Cybersecurity has never been more of a hot topic than it is today. This is due to the innumerable large scale breaches that have occured recently on companies like Sony and Yahoo. The dramatic damage from the breach at Equifax is not soon forgotten either as that caused irreparable damage for millions of people's’ identities and sensitive data. These attacks shed light on a growing threat that is only becoming more powerful as the expansion of technology across the globe hits a new high.
However, this threat can be counteracted with education and diligent effort. In this article, we will explore what you can do to secure your business now and for the future. The role of technology in every facet of our lives is only becoming greater and will bring it with a whole host of innovations and risks. The right cyber security policy can offset those risks and make technology work for you in the safest way possible.
Have A Robust Password Policy
All too often we settle for easy to remember or, worse yet, auto filled passwords that populate the sites we visit. Whether it is on a company intranet or public internet you should never use simple password structures and you certainly should not use autofill for your login credentials.
Hackers scour websites and search histories looking for sites that require us to enter sensitive and private data. Sites like Amazon and Ebay require information like credit card numbers and names with addresses. This is the perfect destination for hackers to break in and steal unsecured data. Once you are epolited on one of those sites the damage can be irreparable and will oftentimes require huge changes to your personal data.
The same is true for intranet sites that use login credentials to access different part of a company. In those instances, a hacker could exploit cookies and find all of the information they need to enter into the front door of a company and openly steal data or details.
This would then lead to the most lethal type of hack as it usually goes unnoticed until it is too late. In order to avoid such damaging attacks you must a strong password policy at your company. This will make it hard for outside hackers to break in and steal valuable information of your servers.
A good policy is made up of complex character strings, passwords over 16 characters long, and the use of an encrypted password manager. You must completely free your company from the confines of autofill forms and you must require employees to keep password hidden at all times. These simple tips can offset risk and prevent the most deadly of attacks.
Have Clear Communication Policies
Your company members must have a clearly-defined communication system in place so that they do not fall for the effects of a spoofed email or phone call. A very popular, and incredibly effective, hack is called social hacking or social exploit. It is when hackers use pressure or fake identities to extract information from employees or trick them into believing that they are high level members of an organization that need their access credentials. In either case, this can be just as lethal.
To avoid this type of attack your organization must have clear communication policies such as verified communication or explicit email strategies. Policies that verify communication, either in email or over the phone, severely limit the efficacy of a spoofed attack on your company. That is why clear guidelines should be stated for all employees with little to no exceptions.
Train and Update
Keeping your systems up-to-date and adopting cutting-edge infosec technologies can help lower risk. Still, the most important line of defense in your organization will be the employees themselves. That is why it is vital to have your employees trained on what to look out for and how to handle daily business without exposing the company to risk.
Teaching your staff invaluable computer discipline will not only reduce the chance of an attack, but, it will also improve efficiency and productivity for your business. The first things to teach are password policies and communication. After that however, there needs to be continued education about systems operations, virus detection and email discipline so that no one clicks a bad link on a sabotaged site or vulnerable email.
The same goes for your I.T. team, they should be constantly informed and in persistent infosec training. It can be a cumbersome task, but, it is absolutely critical that your company software stay up-to-date and that your internal hardware have the most recent drivers. Though some company can be overly reliant on older tech it is essential that your company's technology stays current because the cost of updating is nowhere near the cost of a hacked system.