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Cybersecurity Month: Plan Ahead

7 pressing cybersecurity needs

As businesses continue to become more digitally integrated, protecting their data and staying cyber-resilient is paramount. That’s why this Cybersecurity Month, organizations must focus on the seven pressing cybersecurity needs to ensure long-term cyber security. It’s essential that we take the time to understand these seven areas – malware and antivirus protection, phishing and spear phishing emails, social engineering attacks, password management, and security, data leakage and DLP, insider threats, and third-party risk management – so that we can build a strategy for future protection from cyberattacks. Now is the time to plan ahead this Cybersecurity Month.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each area.

Malware and Antivirus Protection:

Malware is a type of malicious computer program designed to harm or obtain sensitive information from a system. Viruses, worms, and trojans are all examples of malware. To protect against such threats, organizations should have robust antivirus protection that is kept up-to-date. Additionally, in the event that malware infiltrates the system despite antivirus protection, businesses should have a contingency plan in place to mitigate any damage caused.

Phishing and Spear Phishing Emails:

Phishing is a common form of cyberattack that relies on sending malicious emails to trick people into clicking links or downloading attachments. Spear phishing is an even more targeted version of this attack that uses personalized messages to target individuals and organizations. To protect against these attacks, businesses must take proactive steps, such as educating their employees about recognizing phishing emails and having measures in place for what to do if they are exposed to such threats.

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 (the 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 essential 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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