The continuous evolution of internet technologies has come with many advantages. This advancement has enabled the development of:
- Internet-based systems
- E-commerce websites
- Cloud computing services
All these products of internet technologies have been adopted by businesses and organizations. Their adoption has, however, led to the creation of a new concern for businesses and organizations.
A recent study revealed that the average amount of losses incurred by businesses due to a cyberattack is $200,000. A cyber attack is a targeted attack on a computing system. The targeted attacks are intended for malicious purposes such as:
- Data deletion
- Data manipulation
- Network jamming through a denial-of-service attack
- Information theft
The drastic losses and drawbacks that come with cyberattacks depict the importance of enforcing cybersecurity measures. Cyber security measures are actions or systems that aim to prevent the occurrence of cyber attacks in a business, organization, or for personal individuals.
There are numerous cybersecurity measures that businesses can implement in their systems to keep them safe from cyberattacks. In this article, we shall discuss the practices to follow to keep your business safe.
1. Observing industry standards
Industry standards are sets of rules that govern the functioning and operations of different companies under the industry. Industry standards are defined by specialists to ensure that service provision is up to par with the set country regulations.
Cybersecurity specialists also designed cybersecurity industry standards for various companies in different industries. These standards list the minimum security measures that companies and organizations should embrace.
The European Union came up with region-wide cybersecurity measures. Essential service operators and digital service providers are required to adhere to these measures. The legislation aims to achieve high network and information systems security across countries in the region. The following article offers a guide to NIS directive compliance.
The NIS directive compliance can be considered as a cybersecurity foundation for businesses in the European Region. Adoption of these industry standards can also offer a competitive advantage to a business over its competitors. This is because the business will gain the trust of its clients due to its secure computing systems.
The standards are developed in a strategic manner that ensures they touch on all aspects of computing that can create system vulnerabilities. This ensures that they offer broad cybersecurity capabilities.
2. Regular updating of software
A random inquiry among workmates or friends will reveal the wanting situation around the ignorance of software updates. After the deployment of software, developers often continue carrying out tests to analyze the security of the software.
In the event when developers find a weak point or system vulnerability, they fix it. After securing the vulnerability, they deploy the fix to the clients through security patches. It is therefore paramount for software users to regularly check for security patches and install them.
With the constant evolution of the internet and computing technologies, new cyber attack methods are constantly invented. Software developers analyze the market to know the new attack methods and develop solutions for securing the software against them.
Once the developers update the software with preventive methods for the new attack tactics, they deploy it to users. The software users are therefore supposed to download and install the updates. This helps to ensure that their software does not compromise the security of the whole system.
In a workplace, users should have weekly updates to check for software updates and install them.
3. Defensive computing practices
Defensive computing entails gaining knowledge on the possible cyberattacks methods. After knowing the possible cyberattack methods, the users learn computing tactics to use to ensure that they avoid all security vulnerabilities.
The ability to identify the business or organization’s computing or information assets is crucial. This helps the users to have a clear knowledge of the assets that they are looking to guard through the use of defensive computing tactics.
Defensive computing tactics are broadly classified into two categories. These categories are:
- Network Security
- Data Backups
Network security entails the protection of business assets by disallowing unauthorized data access. Data backups aim to offer data recovery solutions in the event of data loss. They are vital components when re-establishing an information system back to its initial state.
Defensive computing strategies are broad and cover all areas of computing. Here is a detailed compilation of various defensive computing strategies.
4. Use of strong passwords
IT specialists have a saying that says, “You are only one weak password or passcode away from a data breach”. True to this statement, a study found that 81% of company data breaches are caused by the use of weak or poor passwords.
We live in a time when personal cell phones and fridges communicate and share data beyond human comprehension. Due to this, using easy passwords such as ‘mycomputer’ or ‘12245678’ is barely secure.
A weak or poor password is a password that is easy to detect or guess by a computing device or a person. When coming up with passwords for business computing systems and user accounts, the employees should adhere to the password guidelines. The strong password guidelines are:
- The name of the user should not be the password
- Password should contain more than 8 characters
- The password should comprise of at least one number and at least one special symbol
- The password should not be comprised of sequential characters or numbers
- Blank spaces should not be used in passwords
Ensuring that passwords are strong is a significant though underrated cybersecurity hack.
5. Enabling multi-factor authentication
Multifactor authentication entails the use of more than one user claim verification method when logging into a system. User authentication requires three data categories. These are:
- What the user knows, for example, pin
- What the user has, for example, an identification card
- Who the user is, for example, retina scan
With multi-factor authentication, a user will input their login details, i.e., the username and the password. After this, the user will be required to use another claim verification method. Multifactor authentication prevents unauthorized access to computing systems even in the event of a password leak.
The combination of multifactor authentication methods and defensive computing tactics offers top-tier security to business information systems.
Cybersecurity measures offer numerous advantages for businesses and organizations. The cardinal advantage of cybersecurity to a business is that it boosts customer confidence. This should act as a motivational factor to implement cybersecurity measures and practice safe computing methods.
It is also crucial for a business or organization to design a security plan that details all the cybersecurity measures to observe. This will act as a guideline for employees to uphold protection against cyberattacks.