Cyberattacks and cybercrimes are becoming more common as time goes by. At present, cybercriminals are increasingly able to hide their tracks, exploit the web’s infrastructure, hide in the cloud, and take advantage of complex vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, it gravely affects organizations resulting in negative financial impact. The fact is, the average cost of data breaches to companies globally comes to USD$3.86 million.
However, it’s not just the giant conglomerates that are having issues with data breaches. Attacks on small businesses are also increasing. This is because hackers notice that small businesses might not have the proper set up of strong cybersecurity defense.
With that, it’s crucial to know the best cyber security practices for businesses to prevent cyber threats. Because hackers are always adapting to find new ways to obtain access to sensitive data, your organization will be better equipped to protect itself against them.
Here are the best cyber security practices for businesses that you should remember.
1. Educate Your Employees
Minimizing the chance of cyberattacks is less challenging than recovering from them. Once unwanted users retrieve your business data through a ransomware attack, it can be harder to recover it. As such, it’s better to be prepared and have proper training and education for employees regarding suitable cybersecurity measures.
You should teach your employees about these things to prevent cyberattacks from causing further repercussions. Your staff must be aware that they can become the prey of cybercriminals who are always ready to exploit business vulnerabilities.
In addition, some cybersecurity tips that your business can teach your employees are:
- Use private networks, such as one’s home network. Avoid public networks like the public wi-fi at their nearest coffee shops.
- Always be cautious of e-mails, texts, phone calls, or any other forms of communication, as they could come from an impostor with malicious motives.
- Always use anti-malware and regularly patch applications and individual operating systems.
If you need more help regarding online protection for your business, you can check managed IT services and cyber security for more details.
2. Use A Secure Password And Multi-Factor Authentication
It’s advisable to create strong passwords as the first step in reducing the chance of cyberattacks.
Here are the best practices for creating a secure password:
- Mixed Characters: Create a password that includes numbers, symbols, or upper- and lower-case letters.
- Change Passwords Regularly: Change your password once or twice a month.
- Longer Passwords: The advised length of passwords should be 15 characters or more.
- Use A Password Manager: A password manager can generate and store passwords for you. It encrypts the passwords that are stored in a centralized location and allows you to access them with a master password.
- Do Not Use Dictionary Words: Avoid using common dictionary words or even a mix of words. For instance, ‘chocolate’ is a bad type of password, and so is ‘dark chocolate’. Instead, use a passphrase, a string of related words with no sentence structure. For example, you can use words like ‘hotdog’, ‘ketchup’, ‘mayo’, and ‘mustard.’
- Do Not Use Memorable Keyboard Paths: Avoid using subsequent keyboard paths such as asdfgh, qwerty, and a1s2d3f4.
Likewise, cyber thieves have developed robust algorithms that can guess complex passwords in a matter of seconds. It’s not enough to use long passwords with a minimum of 15 characters with symbols, numbers, and capital and lower-case letters.
With that, almost all cybersecurity professionals advise using two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This authentication method is a reliable tool to hinder unwanted users from gaining access to sensitive data.
It’s recommended to use the cell numbers of the business’s staff as a second form of protection since there’s a slight chance that cybercriminals will know their personal identification number (PIN) and passwords. Other multi-factor authentication methods are e-mail verification, time-based security codes, and biometrics.
3. Use The Principle Of Least Privilege
The principle of least privilege is where a user is given minimum access levels or permissions required to perform individual tasks. It’s an essential step to securing privileged access to high-value assets or data.
For example, giving new employees full data accessibility by default may provide them with unnecessary access to all the sensitive data. Such a course of action increases the risk of threats from within. For instance, it can enable hackers to access essential information whenever an employee account is compromised.
Notably, 74% of data breaches that occurred to organizations in the past were caused by privilege credential abuse. With such alarming statistics, the ideal path is to employ the principle of least privilege.
In addition, it goes beyond human access. It extends to applications, connected devices, and systems that need permission or privilege to perform a job function.
Due to a lack of security and data breaches in some companies, the number of cybercrimes and cyberattacks has risen over the last few years. Cybercriminals are becoming more adept at their methods, which can gravely affect businesses.
Furthermore, giant conglomerates aren’t the only ones having problems with cyber security. Small businesses are also being targeted, as cybercriminals realize that they’re not that prepared to defend their data. Significantly, becoming more aware of the best cyber security practices is vital to minimize the chance of cyberattacks.
Overall, some best practices that you should implement in your business are having solid passwords and multi-factor authentication, employee education, and the principle of least privilege.