As more and more business is done online, personal information, company data, and IT systems become prominent targets for malicious hackers. Ransomware being one particular concern. Ransomware locks you out of your IT system until you agree to pay a set amount. Payment is usually requested in untraceable Bitcoin. This method is predicted to cost the business world over $260 billion over the next 10 years.
Get Some Outside Help
Some might argue that it is impossible to completely secure an internet-connected IT system. Still, whether this is possible or not, there are steps you can take to make the job of malicious intrusion very difficult for even the best cyber-criminal. It’s probably safe to assume that you aren’t a cybersecurity expert, so one of the first steps you can take is to get some help.
One of the most effective methods of preventing unwanted intrusion is employing managed IT services. These companies can protect yours for a relatively small monthly fee by providing an extra layer of cybersecurity. This is done using a mixture of techniques, including malware prevention, data backup, software updating, and proactive network monitoring.
Even in 2021, a company’s employees are still a frequent target and access point for hackers. Social engineering is still alive and well. It isn’t uncommon to find employees and network administrators alike using invalid username and password combinations. Although social engineering no longer involves using the phone, hackers have developed sophisticated phishing techniques to gain unauthorized access to company systems.
Therefore, the onus is on you to ensure that your employees are aware of phishing and how to spot it. Email security, password management, and interdepartmental remote device security should also be considered. Good anti-malware will help secure online access and email, while password managers like LastPass are excellent for password security. You could also consider using a VPN for extra protection.
Consider SaaS and Haas
Hardware and software also provide a gateway for those skilled in exploitation. Time and time again, outdated software has been the cause of severe vulnerability intrusion. Microsoft’s multiple vulnerabilities and Flash are prime examples. Until vulnerabilities like these are patched, they pose a severe threat to the integrity of your online security. Subscribing to software services ensures that you always have access to the most up-to-date apps.
Hardware can also provide opportunities to hackers. Outdated technologies develop vulnerabilities as they age. And cybercriminals may become aware of these. Fax machines, printers, and video conference systems have been used as entry points. As a business, it can be expensive to stay ahead of the game with the latest hardware. Still, hardware-as-a-service will provide you with the latest available tech.
Use Encryption Whenever Possible
Of course, an effective method of ensuring the privacy of data is encryption. Unfortunately, it is now known that encryption isn’t 100% effective as previously thought. Still, military-grade GCHQ and NSA software aside, encryption is a tough challenge for any cyber-criminal. Encryption essentially prevents a file from being opened by unauthorized personnel. Therefore, maintaining the security integrity of anything contained therein.
Examples of sensitive information are confidential medical records, company finances, employee personal data, or patents and designs. However, for complete security, establishing a company-wide policy of encrypting all data is becoming a trend in business. Additionally, hardware encryption is available for laptops, mobile devices, and USB flash drives. Upcoming Windows 11 also requires a motherboard with a TPM encryption chip.