Neglecting your cybersecurity can leave your business vulnerable to cyberattacks. Getting the basics right can make all the difference when it comes to how much risk you are exposed to in the digital world.
Despite being easy not only to implement but also to maintain, far too many businesses are disregarding fundamental cybersecurity measures. An analysis by Lares in the first half of this year found that five easily remedied – and easily exploitable – vulnerabilities were common in 95% of penetration tests.
To stop your organisation being exposed to unnecessary cyberattacks, you only need to have five simple measures installed, configured and functional.
Anti-virus is such a fundamental part of digital security that it usually comes free with most computers, laptops and even mobile phones you can buy. Anti-virus software scans your devices and networks for malware. It detects risks and removes malicious software whenever it finds it. You need to ensure that your Anti-virus is up-to-date and runs regular checks across every machine in your network. If you’re dealing with particularly sensitive data, it’s worth investing in more robust systems that the ones you get for free.
Given today’s rapid pace of technological development, it’s not enough to simply install your security software and trust it to do its job indefinitely. New threats evolve and new software is developed to combat them. Ensuring that your security software is up to date is one of the most important things you can do to protect your data.
The famous 2017 Equifax breach saw 143 million customers’ data compromised, but could have been avoided entirely if the company had patched a publicly disclosed vulnerability in its web server.
Anti-virus alone is not enough to protect you from the kind of threats your network is likely to face online. You need the kind of protection that can cover your entire online environment. This includes your network security, firewalls, anti-spyware software, intrusion prevention software, and it all needs to be monitored to make sure it is functioning properly. This might mean subscribing to a number of different security solutions, or it could mean trusting a company that offers an umbrella service covering a range of them. Whatever you think will be best for your business will be your call, but you do need something.
If someone gets their hands on your device, it is far easier for them to access your information than you might think. Using software that can be downloaded for free and hardware that can be bought cheaply, cybercriminals can access not only the data stored on your harddrive, but also your private emails. Encrypting your devices can be done in a matter of seconds and can massively reduce the risk of someone getting their hands on your information.
Multifactor authentication on Email
Hackers can break as much as 90% of passwords in less than 24 hours. Even if everyone who uses your network has the most secure password possible, it can’t hurt to double down on your security. Multifactor authentication adds an extra step when it comes to accessing your systems, combining password entry with another independent credential. It could be a security token sent to or generated by a separate device, or biometric verification such as the kind of fingerprint scan most mobiles can perform. This combination creates layers of defence that are harder for cybercriminals to break through.
These need to be implemented on every machine that access your corporate data and working to full effect. Basic security measures such as these could have prevented as much as 93% of the almost 160,000 cyberattacks reported in 2017.