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How To Safeguard Your Company Data

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How To Safeguard Your Company DataIt doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, you will need to take steps to safeguard your company data, and that of your customers, from cybercrime and data loss. Losing important business information or having it stolen by a hacker could easily spell the end of your enterprise altogether, and it will certainly have a negative impact on your reputation. Therefore, it makes sense to put in safeguarding measures to protect the information and yourself. Here are some ways to do it.

Back Up

Backing up your information is simple and effective. Although it won’t protect against an attack by a cybercriminal by itself, it will allow you to restore the potentially missing or corrupt information left in the hacker’s wake, or as a result of a system failure.

If you can restore the information then you can continue working, even if there are other problems that still need to be dealt with. Without a backup of your work, you may well lose everything and have no way of continuing your business at all.

The most important thing to remember about making backups is that you will need to use a reliable external source to do it. There is no point in backing up your information to another computer on the same system; this is not going to keep it safe. Ideally you should use the cloud as not only will the information be protected but you can access it from anywhere – this is perfect if you are unable to get to your office or if there was a fire, for example, that destroyed your computing equipment.

Use A Firewall

A firewall will give you an extra line of defence against cyberattack. It works as a barrier against any malicious software that you may have inadvertently downloaded. This barrier, when correctly installed, will ensure that the virus cannot reach the more vulnerable and important parts of your computing system, blocking it completely.

The idea is a simple one, but there are many different types of firewall and it can become confusing and even overwhelming when you start to look more deeply into it. Because of this, it is best to have IT services Birmingham find the right firewall for you and install it – that way you know you are protected.

Password Protection

It is possible to set passwords on some programs such as Adobe Acrobat and the Microsoft Office suite. This adds an extra layer of security so that only those who have the password are able to open the document.

You can even password protect entire folders and networks if you want to and feel that this would be a useful protective measure that will safeguard your company data. When you are choosing a password, it must be something unique that cannot be guessed easily; never use phone numbers or birthdates or names. For the best password, you should use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Although this will be harder to remember, it will also be harder to guess, so your information will be much safer.

Keeping Your Business Safe: A Guide

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |keep your business safe|Keeping Your Business Safe: A GuideThere are a number of online threats that you can experience while running your business, and while some can be minor, some can be so catastrophic that it results in business closure. Building up a solid business idea and turning it into a profit-turning organization takes hard work and dedication, and the idea that it can fail due to someone else’s actions is devastating. However, it is a very real situation many businesses find themselves in, and all because they didn’t take online security seriously.

Just because you are a small business, doesn’t mean that you aren’t a target for online hackers. Yes, hackers will target big businesses, but as you are less likely to have viable security solutions in place, this is exactly why people will also target small businesses such as yours too. Fortunately, some solutions can help keep your business safe from online threats, and we will explore them in more detail here.

Secure your network

Whether you use your computers every day or once in a while, you still need to ensure that your network is secure. Start by encrypting your wireless access points, as this is a great way for hackers to get into your system and steal sensitive data. Then set about changing the name of your wireless network to something that doesn’t announce to the world that it belongs to you. Instead, make sure to use something more inconspicuous that will make it harder for the hacker to find out your location or business name.

Make this a private network, and ensure like everything you change the password regularly.

Test your company’s defenses

It is one thing to secure your network, but in circumstances where you want to ensure safety to the finest degree, you need to test how good this defense actually is. By carrying out penetration testing, you can test your protection against a number of different threats that hackers will attempt in an effort to steal your data. It will highlight any vulnerabilities and weaknesses within the system and what needs to be done to rectify it.

Antivirus software

One of the best ways to ensure your business is safe is to install the right antivirus software on every single device that enters the company before it joins your network. If a device that an employee has bought into work doesn’t have the right security defenses in play, you are at risk of a data breach.

Train your staff

Many problems regarding company data are the result of uneducated staff. Companies that don’t train their staff are at more risk of experiencing breaches. Therefore, you should make it mandatory training every year for your staff to learn more about cybersecurity and what they can do to maintain the safety of your business.

Educate them on how to spot potential security issues, such as phishing emails, but also reinforce how serious it is to uphold. As cybercriminals improve their techniques and strategies, you need to also improve your training. This is why it is recommended to carry out the training regularly and keep it relevant to on-going security issues.

What your employees can do to reduce cybersecurity risk

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Cybersecurity | Cyber security | What your employees can do to reduce cybersecurity riskNo longer just the responsibility of the IT department, cybersecurity is something that all employees have a vital role in. From making smarter decisions in the workplace to understanding how to spot common attacks, employees can do much to combat cybercrime in all of its forms. Here we take a look at the things that your employees can do to help keep your business secure.

Install regular software updates

It is unfortunately the case that many employees leave their computer turned on at all times – even when they’re out of the office. The convenience of having all windows and browsers tabs open when they return to work is offset by one a major cybersecurity weakness – computers with out-of-date operating systems and applications.

When an employee does not regularly turn off a computer it can leave the system without critical updates that are only installed when it is shut down. These updates fix vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could be exploited by cybercriminals. This is why it is vital that employees shut down their computers regularly.

Understand the dangers of phishing attacks

Phishing is still a major problem. We have all seen a phishing email; sent from a fake account and designed to look like a legitimate sender. The email will attempt to trick you into clicking a link and being sent to a duplicate version of a genuine site, with the exception that when you enter your login details, these will be harvested by criminals.

You might think you know how to spot a phishing scam – but phishing is becoming more sophisticated in 2020. A rise in deepfake voice phishing could see employees tricked into sending money to scammers or revealing sensitive information after getting voice messages and calls that sound like they are from senior executives.

It is important to understand these risks in order to be able to combat them.

Broaden their cybersecurity awareness

It is important for your employees to stay up to date with the latest tactics and techniques being used by cybercriminals. Providing employees with regularly updated training can be hugely valuable in boosting their knowledge and understanding. Employees with good cybersecurity skills and knowledge make a valuable line of defence against cybercrime.

One way that you can assess the cyber maturity of your employees is by engaging a cyber security company to carry out a pentest of the organisation. For example, this could take the form of a simulated phishing attack to see if any of your employees give out their log-in credentials.

Work closely with the IT department

It is important that employees should avoid any instances of “shadow IT”. Shadow IT is the term for any application or software that is installed on an employee’s computer without the knowledge and consent of the IT team.

Going through the process of having a piece of software signed off and approved can be frustrating and time consuming, but failing to do so can lead an employee to download software containing a vulnerability which can be exploited by hackers. Or which isn’t updated in the future by the IT team when known issues are identified in the software.

Set strong passwords

Experts disagree as to whether employees should change their passwords on a regular basis. On one hand, changing passwords can be an important way to limit the risk of stolen passwords being used to access accounts. But on the other hand, employees being forced to remember too many different passwords will often result in them instead using unsafe workarounds.

It can be agreed, however, that the use of weak and commonly-used passwords is to be avoided. According to cybersecurity specialists, businesses can prevent staff from setting common passwords by enforcing rules and complexity such as the use of special characters.

Follow good cybersecurity practice away from the office

It is important if an employee works from home or remotely, that they should follow good cybersecurity practice when they do so. Any time that an employee accesses company data they should do so in an environment that is as secure as the environment in their workplace. Their remote computer should have cybersecurity measures just as powerful as those in the office – otherwise they are making themselves an easy target. For example, using public Wi-Fi is a major security concern.

Backup data regularly

Ransomware is still a problem, and losing access to business-critical data can be a major problem for any company. That is why it is vital that employees should use their company’s corporate network where possible as this is likely to be backed up regularly by the IT team. However, if staff do store data locally then they need to back up their data on a regular basis – ensuring that it is saved somewhere that would not be compromised in the event of a criminal attack.

Final thoughts

It is important that employees understand cybersecurity best practice so that they can act in accordance with it. Informed staff can be a powerful line of defence against cybercriminals.

Across The Memory Board – How To Educate Our Employees On The Best IT Practices

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Training | Across The Memory Board- How To Educate Our Employees On The Best IT Practices

Cybersecurity is one of those overriding concerns in modern business. As there are more data breaches making headlines affecting a wide variety of companies, it seems that nobody is exempt from cyber terrorism or crime relating to technology. This means it’s crucial for you to look at your vulnerabilities. While you can set up various types of systems to protect your company, one of the most vulnerable areas of your business isn’t a technical one, it is a human one. Your employees are prone to human error. And we’ve got to make sure that we train our employees to understand the best practices of IT. What sort of tactics and practices can help you in this situation?

Investing In Employee Training

From a technical perspective, we can outsource components to a network services company or IT specialist, so they have the responsibility, but when we look at our in house components, it’s crucial for employees to grasp cybersecurity as a maintenance issue rather than something that they learn once in a blue moon. We’ve got to remember that cyber terrorism is a constantly evolving entity, which means that we’ve got to upregulate our systems and our approach to protecting the company. While we can invest in components like software patches and outsourcing technical duties to another company, we still have to invest in the people that we see each and every day. We have got to commit to a wide variety of tactics, so our teams know what is out there and what they can do to combat it. Partly we have to invest in training, but we’ve also got to change our mindset. It’s so easy to blame the employee that opens the phishing scam attachment rather than addressing the mentality of the employees in general. This is where training becomes essential.

Working On The Best Practices

It’s so easy for us to say that password security is an essential component because everybody knows to an extent this can protect most of us from phishing scams or cyber-attacks. But getting your team to do this is an entirely different ballpark. Working on the best practices with something like changing passwords is partly to do with your employees, knowing the traits of a strong password, but also understanding the outcome of not following these processes. On a basic level, a password needs to be long with multiple characters, and it’s changed on a regular basis. But remember that in order to ensure compliance from your workers, building a reminder to change passwords through regular feedback as well as password management tools can help your employees to keep on top of these issues.

Focus On Cybersecurity Awareness

The people in the IT department may know the sorts of data breaches out there but you can’t expect your employees to follow the trends in the news. You may know which way the signs are going, but it can still prove challenging to understand how regularly these things occur. There are numerous resources that you can take advantage of that provide detailed information on the latest cybersecurity breaches, but you also need to remember that this message needs to be loud and clear. Distributing this information through your team is about consistency. If you continue to share the information on a regular basis, along with the repercussions, this puts the message across. At the same time, you don’t want to bombard your employees with too much information that they don’t bother reading it.

Integrate Cybersecurity With New Employees

The onboarding process is the perfect opportunity to introduce your employees to the best practices. If you incorporate it into your training process from day one, you are able to go over the rules but also explain the importance of these best practices. Again, it’s about reiterating how much of a threat data breaches are. You need to create clear cybersecurity guidelines through important regulatory documents but also initiate a complaints procedure should a breach occur. When your employees hear about a potential breach, you must create an environment where employees share information rather than trying to cover up their mistakes.

Implement It From The Top Down

From the perspective of the executives, communicating the need for regular training in terms of cybersecurity practices is about highlighting its effect on the bottom line. Yes, there is no shortage of news relating to data breaches, but you’ve still got to make a case for it when money is tight. Looking for an executive buy-in is about making your case clear with regards to the costs but also going in with a comprehensive plan as to how the training would be undertaken. It’s also crucial to point out the costs of a data breach. Based on experience, once you highlight how more expensive a data breach is in comparison to training and onboarding practices, it’s likely executives will opt for the latter.

Implementing Regular Drills

We test the fire alarm on a regular basis, so why don’t we incorporate data breaches? When we train employees on a new piece of software, there comes a time where we have to let them fly by themselves. Allowing them to experiment in an environment with their new skills gives you a clearer picture of the potential problems that can occur and if your employees are ready to deal with them. Testing your business with a live-fire simulation can be a massive undertaking, but you can do it through smaller simulations like spot-checking your employees to see if they know the principles of combating a phishing scam email.

As technology is such a major investment and the fact that we rely on it to do 95% of our tasks, we need to make sure that our employees know how to use it properly. Many organizations invest in sophisticated equipment but don’t have the means to operate it. When our employees need to understand how to use the equipment, we can guide them, but we’ve also got to give them knowledge of the best practices underneath. Cybersecurity is such an important issue that if we communicate it so much, our employees can switch off. But by following a few of these processes, you can start to educate everybody across the board.

10 Important Cybersecurity Tips

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 10 Important Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity, information technology security or computer security is the process of the protection of computer systems, programs, and networks from digital attacks or the theft or from the damage of the hardware, software, electronic data or misdirection or disruption of the services they provide.

The cyber attackers usually aim at changing, accessing, or destroying sensitive and personal information. They also tend to extort money from the user or even interrupt the normal business process. In today’s world, cyber attackers are becoming more and more innovative, and cybersecurity is very challenging as it is more vulnerable now these days as businesses now opting for cloud services to reduce the risk of cyber attackers. If you own a small business or are looking for some tips and tricks to avoid getting hacked, then you are in the right place!

Why is Cybersecurity Important?

In today’s connected world, you don’t have to have big secrets of having cybersecurity, and you can have a small business running and need cybersecurity. You may need cybersecurity just to protect your family photos at an individual level. Everyone needs cyber-defense programs. Cyber attackers also aim for identity theft; extortion attempts to access to bank account details. Power plants, hospitals, and even financial service companies rely on cyber-defense programs.

Our society keeps on functioning with the help of these cyber-defense programs. Everyones have been benefiting by being secured. Talos has a team of 250 researchers who investigate any new emerging cyber-attack strategies or new threats. They come up with new vulnerabilities and also educate every individual on the importance of having cyber-defense programs. They strengthen open source tools and makes it all a lot safer for everyone.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

Following are the main types of cybersecurity threats that everyone should be aware of:

Phishing

This is where the cyber attackers send fake and fraud emails to people that have the same format and resemble the emails from reputable sources. They try to steal login information and sensitive data like credit card details. This is the most common type of attack which anyone could face. You can protect yourself from this type of cyber attack by filtering malicious emails using a technology solution.

Malware

This is also software designed by cyber-attackers to gain unauthorized access and can even cause damage to a computer system.

Social engineering

This is a threat that can be combined with any of the threats stated above and can take over your system by clicking on links, downloading or trusting a malicious source. This is a tactic used by adversaries. Social engineering can reveal sensitive information and gain access to your confidential data. It can also solicit a monetary payment.

Important Cybersecurity Tips

You are always a target for hackers

The very first tip is never to think it won’t happen to you. Everyone is at risk by cyber-attackers. Attacks can be as little as stealing your family photos or as big as hacking bank accounts. Everyone is an attractive target. Be more active as cyber-attackers don’t discriminate between any users.

Keep software up to date

Always update your software as old software can make you vulnerable to cyber-attackers. Install every latest update for your operating system. Turn on the automatic updates so your system can install any new fixes by itself. Keep browsers like Flash and java up to date. Use web browsers like firefox and chrome as they receive automatic and frequent security updates.

Beware of suspicious emails and phone calls – Avoid Phishing scams

These phishing scams are a constant threat as receiving, and opening emails is a daily chore for everyone. Cyber-attackers trick you into divulging information as personal as login id and password or even banking information. These scams can be carried out by text or through social media sites but are usually sent by email. Use cyber-defense programs to identify any suspicious-looking email and be aware of any phone call asking for personal details like banking details

Good password management

You have too many passwords to manage and end up taking shortcuts and using the same password for every website, and that makes you prone to cyber-attackers. There are many programs available that can help you with managing strong passwords and reminding you to change the time by time. For a password 20 or characters are recommended. Use a mix of different characters like uppercase, lower case, and numbers. Don’t use the same password for multiple websites. Update your password every 90 days and don’t share your password.

Think and Click

Don’t visit untrusted websites and download software or links from random sources as they contain threats like Malware which can silently compromise your system. Any emails with links attached from unknown sources or suspicious should not be opened.

Never leave devices unattended

Lock your screen with the password of your computer systems and your phone. But with technical security, physical security is just as important. Don’t ever leave your phone, tablet or computer unattended for a long period. Lock it up in a bag pack or anywhere else so no one can use it. If you have any sensitive information in external hardware or a flash driver, keep it locked in a backpack or anywhere else safe as well. For desktop computer users, always shut-down the system when you are not using it and keep the screen locked.

Protect sensitive data

Always handle sensitive data very carefully. Be aware of any data that is sensitive if you come in contact with it. Keep all your sensitive data that includes your credit card information, health information, and if you are a student, any student record off of your laptop, mobile devices or workstation in general. Remove any sensitive date files or information away from your system when you don’t need it. Always use encryption whenever you are storing or transmitting any sensitive or important data.

Use cell phone devices safely

Always lock your phone with a password and never leave it unattended in public for a long time. Never install apps that sources that you don’t trust. Don’t click on attachments or links from texts or emails that look suspicious. Keep your operating system up to date. Backup all your important data somewhere. Use find my iPhone for apple and android device manager tools to help prevent any theft or loss. Avoid storing or transmitting any personal and sensitive information on the device.

Install anti-virus protection

Install an anti-virus program from a trusted and a known source and keep engines, software and virus definitions up to date, so the anti-virus program remains effective.

Back up your data

Always backup all your personal and sensitive data as you may never know what happens. Back up very regularly, so getting your data back is guaranteed. If any security incident happens, the only way to repair is to erase and re-install the system so all your data will be erased.

WRAPPING UP WITH MORE TIPS

  • Use a firewall.
  • Use public wireless hot-spots very wisely and carefully.
  • Be conscientious of what you plug into your computer , especially with flash drives and smartphones as they can also contain malware.
  • Be careful of what you share on social networking sites as they may provoke cyber-attackers.
  • Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
  • Bank or shop online only on trusted devices and networks and as soon as you have completed your transactions, logout.