5 Ways to Reduce Your Cybersecurity Risk
Cybersecurity breaches have been on an all-time high during the pandemic, and by 2023, it is expected that the number of cyberattacks will have reached a whopping 15.4 million in one year, which comes down to roughly 43,000 attacks per day! Considering that cybercrime costs organizations USD2.9 million every minute, and it takes roughly 280 days for a breach to be detected and contained, it can result in losses worth billions or even trillions of dollars by the time the situation is contained. While larger corporations might be able to absorb these losses with some minor disruptions to their day to day dealings, figures like these are enough to bring a small organization to its knees.
From using dedicated IT services in Melbourne to investing in a superior firewall like Palo Alto Networks, here are a few things you can do today to reduce your cybersecurity risk:
Train your employees
No one wants to hear it, but the truth of the matter is that the weakest link in your organization’s cybersecurity practices are your employees. Over 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent worldwide every single day and are getting more and more convincing by the day. All it takes is one employee who is not so tech savvy clicking on a link in a fake email and opening up your entire network to a data breach.
It is important to conduct regular cybersecurity awareness sessions with your employees and thoroughly train them on all the different ways a phishing email may be sent. Emphasize the importance of checking the complete email address of the sender before clicking on any link in the email, and regularly conduct tests to check which employees need further training.
Encourage the use of strong passwords
All it takes for a hacker to get into your system is a weak password. In fact, over 80% of all data breaches are a result of weak passwords. It is important to emphasize the need to choose strong passwords, containing the following characteristics:
- At least 8 characters long, with a mix of alphanumeric characters
- Nothing containing personal information, such as a birthdate, anniversary date or loved one’s name
- Unique password for each website. This ensures that even if a password is leaked, you do not risk exposing every single one of your accounts because you use the same password everywhere.
- Use multi-factor authentication where possible.
Create backups and encrypt all sensitive data
Most attacks are financially motivated, and the first place a hacker will look into are folders very clearly marked “Confidential” or the like. It is important to encrypt such files so that only those who have the right encryption code are able to access it. It is also important to regularly back-up your data on a separate server, so that even if one is compromised, you still have access to your more important data and are not left completely destitute. Ideally, your data should be stored in 3 locations: 2 on different media and 1 on an offsite location.
Invest in sophisticated firewalls
The newest generation of firewalls have gotten much more sophisticated than the traditional firewall, which was only able to provide one-layer security. Today, next-gen firewalls like Palo Alto Networks are able to provide multi-layered security, through from Layer 2 to Layer 7, in addition to app awareness, real-time content scanning, controlling SSL encrypted traffic and providing graphical visualization of applications in user, group and network level data and more. One of the leading next-generation firewall solutions, Palo Alto Networks offers a robust solution to all your cybersecurity issues.
Hire an IT service provider
More than coming to the rescue when a software or hardware fails, IT professionals are experts at analyzing your systems, figuring out the weak links and coming up with the right strategies to create a robust, ironclad security process. This may include implementing the use of sophisticated next-generation firewalls to ward off viruses, malware and spam, conducting employee training sessions and coming up with a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in the event of a security breach or cybersecurity. Having these plans ensures that business doesn’t stop and you are able to bounce back from an attack with minimal losses.
With the right processes in place, you can minimize your organization’s risks of being exposed to a cyberattack. Of course, with the massive developments and the rapid growth of the scamming industry, the risk is never 0%, but implementing the right measures can insure that you’re able to recover from a cyberattack relatively unscated. Given that more than 60% of small businesses without the right security measures in place that face a cyberattack are never able to recover and go out of business within six months of an attack, the stats are too dire for you to risk not implementing the above techniques.