In the rapidly evolving realm of cybersecurity, the 2022 Cyberthreat Defense Report (CDR) by the CyberEdge Group unveils alarming statistics. Brace yourself: a staggering 91.8% of Spanish organizations have fallen victim to one or more successful cyber attacks in the past year.
This calls for businesses need to step up their cybersecurity practices in 2023!
When you know the best cybersecurity practices, you can stay ahead of malicious attackers and protect your sensitive data from today’s cybercrime and threats.
So, this blog is all about giving you top security practices. The following are best practices for keeping your business safe from cyber threats in 2023:
1. Plan Your Cybersecurity Policies
A cybersecurity policy serves as a formal roadmap, helping your company boost its cybersecurity efficiency. It unifies your security experts and employees, ensuring everyone is on the same page while outlining essential practices to safeguard valuable information across the organization.
Implementing a hierarchical cybersecurity policy is recommended to enhance cybersecurity and ensure smooth department workflows. This involves centralized security policies and department-specific policies tailored to their unique needs. For instance, you can have policies centered on:
- access control
- remote access
- vendor management
- insider threat programs
- data loss prevention (DLP)
- incident response management
For a comprehensive policy plan, it is essential to engage your stakeholders and determine the resources needed.
2. Employ Multi-Factor Authentication
If you’re looking to add an extra layer of security, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is perfect. When MFA is activated, even if someone has your password, they still can’t log in. They would need other authentication factors like your mobile phone, fingerprint, voice, or a security token. So you can rest easy knowing that malicious actors won’t gain access.
While it may appear basic, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) stands tall as one of the finest cybersecurity protection methods. It is mandated by the likes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and SWIFT Customer Security Programme (CSP). Even tech giants like Google and Twitter strongly encourage their users to adopt MFA.
And here’s the cherry on top: MFA grants you the power to distinguish between authorized users of shared accounts, boosting your access control capabilities.
3. Take Advantage of Password Management Tools
While having the same password in every account may sound easier, it’s not the best idea. If anyone gains access to one of your accounts, they’ll have access to all of them. That’s why using a different password for each account is important.
That said, managing multiple passwords can be difficult without password managers like LastPass or Dashlane. Such tools store and manage login information securely, allowing you to generate strong and unique passwords for each account.
If you’re looking to invest in a password manager, consider choosing one that has these features:
- two-factor authentication
- password sharing capabilities
- auto logout when idle for too long
- alert system for suspicious activity
4. Restrict Access to Sensitive Data
Human error remains one of the primary culprits behind data leaks in organizations. When employees are automatically granted excessive privileges, they gain access to sensitive data they may not even need. This approach not only heightens the risk of insider threats but also provides hackers with immediate access to critical information once they compromise an employee’s account.
The principle of least privilege is a better solution. It involves assigning privileged users only the minimum access rights and elevating privileges only when necessary. If sensitive data access is unnecessary, corresponding privileges should be revoked.
In addition to the principle of least privilege and the zero trust model, a just-in-time approach to access management adds more granularity. This approach enables employees to request access for a specific time and valid reason. Organizations can combine these access management techniques.
5. Conduct Training for Your Employees
A phishing scam can enter through a single click. Therefore, it’s essential to conduct regular training sessions to educate your staff on cyber security best practices.
Empowering employees with the knowledge to identify and counter cyber threats is crucial. By organizing seminars with security specialists, you can equip your team with the skills to recognize warning signs like malicious emails, phishing scams, and learn how to respond to a serious data breach, if one occurs.
But don’t stop there! Regular tests will ensure that your staff is well-prepared to tackle any security threat that comes their way. Stay one step ahead!
6. Make Auditing a Habit
Cyber security audits will give you a picture of your current security posture. One audit can assess all parts of your ICT infrastructure, from networks and servers to security software and hardware. This way, you can identify any weaknesses or potential threats.
Depending on the scope of your audit, it may take a few days or weeks. Once you get the results, use them to strengthen your security systems and develop a better action plan.
Additionally, make sure you audit your cloud service providers since their practices reflect your security posture. This includes asking for web server security scans, code reviews, and verifying vendor compliance with industry standards.
Auditing processes should be done on a regular basis, depending on the complexity of your setup and your security needs. This way, you can remain up-to-date with any new vulnerability or threat that may arise in the future!
7. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
In the realm of cybersecurity, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) remains a potent weapon even in 2023. Today, where every website is after your data, VPNs serve as guardians, forging a shielded, encrypted connection between you and the vast internet.
By using a VPN, you can mask your IP address and location. This makes it way tougher for hackers or sketchy websites to track you or get hold of your personal data.
Exercise caution when approaching VPNs, as these virtual private networks may pose scalability challenges. Additionally, VPN technology is susceptible to cyber attacks and vulnerabilities in modern hybrid environments.
In contrast, the zero trust approach offers both security and scalability, making it a more compelling choice.
8. Back-Up is a Must
Losing important data can be an absolute nightmare—whether it’s confidential files or cherished personal albums. From hardware failure to cyber attacks and even theft, data loss can happen for various reasons. And to make matters worse, cybercriminals often exploit system vulnerabilities and hold your files hostage, then demand a ransom to restore access.
By regularly backing up your data, whether it’s to a physical external hard disk or the cloud, you can safeguard your important files and recover them swiftly in the event of data breaches or loss.
Here’s a handy cybersecurity tip: automate the backup process! Manual backups are often neglected because they can be a hassle. But with automation, you can ensure that backups are created seamlessly and without fail at a scheduled time.
9. Install Top-Notch Anti-Virus Software
Even the most well-trained staff can make mistakes. That’s why it’s crucial to have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on computers. It can prevent cyber attacks from entering your operating system and keep you safe from malware.
But, get this, not all anti-malware protections can be trusted. Many of them are free but have limited features or insufficient protection—and some may even be using malicious code! So, if you’re going to invest in anti-virus software, make sure it’s from a trusted brand and provides comprehensive security.
The right anti-virus software should have a few essential features, such as:
- real-time protection
- threat detection
- scheduled scans for all drives
- ability to quarantine suspicious files
- detect malicious activity in public networks
10. Be Diligent in Updating Software and Firmware
Once you’ve invested in creating a strong security system, you must remember to keep it up-to-date. Regularly patching and upgrading software and firmware is an integral part of any cyber security strategy. Hackers often exploit system vulnerabilities by targeting unpatched systems.
Therefore, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest updates and patches for all your applications and devices. It’s best practice to set up automated updates so you don’t have to check for any new versions or patches manually.
Not all software developers issue regular updates, but if they do, be sure to install them! You should also keep an eye out for any end-of-life software or hardware and replace them with more secure versions. Not doing so could render your systems vulnerable to attacks.
11. Create Strong and Varied Passwords
Believe your password is secure because it’s your pet’s name and your favorite number? Think twice. Cyberthieves have unleashed powerful algorithms that can effortlessly crack passwords in a matter of seconds.
So what can you do to avoid being a victim? Create strong passwords for all your accounts and services, and avoid using personal information.
One of the best practices for creating strong passwords is to include a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and special characters. As an added layer of protection, never use the same password for different accounts—this way, if one password gets compromised, your other accounts will still remain secure.
And don’t forget the most important step: Change all your passwords regularly! This ensures that no unauthorized users will have access to your bank accounts or data.
12. Implement Biometric Security Measures
When it comes to physical security, nothing beats the power of biometrics. By providing fast authentication, secure access management, and precise employee identification, biometrics can become the ultimate guardian of your organization’s safety.
Biometrics become crucial in verifying user identities and granting access to valuable assets. It comes in various forms, such as:
- fingerprint scanning
- facial recognition
- retina scans
- voice identification
Biometric cybersecurity measures are becoming more advanced and reliable with time, so make sure that you implement them to ensure your organization’s data is secured against any threats.
BONUS TIP: Hire a reliable cybersecurity consultant!
Cybersecurity is no joke, and it’s best to leave the job to the experts. A qualified cybersecurity consultant will be able to identify any weak spots in your operating systems and help you establish an effective security strategy that meets your needs.
Plus, consultants are on top of the latest trends and technologies, which means they can provide valuable advice on how you can optimize your current security protocols for maximum safety.
Looking for Long-Term Data Management Solutions?
As the world evolves into a more digitalized landscape, security threats will always be present. That’s why you need all the help you can get to protect your data and systems from cyber attacks.
But why worry when you can opt for long-term solutions?
At StarTechUP, we provide comprehensive data management solutions with our managed IT services! Get end-to-end security protocols that are tailored to your organization’s needs and goals. From implementing cyber security best practices to monitoring and protecting your systems, our experts will ensure that all of your data is securely managed.
Ready to step up your cybersecurity game?
Contact us today for a free consultation! We’ll help you craft a secure environment so that you can focus on running your business without any worries.