How You Can Keep Your Organization Safe from a Cyber Attack
Cyber attacks. We’re all hearing about them; we read about them daily and many of us have experienced them. A 2016 cyber security poll conducted by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association in conjunction with the RSA (Rivest, Shamir and Adelman) Conference found that 82 percent of respondents felt as though their board of governors were concerned or very concerned about cyber security. In the same poll, 74 percent expected some kind of cyber attack to occur in 2016. These numbers back up the tense burden cyber attacks bring to businesses, large and small, across the world.
Every day, they become a starker reality for all businesses and organizations – no matter the industry or size. While government, business leaders, and the media have been saying that cyber-attacks are no longer a question of if, but when, the clamor isn’t enough to minimize the harsh effects of these threats. Unfortunately for most, companies won’t know they’ve been hacked until it’s too late.
With the impending threats, there are some strategies organizations can leverage to help alleviate some of the concern.
Understand the evolving risks.
Cybersecurity preparedness starts with having a complete understanding of the internal and external weaknesses that can affect any business, how hackers can gain entry including their different methods and motives, and how to identify points of weakness.
Train your employees.
Employees are the first line of defense in staving off cyber attacks. With timely training, employees can help identify outside risks in their email boxes or across the Internet. Failing to educate employees raises the chances of one of them walking into a phishing scheme or malware attack.
Evaluate your Partners.
It’s not uncommon for third parties like vendors and customers to be granted access to a network housing a lot of important data. However, before granting access to anyone, it’s important to understand how they view and handle cyber security.
Develop a security policy that is ingrained into corporate culture.
Defining protocols to abide by is critical, but in order to be effective, the policy must infuse throughout every process, every decision, and the whole mentality of the organization – exactly embedded into its overall business strategy and how each employee operates.
Plan for Off-Site Workers.
More and more employees, with plenty of access to company networks from computers and mobile devices, are working from home or on the road, which poses a cyber threat to businesses. Hence, it’s always logical to evaluate your mobile device management, procedures and requirements and employ multi-level verification to ensure that only authorized people have access to data and systems.
Pick up the phone.
Verify financial requests and confirm details by phone instead of relying on email to initiate or complete any financial transaction – whether you are dealing with your bank, vendors, clients, or employees.
Use a two-step verification process to add another layer of security to approving outgoing funds – it will help protect you from a loss.
Add a security blanket.
Cyber insurance has become a booming business, and a lot of corporations are seeking it out. The insurance covers some important factors, providing funding to deal with the implications of an attack.
Keep your software up to date.
Don’t delay updating your anti-virus software or other security applications. Up to date software will help you guard against the latest threats and keep your infrastructure secure.
Have an incident response plan and practice it.
Just like a fire drill, having a plan of action for responding to a cyber incident is crucial. Even more important, it should be practiced so that all your employees know exactly what to do in the event of a breach.
Remain Up-to-date and Educated.
Each year, experts are identifying new cyber threats to businesses. While it seems as though hackers can be three steps ahead of IT professionals, it’s possible to close the gap by keeping apprised of new threats and continually updating and maintaining the security solutions keeping your company safe.
As cybercrime escalates, protection and preparedness become increasingly important for every organization. Hence, to bolster the ability to shielding organization from mounting threats, it’s essential to work together and remain educated.
In an environment where hackers are often one step ahead, a collective accountability can be our first line of defense.