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How Can Businesses Protect Themselves From Cyberattacks?

How Can Businesses Protect Themselves From Cyberattacks?

Cybersecurity is essential for businesses of all sizes and nature, yet some businesses don’t consider themselves vulnerable or at risk. Most cyberattacks occur in small businesses or larger establishments, especially those that are reluctant about security policies and measures. 

Businesses that are reluctant about cybersecurity should take steps to put security measures in place to ensure the integrity of their systems. Below are some of the practical ways through which businesses can protect themselves against cyberattacks. 

Training employees

Sometimes the employees may not understand how risky cyber threats may be to business information systems. Training employees about the best cybersecurity practices and any signs of cyberattacks is a great preventive measure. The IT professionals should not be the only ones aware of cybersecurity threats in an organization. Any business with a “bring-your-own-device” policy should ensure that it includes procedures for protecting the employee devices. 

If the network is secure, but the employee devices are not, it means that the whole system is at risk. The management can educate the employees about how to use passwords and make them more effective. The strict policies on passwords entail having unique passwords for individual accounts and mixing numbers, symbols, and letters. The management should also train employees to avoid including common words or personal information in their passwords. More importantly, they need to keep the passwords secure by avoiding leaving notes about them.  

Training employees should be part of a successful sales strategy because the employees will be able to concentrate on their key responsibilities. It will build a security culture and ensure that people are headed in the right direction as they contribute towards achieving their sales goals. Employee training that includes situational awareness is a great way to bring the employees on board. Appropriate platforms for training can monitor and create a security culture, making employees part of the defense. 

Creating a security policy

According to thesis writing services, to protect a business from cyberattacks, the management should define their security protocols in all aspects. The protocols should be part of a business strategy and address concerns such as cloud computing, social media security, and the Internet of Things. In today’s world, businesses are continuously storing sensitive information digitally, which means that it is more prone to threats. The security policy should cover standard practices, including data backup and routine security audits.

The management should ensure that they incorporate an incident response plan to enable the staff members to respond appropriately in case of an emergency. They should also practice test runs with their employees to ensure a complete understanding of the response plan.

A security policy protects organizations and their employees- the employees can understand the reasons for protecting sensitive information. When the employees understand the significance of security procedures, they can respond accordingly and be accountable for the actions they take. 

Other reasons for setting a security policy include:

To support the organization’s mission. Security experts should be sensitive to the business needs, so when creating policies, the mission should be in their minds.
To enhance the confidentiality of information. The security policy protects networks and IT assets from unauthorized access.
To promote integrity. The policy enhances the handling of modifications of assets in an authorized and specific manner. 

Updating the IT systems

Keeping the hardware, software, and network systems up-to-date is one of the most effective ways of protecting businesses against cyberattacks. The security professionals in organizations should be proactive to ensure that they keep the security applications and antivirus software up-to-date. By so doing, they will be protecting their company against possible threats by ensuring the security of their infrastructure. One of the precautions that organizations can consider is the firewall for their internet connection.

A firewall operates as a gatekeeper or a barrier between an organization's computers and other networks such as the internet. It controls the network traffic while monitoring those who may want to access the operating system- it does so by blocking unwanted network traffic. Another security procedure is concerned with using and regularly updating antivirus, anti-spy software, and anti-malware on all computer systems. Updating the antivirus software is important because computers are exposed to virus attacks that may lead to the loss of sensitive data or information.

To ensure the proper functioning of the antivirus, organizations should configure it in a way that it can regularly and automatically confirm updates. They can also download and install software updates based on their availability. Other preventive measures include monitoring systems regularly to detect problems and securing the workplace WiFi networks. 

Understanding evolving risks and emerging trends

Preparing for cyberattacks starts by understanding the vulnerabilities that may influence a business. The management of an organization should be aware of the possibilities of hacking, where hackers may attack systems and employee emails. Hacking occurs when attackers gain unauthorized access to systems and emails while manipulating the information therein. Installing anti-spyware software can help to prevent the systems from hacking. The software works by secretly monitoring and collecting organizational or personal information.

Another common security threat that management needs to understand and deal with is phishing. It occurs when unauthorized users collect personal and sensitive information such as credit card information and passwords. They do so through websites that may appear legit in the eyes of the individual they are targeting. The management should discourage employees from clicking on any suspicious links. Unless they are on trustworthy sites, the employees should be careful about links that may appear at random. 

The major internet browsers allow users to personalize them using an anti-phishing toolbar that can run a check on any suspicious site. The toolbar alerts users every time they stumble on illegitimate sites and prevents possible attacks. 

Encrypting and backing up data

An effective protection strategy against cyberattacks consists of preventing access to sensitive data and making it useless if it gets to the wrong hands. Businesses can make the data meaningless to unauthorized users by encrypting it. Data encryption entails changing its format such that it does not make sense to any unauthorized users. Businesses should encrypt their sensitive data such as employee information, customer information, and business data. 

Many operating systems have full-disk software for encryption and can encrypt data on laptops or desktops when not in use. The IT professionals should check to ensure that the software is up-to-date on all devices. They also need to reduce the computer's idle time by setting the devices to automatically enter "lock" or "sleep" mode after every few minutes. 

After encrypting the data, it is also important to back it up and store it separately to facilitate recovery in case of accidental loss. Ransomware hackers can lock organizations out of their systems, so backing up the data ensures the continuity of operations in case of such attacks. Organizations can back up data through external hard drives, time machines, or cloud storage. 

Conclusion

Cyberthreats are real, especially as the world moves towards digitalization and automating operations. Businesses can prevent themselves from cyberattacks through training employees, creating security policies, updating their systems, understanding risks, and encrypting the data. Businesses that have not thought of the consequences of cyberattacks should start taking security procedures seriously. Taking preventive measures will play an important role in meeting the organizational goals because everyone will be aware of the need for security. 

Author Bio:

Charles Normandin is a copywriter from Goodlett (Texas). He loves visiting exhibitions, build a professional network and discuss new ways to innovate. He loves to express himself through art. Meet him on Twitter @Charles60104524.

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