Managing a company is more than developing and marketing your product or Sure improving the employee experience. The information behind your company’s operations is the lifeblood of your business — and much of your effort needs to go into protecting that data from hackers and other malicious users.
In the ever-evolving world of cyber attacks, here are five ways your company can keep up.
1. Develop Company Security Protocols and Train Employees Accordingly
The first step in protecting your company from cyber attacks is to develop a strong security policy. You should have a specific set of security protocols that you consistently apply across all aspects of your company. This will help you ensure that security breaches don’t slip through the cracks.
It’s essential that you regularly educate your employees about these protocols, and that you make security awareness a core component of employee onboarding and training. A reported 74% of companies feel vulnerable to insider threats — and, while some are intentional, many are accidental. Keeping your employees informed about security procedure will help prevent these accidental breaches from happening, as well as help them stay alert to potentially suspicious internal activity.
To make your security protocols very clear, print out your guidelines and distribute them to all employees. Your policy might include guidelines such as not opening email attachments or links that aren’t business-related, or not connecting personal devices to the company’s wireless network.
2. Know Your Partners…and Your Partners’ Partners
Almost every company collects some form of user data, and keeping this data protected is one of the most important aspects of your security strategy. It’s common for companies to share user data with partner companies — but, before you do so, it’s important that you have a complete understanding of the way your partners will use that information.
First, make sure your partners have a reliable security system in place. Even if they have the best intentions, you can’t trust them to handle sensitive information if they lack a strong security protocol.
Second, vet all potential partners to prevent against malicious intent. Facebook made a huge mistake by giving an essentially blank check to an app creator for obtaining the data of 87 million users. The result was the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica got a hold of that data and used it to influence the 2016 U.S. election.
3. Keep Company Network and Computers Secure
You should secure all company computers with anti-malware software, such as the trusted program Malwarebytes. While such programs aren’t sufficient for a full-scale security strategy, they provide an added layer of protection in the event that employees click on a malicious pop-up or link.
Your company’s IT staff should regularly check all company computers to ensure that their anti-malware software is up-to-date. In addition, prohibiting employees from using their personal devices on the network will help ensure that all devices connected to the network are properly secured.
4. Encrypt Your Data
Encrypting your data codifies your information to prevent malicious companies or hackers from being able to read sensitive content. Encryption, in other words, is the act of taking data and making it unreadable to humans.
Encryption, essentially, is a second line of defense: even if a social security breach does occur, hackers won’t be able to access important company information. You’ll want to encrypt information such as confidential employee data (e.g., banking and credit card details) as well as protected company information (e.g., user data). There are plenty of software and other third-party solutions to manage the process.
5. Investigate the Best Tools for Your Company
It’s best to use a third-party cyber security solution so that you can invest your time and effort into your company’s product, rather than in your security strategy. A good security provider will have expertise in the field as well as updated information about the latest threats.
One example of a reliable security provider is Imperva, which protects your data from both internal and external threats. The platform discovers sensitive data and investigates potential vulnerabilities to help detect security risks you might not have known about before. Well-rounded security platforms like these are essential for protecting the most sensitive information and protecting your company in the process. A simple anti-malware or antivirus software, while important, isn’t enough.
It’s a constant battle between cybercriminals and security solutions. Cybercriminals are always evolving to find loopholes in security operations, and your company needs to constantly stay ahead. Company information, whether personal employee details and confidential company data, can be made more secure by implementing these five steps.