Cybersecurity Month: Plan Ahead
7 pressing cybersecurity needs
As businesses increasingly go digital, becoming cyber resilient is most important. For cybersecurity month it can be a great idea to have seven areas to focus on. Also, it will help to take time to reflect on the year so far and ensure that best practices are in place to mitigate digital risks.
The seven areas of focus for businesses during cybersecurity month and beyond are:
- Malware and Antivirus Protection
- Phishing and Spear Phishing Emails
- Social Engineering Attacks
- Password Management and Security
- Data Leakage and Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
- Insider Threats
- Third-Party Risk Management
Let’s take an in-depth look at each area.
- Malware and Antivirus Protection: Malware, short for malicious software, is any type of programming code designed to harm a system or steal information. Common examples of malware include viruses, worms, and trojans. Antivirus software protects computers from malware by identifying and removing it before it can cause any damage. Antivirus protection should be updated regularly to ensure that it can protect against the latest threats. Businesses should also have a contingency plan in place in case malware does manage to get past the antivirus protection.
- Phishing and Spear Phishing Emails: Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses email to trick people into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments that install malware on their computers. Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack that targets specific individuals or organizations using personalized messages designed to trick them into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments. To prevent phishing attacks, businesses should educate their employees about how to spot phishing emails and what to do if they receive one.
- Social Engineering Attacks: A social engineering attack is any type of attack that uses human interaction to trick people into divulging confidential information or doing something that puts the business at risk. Common examples of social engineering attacks include pretexting (calling or emailing someone pretending to be someone else), baiting (leaving USB drives containing malware in public places), and tailgating (following someone into a secure area without proper authorization). To prevent social engineering attacks, businesses should educate their employees about how to spot them and what to do if they receive one.
- Password Management and Security: Passwords are the first line of defense against cyberattacks, so it’s important that they are strong and unique. Strong passwords should be at least eight characters long and contain a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Employees should never use the same password at work as they do for personal accounts because if one password is compromised, all of their accounts are at risk.
- Data Leakage and Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Data leakage is the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data while data loss refers to data that is lost due to accidental deletion or hardware failure. To prevent data leakage, businesses should encrypt their data both in transit and at rest using industry-standard encryption protocols such as AES 256-bit encryption. To prevent data loss, businesses should create regular backups of their data using an offsite backup solution such as cloud backup.
- Insider Threats: An insider threat is a current or former employee who uses their knowledge of the business’s systems or processes to commit fraud or theft. To prevent insider threats, businesses should conduct regular background checks on all employees and monitor their activity for any suspicious behavior. They should also have a whistle-blowing policy in place so that employees can report any suspicious behavior without fear of retaliation.
- Third-Party Risk Management: Third-party risk management is the process of assessing and mitigating risks posed by third-party service providers such as suppliers, contractors, and consultants. To prevent third-party risks, businesses should conduct due diligence when selecting third-party service providers and monitor their activity for any suspicious behavior. They should also have formal agreements in place that outline each party’s responsibilities with respect to security.
As we increasingly rely on digital tools and technology to run our businesses, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the potential risks posed by cyberattacks. With these seven cybersecurity areas of focus, you can build cyber resiliency and get ahead of risks.
Also, by taking steps to educate your employees about how to spot these types of cyber risks and attacks, and what to do if they receive one, you will further protect your business from the potentially devastating consequences of a successful cyberattack.
If you have any questions or would like more information about cybersecurity best practices, please feel free to reach out for a free consultation.
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