Since the push into fully remote and hybrid working environments sparked by the pandemic, data breaches are rising. Hackers seek to take advantage of weakened security protocols created by the workplace diaspora, exploiting loopholes often not considered by small and medium (and even large) enterprises as part of their digital shift.
Developing solid cybersecurity infrastructure is essential through all levels of business but often neglected as corporate decision-makers don’t’ see their immediate value. Today, we look at some key lessons from the latest data breaches and what can be done about them.
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Table of Contents
It Starts With Leadership
There’s still a tendency in corporate structures to see the IT department as something “other” than your core business. Reality has shifted. Focuses on cybersecurity and the importance of adequate security infrastructure need to start at the very top.
Company decision-makers can no longer treat core digital infrastructure issues as someone else’s problem to solve. In 2019, only 54% of executives and 39% of directors indicated heavy engagement with their companies’ cybersecurity infrastructure and security plans. It’s’ essential that buy-in from the very top is a priority, so firms can get serious about protecting their data.
It Continues Through the Workforce
It cannot stop at the top, either. Mistakes do happen in the daily working environment. That’s a simple inevitability. However, having education, support, and tools in place to decrease the likelihood of human error by introducing cybersecurity threats to the table is essential. Security awareness should be part of regular employee training.
Misplacing a company’s external device, or putting a vulnerable document in the wrong place, is all it can take to lead to a data breach. Bad habits in tech use are daily but can be addressed through an improved workplace culture around the idea of digital hygiene.
Don’t Forget Smart Devices
The Internet of Things, IoT, has boomed in the last few years. Intelligent devices that integrate some internet connection are now available in most workplaces. However, they’re rarely considered in digital safety protocols and often have no security plan. The risks get even greater if you have workers using their technology or devices.
This is why ensuring you have security protocols in place across the network level is essential. Cloud security, in particular, can be a thorny issue. Most modern workplaces now have vast amounts of their data stored in the cloud, yet no tangible cloud security protocols exist. From limiting access to sensitive information, to simply ensuring there can be no intrusion into the space, it’s’ essential. So are good password habits.
Don’t neglect the power of simple software updates, either. Often neglected in business organizations, simply keeping up-to-date with security updates can significantly mitigate risk.
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Backups and Disaster Recovery
Comprehensive data backups and a solid disaster recovery plan are essential for any business, yet alarming numbers of businesses don’t have anything in place. Did you know that the average data breach goes undetected for about nine months? And the longer a data breach is in place, the more damage it does to your organization.
This goes far beyond simple file backups, too. Innovative organizations should have image backups of entire OSs in place, from installed applications and data to the configuration for the worker. It would help if you rolled back to a safe point precisely as before the breach simply and easily.
And, if you’re using servers in your work environment, you need to get them up and running fast. Quality cloud backups can help here. But most solutions are likely to be multifocal and comprehensive.
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The Cybersecurity Doesn’t Stop
Many businesses view cybersecurity provisions as a “one and done” thing instead of an ongoing process. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. It would help if you had a regular assessment plan, testing your capabilities against intrusion and attack.
This is known as penetration testing, where special tools and software are used to emulate a real-time attack and see where your existing security protocols are weak.
Cybersecurity is ever-evolving, and new vulnerabilities come to light almost daily. Especially if you’re still in the process of digital transformation. Any time you change your system, implement new protocols or adjust your workflow, you are introducing the potential for new breaches.
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Cybersecurity is worth the investment
Robust cybersecurity solutions allow you to defend against ransomware or data breaches. It’s’ honestly that simple. You want to proactively manage cybersecurity from day one, not hoping for the best. There’s a wealth of quality solutions out there, and you can tailor them according to to need, scalability, suitability, and long-term growth.
See your cybersecurity as part of your long-term growth strategies, ensuring a safe and productive business environment at all times. It should always be at the center of the discussion.
Least Privilege Works
The concept of “least privilege is one of the most critical lessons in cybersecurity. It embraces the idea that users should operate with the bare minimum access privileges they need to do their job.
This limits the threat vector helps stop the spread of malware if something slips through the cracks, and improves your overall system performance.
After all, if your traffic is not bogged down with non-essential access points, it makes for a more seamless experience and keeps you safer. Least-privilege access policies also help you comply with data handling and storage regulations and simplify audit procedures.
Of course, the most enduring lesson from recent data breaches is how critical cybersecurity has become to businesses. Without comprehensive security policies in place, you are nothing but a target for all kinds of cybersecurity intrusions that can cripple your ability to deliver and deeply harm your relationship with customers and third-party vendors.
Finding a great security partner, conducting regular maintenance and audits, and ensuring staff are educated on the risks of poor digital hygiene must be part of every modern business’ operating protocols. Do you have them in place for your business?