cybersecurity protection for business

Security Tips for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

For National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a great time to check in to see how up to date your security measures are. We cannot underestimate the importance of cybersecurity. In 2019, the number of data breaches in the United States totaled 1,473 with over 164.68 million sensitive records exposed. 

It’s essential to make sure your IT security is up to the task of protecting your business or organization. What are the best ways to guarantee you’re maintaining a robust and strong approach to cybersecurity?

Here are 5 essential tips to remember for this month and beyond:

Have Policies for Remote Employees

Telecommuting in the US has seen a 115% increase in the past decade. And with the coronavirus pandemic forcing employees to work from home, it has never been more important to guarantee your employees have adequate knowledge when it comes to protecting data. Having policies in place can ensure they take the right precautions. 

Typically, a remote work policy would cover components such as productivity, eligibility, and availability, but in terms of IT security, companies need to identify if any additional technical support is essential. In addition, it’s vital to outline what remote employees need to do when they have technical difficulties to guarantee a secure plan of action. 

When it comes to protecting data, employees need to have knowledge of what constitutes a risk. To make remote work streamlined, many employees have been encouraged to adhere to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. But this also means employees may have confidential work data on a personal device. Therefore, it is important that they’re not putting this data at risk without having the right security on those devices.

Use Constant Network Security

Continuous security monitoring is one of the fundamentals of protecting business information. Many systems provide monitoring during business hours when employees will be connecting to a workplace network. However, hacking attempts don’t stop when you go home for the day.

To guarantee you’re protected at all times, iTology, an IT company in El Reno, recommends proactive, constant network security so that attacks can be prevented and recognized right from the start. With continuous monitoring, security alerts will identify weaknesses or attempted activity and address it before it becomes a problem. 

Protect Your Email

Emails are an easy entry point for cybercrime in business and personal life, as 91 percent of hacks begin with an email. Hackers have developed more sophisticated methods to slide under employees radar and have them click on a link or send information without suspicion. 

Protecting your email can be easily done through using two-factor authentication wherever possible to protect passwords. Using encryption services can also provide an extra layer of security when it comes to sending sensitive information. It’s also important for employees to learn how to identify and avoid phishing scams.

Continually Update

Software updates can come up in the middle of a work day, and can be easy to ignore or remove rather than install them. They may not seem so important, but this is where hackers can gain access to sensitive information. Outdated software or old hardware that isn’t able to run new versions of software no longer have manager support to identify and fix weaknesses.

Software is continually being updated to improve efficiency and security. Many malware attacks arise from software vulnerabilities in common applications such as browsers and operating systems. When these are used daily in outdated versions, the risk to the user is higher. 

Beware of Social Engineering

Another key component in cybersecurity but is potentially overlooked in a technical framework is a social engineering attack. This is where an attacker uses human interaction by reaching out to an employee over email, phone, or other method. They can pretend to be someone who should have access to the information they’re requesting, making it hard to detect the fraud. 

Common social engineering tactics involve impersonating a new employee or a repair worker, a client, boss, or fellow company in the industry. They can use specific details they’ve learned or even credentials to divert suspicion.

It’s more important than ever to be aware to protect your business with the right IT infrastructure. There are constant cybersecurity threats to businesses and organizations worldwide, and they are likely to continue to grow. During National Cybersecurity Month, start evaluating your current systems and follow these tips as you look to strengthen your security.