data is not a one-off job; this is an area that requires specific attention and continual vigilance.