In today’s modern connected world, the threats posed by cybercrime are a real and present danger for all companies regardless of size, sector, or income. Indeed, it’s predicted the cost of online criminality through 2021 will reach $6 trillion, with that figure expected to rise by 15% year on year until 2025, when it’s forecast to total $10.5 trillion.
Protecting their firm’s network security is a constant headache for many companies, and in, a recent survey of business owners, the majority cited online crime as the greatest threat facing their companies. With new viruses being released almost daily and hackers increasing the sophistication and severity of their attacks, there is now a vast array of different types of cybercrime attacks – everything from social engineering assaults like phishing to hackers infiltrating poorly-made software and apps that haven’t been produced using recognized Devsecops procedures.
Ways to improve company security online
In truth, if you want to be secure online, you should outsource your IT requirements to a third-party specialist firm to manage and run all your digital processes. Skilled Managed Service Providers (MSPs) will build a tailormade, bespoke IT service for your firm and look after everything from set-up to security, storage, and processing. However, even if you do use an IT provider, you can still take some basic security measures in the background that will further improve your security. Here are just a few steps you should consider:
Use two-factor authentication in your network (2FA): Two-factor authentication (also commonly referred to as simply 2FA) offers an extra layer of protection to your IT services. While you might not be aware of it, you’re probably already familiar with 2FA if you use any banking application or website. With 2FA, when users log in, they must input an extra code that is typically sent to their mobile device. While your main password might fall into the wrong hands, it’s highly unlikely your cellphone will, too, so 2FA brings a very useful secondary security measure to limit access.
Implement a Bring Your Own Device policy: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the increasingly common practice of employees using their own handsets, tablets, etc., on company networks. While you might have bulletproof security in place on your IT system, the same does not necessarily apply to the devices used by your staff, so you must ensure that any employees accessing your network with their own equipment have taken adequate precautions.
Only use hard-to-guess, strong alphanumeric passwords: Cracking or guessing passwords is one of the most common ways hackers gain access to networks, so you should protect yourself by insisting your staff (and you) only use complex passwords – and change them regularly. You should also make sure that workers don’t share passwords between accounts (e.g., using the same credentials for email, Facebook, etc.).
Educate your staff about the dangers of being online: Research shows that staff is often to blame for corporate online intrusions. Unfortunately, humans are frequently the weakest link in online security, so you should make your team aware of the dangers of phishing emails, malware, and other types of threats.
Maintaining security is never a one-time process, so you need to make sure that you are taking preventative measures. Keep all the system components up to date starting with the latest stable version of the OS to software running on the server. Also, make sure to use the software only from officially licensed vendors to prevent threats coming from the cracked versions and if you use free software where the source code is publicly available, make sure to take care of its proper monitoring and anti-malware checkers securing your open-source environment. Choose such solutions that can work both as a scanner and watcher to detect the files that are already in place. Additional protection can be provided by a reliable firewall that filters and blocks unwanted traffic as well as system monitoring to check suspicious activity.