June 10, 2016

Avoid Evolving Cyber Threats with These Cybersecurity Tactics

The constantly-evolving nature of the IT industry and technology in general, makes defending against cyber threats and hackers challenging for businesses, especially those that manage IT internally. In fact, ransomware is the latest malware scouring headlines and can be a big threat to businesses. A recent report released by the FBI claims ransomware infections caused more than $1.6 million in losses last year for individuals and businesses. Organizations that don’t regularly update security practices are not equipped to protect their data and applications from these types of super viruses and can easily become victims.

According to an OpenDNS whitepaper, “Prevention is No Match for Persistence: Rethinking Cyber-Security in the Age of Relentless Attacks,” businesses should embrace a more comprehensive security model for their networks. They should reduce the risk of security breaches through predictive defense and prevention, and lessen the impact potential breaches through quick detection and containment of assaults. Proactive education among network users will also help to increase the effort required to breach security. Additionally, the whitepaper states that you should employ technologies that make it more difficult and expensive for attackers to work in your environment.

Do you feel as if your company’s cybersecurity skills are not up to par? Take the time to pinpoint potential weaknesses in your company’s cybersecurity strategy and set up preventive and predictive measures to be more secure. If you’re hesitant about the current best practices, enlist the help of an IT or cloud service provider to analyze your organization’s security measures and make recommendations to upgrade. Here are three strategies to get you started:

Layer Protection: Hackers tend to focus on systems that are easy to access. So the more levels of security you have, the more likely they will move on to avoid wasting time and effort. Secure all of your systems, not just your hardware. By implementing network-wide security solutions—like two-factor authentication, which requires a user to satisfy two levels of identification before accessing a website or an application—your hardware and employee devices will have the same level of security. This ensures that a hacker cannot gain access to your network through an outside source or Internet connection.

Beware of Carelessness: Gartner estimates that by 2020, 95 percent of security failures will occur as a result of customers’ actions. Losing laptops and tablets, using simple usernames and passwords across multiple platforms, and sharing login credentials with colleagues and family members can result in a security breach. Oftentimes, carelessness can be an open invitation for cyber villains that are looking to compromise data. Make sure your staff are cognizant of where their laptops and mobile devices are at all times. They shouldn’t create easy-to-decipher login credentials, use the “remember me” store password function or share their passwords. It’s important that your staff members understand the importance of diligently following your cybersecurity recommendations.

Monitor Activity: By monitoring your network activity, you can gain visibility into where breaches have occurred and detect weak entry points where future breaches could take place. Create a log of your past security “events” and input the data into a security information and event management (SIEM) system. This system will give you a holistic view of your entire organization’s security. Taking the proactive step to implement this system will help your organization be better prepared against future attacks.

As you know, keeping up with cybersecurity in an IT industry driven by constant innovation can be challenging. By using both preventive and predictive safety practices, you should be able to ensure that your valuable data is safe and secure.

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