Protecting customer and employee data should be at the forefront of any CEO’s mind. While working with cyber insurance companies for coverage only helps after the damage has already been done. Your IT department needs to have plans in place to keep your company’s data secure. By focusing on the following three areas, your business will be in a better position to prevent a data breach before it occurs.
#1. Keep Security Up-To-Date
Security can’t be effective if the software uses an obsolete version or policies don’t line up with the company’s current technology. Since poor management of internal security is a prime source of hacker attacks, it’s a good idea to check your systems on a regular basis.
Patches and Security Updates
Having software with updates waiting won’t do your business any good. Many hackers search specifically for outdated versions with exploits that have been patched out. These vulnerabilities have been shown to provide back-door access, and using software that hasn’t been updated is just asking for help from cyber insurance companies. All devices on your network should be checked for version updates immediately.
Hackers can take advantage of many types of negligence. From finding passwords on sticky notes to breaking into networks with stolen credentials, there are any number of ways knowing a password would allow miscreants access to your data. Multi-factor authentication helps protect against these kinds of attacks because it requires an in-person verification of identity from a second device. These systems alert the account holder if there is an attempt to log in, allowing your staff to quickly notice if there is a threat trying to breach the network. Once an attempted breach has been spotted, your employees should be encouraged to notify the security department immediately.
#2. Employee Awareness
Unfortunately for most businesses, employees are the most likely source of a breach. While they might not be underhanded themselves, they may not know all of the sneaky ways hackers can take advantage of poor training. Taking time to educate your staff on the basics of cyber security will help them make fewer mistakes when it comes to your network.
A form of hackers masquerading as official companies, phishing attacks are some of the more insidious methods used to gain access to secured data. Since it s a common method, your staff should be prepared to identify attempted intrusions and handle them accordingly. If an employee does fall victim to one of these schemes, you should encourage them to come forward without fear of reprisal from management. After all, that’s what cyber insurance companies are for!
Educate the Entire Business
It’s not just your IT department that needs to know about cyber security. The entire organization should be frequently trained on up-to-date security practices, though it’s likely not common knowledge. From the conference room to the mailroom, every employee should understand the risks of data theft and know basic techniques on how to prevent them. Board members may wish to have updated policy information from cyber insurance companies as well, if not only to provide peace of mind.
#3. External Threats
It’s not just your company that you need to be worried about. There are external factors that play into how you manage data, including the other businesses that you interact with. Some businesses even outsource their IT infrastructure, which may place their data at risk in very specific ways.
If you work with a cybersecurity team outside of the office, they can already get to your data. While you may have investigated the organization thoroughly, it’s important to take note of their own data security policies as well. If they aren’t much better than your own it might be time to find a new information storage partner.
Supply Chain Issues
When dealing with suppliers, it’s possible that they have been given limited access to your network. While this might facilitate business operations, it may pose a significant threat to data security. If one of your supplier’s networks is breached, you may find yourself subject to a supply-chain attack that piggybacks off of their network connection. These schemes focus on a weaker target so hackers will get a shot at the bigger game.