Understanding cybersecurity is not simple. When we read about a security breach it’s typically caused by an action, or failed security practice of an employee within an organization. No matter the size of the breach, it’s bad press. Data breaches surface daily and these incidents are growing in frequency, size and cost.
It is often more difficult for smaller organizations to maintain security themselves due to lack of resources or even lack of awareness. Small businesses have increasingly become easy targets. In fact, most cyber-attacks occur at companies with fewer than 100 employees. The best way to prevent such breaches is to become better educated and to follow best practices.
- Understand the risks. Having a basic understanding of the most common threats is key; everything from phishing, malware, spoofing, systems hacking, social engineering. It’s all bad, and it’s all a threat.
- Have a security policy in place that employees understand. Employees are the gatekeepers of your organizations information, so they should be the first layer of defense. Educate all employees about safe practices. Be sure everyone uses complex passwords and make sure personal and confidential information is not easily exposed. Keeping such documentation under virtual lock and key can go a long way to protect confidential information from getting in the hands of the wrong person.
- Keep your anti-virus/anti-spam software or other security applications up-to-date. This will help guard against the latest threats and secure your infrastructure.
- Verify! Verifying financial requests and confirming details via phone is more secure than email. This practice should be applied to your vendors, clients, and employees.
- Practice an incident response plan. Having employees who know what to do in the event of a security breach is the best protection and preparedness you can have. Hackers are often one step ahead of you, but collective accountability is critical.
Having a baseline understanding of your current environment and vulnerabilities is the first step toward building a wall of defense to reduce risk.
Please see the June 2015 edition of Bryley Information and Tips (BITs) for our IT security cheat-sheet.
For more information about ways to defend your company against a cyber-attack, or to inquire about Bryley’s full array of Managed IT Services, please contact us at 978.562.6077 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com. We’re here for you.