Online threats have only increased with time. While many powerful organizations are trying to make the internet as safe as possible, the other side is also getting stronger. It is believed impossible that the internet will ever be free of threats. Even if you manage to get rid of viruses, there are still people who would manually hack into systems.
These people don’t just target a specific audience. They target every business as well as individuals. In recent years, we saw the highest number of ransomware attacks, and most victims were individuals, not representing any business. Many of them had to pay ransom to protect their personal data and memories in their devices.
This is an even bigger concern for businesses as they have a lot to lose. They have to follow all security protocols and must protect themselves if they don’t want their business to meet an early demise.
They can’t keep having their strategies leaked or paying ransoms. If someone is attacked by a hacker, only the business is blamed for not having the right security.
It is an established fact that there are hackers out there who are always looking for a vulnerability in businesses. So, it becomes your job to ensure your own security. This article has shared some practical tips to do exactly that.
Hire a Security Consultant
The very first thing you should do when improving the security of your business is hiring an expert who understands the threats and their defense. There are companies that provide compromise assessment services. They have professionals that will scrutinize your system looking for vulnerabilities and loopholes and inform you of them.
With a detailed audit of your current system, you would know exactly what level of changes are required. Their job is to scrutinize everything. As they are ethical hackers themselves, they understand how someone can get into your system. You get a detailed report at the end of their work and they also suggest the changes you need to make. Before you move to any other change, this assessment will ensure that you have a strong foundation on which you can then build more layers of security.
Develop a More Secure Software
If you are using a software system in your company, you should consider improving its security. If you are not using any program, it is suggested that you get an enterprise system developed that centralizes all your operations. With a proper system that works as a gateway to access information, you will have better security.
Even with such a program, you should consider adding a few layers of security to make sure it’s even safer. With all resources and communication channels in one place, you would be able to control how they are used and if there are any unethical activities going on. The security audit service you might hire will suggest to you what kind of system you need and how it can be strengthened if you already have one.
Limit Access of Employees
Not every employee should have access to all resources of the company. They should only know and see what is relevant to their jobs. It doesn’t mean that they are bad or not trustworthy, you should not test anyone when there is no need to. Only the top-level official should have access to everything. He should be able to access every system and every resource.
All other employees should only see what they are supposed to. Don’t put blind trust in anyone. Each user should have a login ID with a password that will give him restricted access. The data should be controlled in the backend and only relevant results should be shown according to the responsibilities of each user.
Encrypt the Data You Send and Receive
Exploiters can access your data in two ways. The first is by cracking into your devices or system; the second is by hacking into the transmission channel when the data leaves your device.
While creating a strong system should be enough to protect data in devices, you have to keep sending and receiving it in order to do your job. This is why you should also focus on how you can protect the data when it’s being transmitted through the internet.
When you are connected to WiFi, its administrator has many permissions to your transmission mode. While you can’t do anything about the connection lines, you can encrypt the data to ensure no one can use it if they access it.
Encryption basically rewrites data in a language that is not understandable for any human or computer without the use of a specific key and algorithm. Since only the sending and receiving end would have that algorithm and the key to decrypt the data, you can rest assured that the thieves won’t get anything out even if they manage to break in.
Check Background Before Hiring
Do not just hire anyone who is looking for a job and come cheap. You will obviously be checking their skills, but that’s not enough. Someone very skilled might get into your company but then use the access for unethical goals.
It’s a lot easier for your employees to break into the system as they have some access. This is particularly easier when they have physical access to the devices with access to the system and its contents.
This is why you should always do a background check of the employees to ensure they haven’t been involved in any wrong activities in the past. If you feel like someone has a shady past or he is too qualified to be applying for this job, you should be cautious and proceed with care.
Educate Your Employees
Even if someone doesn’t have any wrong intent, it is possible for them to make a mistake. One mistake of an employee could wreak havoc when some wrong person spots that vulnerability. This is why you should also educate your employees in addition to checking their background.
Conduct some training sessions in which you should teach them about the threats and how they ensure nothing is done from their side. Even though most IT professionals are already aware of the dos and don’ts, some training sessions would ensure they understand the seriousness of the situation and don’t take anything lightly.
Backup Your Data
No matter how careful you are, you never know what kind of new and powerful threat you might have to face in the future. This is why you should always have a backup plan by backing up your data. It should be stored somewhere online separate from your system.
Sometimes, you have to wipe the entire system clean to be able to fully get rid of a virus. With a backup somewhere else, it will be much easier to restore the setup and start over. Make sure the data is automatically uploaded in the backup and very few people know when, where and how it is stored.
Some other tips you should follow include the use of multi-factor authentication. It is particularly important since many people have been working from home now. You should monitor how the employees are using company resources and design some safety policies for everyone to follow.