5 Steps To Boost Cyber Security in 2021
Covid-19 has put paid to a few things people didn’t like about work, from long commutes to pointless presenteeism, but cyber crime sadly isn’t one of them.
If anything it has increased.
In a report last year about the rise in cyber crime since the start of the pandemic, INTERPOL’s security general Jürgen Stock said, “Cyber-criminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace.”
And while criminals are upping the ante on their attacks, 48% of employees are less likely to follow safe data practices while working from home, while home networks are 3.5 times more likely than a corporate network to have at least one malware family.
Here are five simple steps you can take to make sure your cyber security strategy works for your people – wherever they happen to be.
1. Make upgrading software a priority
Hackers thrive on enterprises that are slow to react to vulnerabilities in commonly used software and apps, so make sure your organisation stays agile by keeping software updated.
Updates often contain security upgrades essential for keeping devices and data safe. And many include improved features and functionality, so it makes sense from a productivity and innovation perspective too.
2. Keep employees in the know
It’s important all staff are not only aware of threats to cyber security but also know how to deal with them.
The government has produced a range of free e-learning courses to improve staff understanding of the threat posed by viruses, online fraud and more. 'Responsible for Information' for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) takes around an hour to complete.
A robust password policy is always a good place to start. The strongest passwords are made up of at least three random words using lower and upper-case letters. Adding numbers and symbols makes them even stronger.
Never use the same password for multiple accounts and avoid using obvious terms such as your partner’s name, your child’s name, other family members’ names, a pet’s name, your place of birth, a holiday destination or anything to do with sports teams.
3. Identify and quarantine phishing attempts
Basic, avoidable human error – clicking on a phishing link, for example – caused 90% of all data breaches in 2019, according to CybSafe after it analysed data from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Successful phishing attacks are often the first step of a much more devastating security breach, so training staff to recognise and respond to phishing in the proper way is essential.
Consider carrying out a company-wide cyber security risk assessment on employees, encouraging staff to attend training, or even contacting a penetration testing agency.
4. Reassess your firewall needs
Training teams for cyber security resilience is an essential part of any successful organisation. But technology has a role to play too.
Modern firewall solutions exist to screen and handle cyber attacks before they get the chance to wreak havoc on your systems and force costly downtime (or worse!).
They can prevent known threats, limit unauthorised file transfers and neutralise as-yet unknown threats like malware by analysing malicious behaviours.
And a managed firewall solution reduces the need for in-house expertise, giving you more time and resource to focus on your core business.
5. Integrate security with connectivity
Many organisations treat security and connectivity as two separate entities. In fact they are one and the same. Or at least they should be.
If security isn’t embedded into every bit of your infrastructure and all the tools that run on it, you have to treat it as an add-on. That means you’re going to have to engage with a separate supplier, which not only creates more admin from an operational perspective but could also give you more systems and applications to deal with.
But most importantly, if your network isn’t inherently secure without the need for third-party add-ons, it won’t be as protected as it could be.
Need help achieving all the above so you can adapt to new ways of working securely?