Useful tips to level-up your cyber security

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Each week we hear how skilled hackers have accessed systems and stolen precious business information. A cost-effective risk assessment is a good way to see if there are any critical gaps in your cyber security posture and actions you can take to improve. We’ve also provided useful tips on things you can do to level-up your security. 

Taking your cybersecurity seriously is a must. Otherwise, you may leave the door open for criminals to compromise your business’s privacy and cause legal implications too.

Now, you might think that cybercriminals only target large companies due to more resources. But that’s not the case.

Whether you’re a small or medium-sized organisation, you have a large amount of sensitive data that hackers can utilise. If it ends up in the wrong hands, your reputation will be affected, and you could lose access to invaluable information and access to core systems you need to perform work.

The good news is that every business can reduce the threat of data loss. And the best way to do so is to take a risk assessment, to get an idea of your security posture, where you sit and the actions needed to mitigate risks. We’ve also provided some tips on what to consider with cybersecurity actions.

This article talks about 12 effective strategies for improving your cybersecurity.

THE 12 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CYBER SECURITY

TIP #1 – SECURE EACH PART OF YOUR NETWORK

Mobile devices, computers, and laptops connected to your network can be ideal entry points for hackers. Safeguarding these devices with decisive authentication measures is a great way to prevent cyberattacks.

Ensure you have multifactor authentication/2FA turned on for access to all critical systems. According to one source at Microsoft, this will prevent up to 99.9% of intrusions as it is very difficult for a hacker to gain access to both devices. Learn more about MFA/2FA here.

You can benefit from having strong Wi-Fi and device passwords too. They limit access and help ensure only your team members can enter your system.

Use a password manager like LastPass. This will ensure a strong password and you don’t need to remember all of those various passwords for all of the different systems you access.

2FA Two Steps Authentication Password Secure Notice Login Verification or SMS with Code a Smartphone for Website

 

TIP #2 – USE ANTI-FRAUD SERVICES FOR CARD PAYMENTS

Seek advice from banks or your payment processor on selecting trustworthy, validated, and anti-fraud services. Besides protecting your information, they can also shield the data of your clients to help preserve your reputation.

TIP #3 – INCORPORATE ADDITIONAL SECURITY MEASURES

Regardless of the number of your security measures, you can always consider adding more.

Antivirus protection is a must and is the most common tool to combat cyberattacks. It can block malware from compromising your devices and data. Look for programs from reliable providers and only use one antivirus app per device. A supplier we use and recommend is Sophos.

Investing in firewall protection is another great idea if you want to safeguard your business against hackers. They can screen out viruses and other harmful activities on the internet and determine the traffic that can enter your devices. You also want to set up a firewall on your router to minimise security threats.

Finally, don’t forget about using virtual private networks (VPNs) when accessing corporate systems from remote locations. They can stop web browsers, software, and people from accessing your connection, keeping the data you send and receive anonymous.

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TIP #4 – DON’T IGNORE UPGRADES AND UPDATES

After receiving notifications that your systems need an update, you might consider ignoring it. However, this can be a huge mistake since outdated systems are more susceptible to hacking.

To prevent this, regularly upgrade and update your devices and software. It can bolster their defences against cyberattacks.

TIP #5 – DEVELOP SOUND PROTOCOLS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS

Securing your communication and data sharing with suppliers and new clients is also paramount. If possible, only use direct contact channels via trustworthy personnel. Moreover, insist on codewords to denote changes in payments, terms, and other key details. Validation via telephone or a chat app to confirm an unusual or sizable transaction or request is an easy step you can take.

To further lower the risk of data theft through suppliers and clients, vet each person before granting them access to your system.

TIP #6 – BACK UP YOUR DATA

Ransomware attacks are a common form of hacking. It involves cybercriminals holding your business hostage by restricting your access to your data until they receive a ransom.

To eliminate this concern, store your company information on multiple platforms and networks. Backing up your data can prevent your organisation from suffering due to inaccessibility.

TIP #7 – ONLY USE APPROVED DEVICES AND CONNECTIONSworking from home

Remote work is the norm in 2022. Although it’s helped enterprises lower costs, it’s also increased security risks. In particular, your team might be using their own devices or networks that aren’t secure. These are ideal gateways for thieves to steal your information.

You can address this problem by rolling out your company mobile devices and allowing your team members to only work from them, or apply security policies on personal devices so that they adhere to your security requirements like MFA/2FA.

TIP #8 – BUY SIMILAR DOMAINS

Purchasing similar domains is an effective way to boost your cybersecurity. It can lower the risk of receiving emails with malicious attachments from spoofed addresses and links to spoofed websites.

TIP #9 – TRAIN YOUR TEAM – This is a MUST

A huge number of cyberattacks take place because of employees lack of education or human error. Some employees often click on suspicious emails and fall for phishing schemes or unwittingly share their passwords. Minimising human error is a must.

Set up phishing tests internally and simulations so you can prepare your team for potential security breaches. It’s better to make a mistake in a trial phishing attack than face the risks with a genuine intrusion.

TIP #10 – RESTRICT EMPLOYEE ACCESS

Not all cyberattacks originate from outside your company – they can also come from within.

To reduce the damage someone from your enterprise can inflict with hacking, restrict employee access to only the access they require.

TIP #11 – FOSTER A CULTURE OF SECURITY IN YOUR WORKPLACE

Cyber security should be the number one priority in all your departments and not just your IT provider. With everyone working together to shield their workplace from attacks, you’re much more likely to preserve your data.

TIP #12 – REGULARLY CHECK FOR VULNERABILITIES

You don’t want to be idle after implementing all these defence mechanisms. Instead, conduct regular audits to identify weaknesses of your business’s cybersecurity. Doing so can help ensure that you patch up your vulnerabilities and upgrade your security system.

KEEP HACKERS AT BAY

Enhancing your cybersecurity is a multifaceted procedure. It encompasses all parts of your system and numerous activities, such as incorporating software and backing up your data.

This can make the process highly complex.

If you need help in ensuring your cybersecurity is as effective as possible, contact us for a quick 10-15-minute, obligation-free chat. Let’s talk about how we can help you improve your cybersecurity and keep threats at bay.

Risk Assessments (as recommended by The Australian Cyber Security Centre | ACSC) will review your environment in accordance with the Essential Eight Mitigation Strategies, and is the best solution to protect your business from cyber attacks.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

About Blackbird IT

Blackbird IT strategically implements technology in workplaces to deliver powerful operational efficiencies, competitive advantage and innovation for every business. See some of our client case studies and partnerships here. We deliver an outcome-driven approach for managing all your technology needs and help you realise your potential.

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