10 Strategies to Safeguard Your Business This October
Just when you think innovative technologies have solved our cybersecurity challenges, threats keep evolving. And with October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to review time-tested strategies to protect your data and your business.
CISA National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Back in 2004, the President of the United States and Congress declared October Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Since then, each October, public and private sectors alike work to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. In this blog, we’ll do our part with ten essential tips for safeguarding your data in the workplace.
10 Cybersecurity Awareness Month Tips
1. Create Strong Passwords
Encourage staff to use strong, unique passwords for each business account. Strong passwords should be at least ten characters with a combination of letters, numbers, cases and symbols. Consider implementing a password manager to help generate and store complex passwords easily and securely.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds an extra layer of protection beyond just a username and password. 2FA works by requiring two methods of identification: something you know (password) and something you have (a mobile device) to gain access to an account.
3. Perform Regular Software Updates
If you haven’t already, make a new Cybersecurity Awareness Month resolution to keep your operating systems, software and applications up to date. Savvy cybercriminals are known to exploit outdated software because updates generally include security patches to fix known vulnerabilities. Make it easy by enabling automatic updates or implementing a system to ensure prompt updates across all devices and systems.
4. Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are incredibly common because they work by luring you into a false sense of security and tricking you into revealing sensitive data. To avoid falling victim, always be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails — especially those from unknown sources.
5. Secure Your Network Infrastructure
Protect your network with firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption. Establish a guest network for visitors, and ensure sensitive data and systems are isolated from public access. If you need help, find a reputable, experienced managed IT solutions provider to handle your infrastructure management for you.
6. Backup Your Data
Don’t wait until Cybersecurity Awareness Month is over to implement a solid backup and recovery plan. When the unexpected strikes, you want to have the peace of mind in knowing your key business data and applications are safe and quickly recoverable.
7. Train Your Staff
The number one cause of data breaches is human error. All of the next-generation tools and technologies can’t prevent an unsuspecting employee from clicking on the wrong link. Keep your staff up-to-date on traditional cybersecurity best practices as well as the latest threats and trends.
8. Implement Data Access Controls
New technologies make it easy to regulate access to your sensitive information. Advanced, pre-configured settings ensure only the right users can access the right data at the right time with the right device. Once you set up access controls, make a point of regularly reviewing and updating access permissions to align with changing responsibilities.
9. Secure Your Devices
How many devices are accessing your network right now? The number is probably higher than you think. Services like EDR (endpoint detection and response) and MDR (managed detection and response) monitor devices for threats 24/7/365 and can even roll back your systems should you experience data loss.
10. Secure Your Remote Workforce
If you have employees working offsite, establish systems that allow for secure access to business data and applications. Ensure that remote employees follow the same cybersecurity protocols as those working onsite, and reach out to a managed services provider for recommendations on advanced tools that can protect your network.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 serves as an annual reminder of the importance of protecting sensitive data. By following best practices like the ones referenced above, you can help create a safer digital workplace. If you have any questions about your digital defenses, we’re happy to help. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.