Top 6 Security Practices For Your Business
Keeping your company cyber-safe
When it comes to cybersecurity for your business, some practices need to be automatic, like brushing your teeth. Once set up and implemented, the effort is minimal, but the payoff is enormous for your company’s security posture. So let’s dig in – The top 6 security practices that should be happening in your company to protect from cyber threats.
1. Regularly Schedule Software Updates & Patching
OS patching is integral to keeping IT systems and applications in your cloud or on-premise environment safe from malicious users that exploit vulnerabilities. An effective patch management process can close vulnerabilities before malicious users or malware have an opportunity to use them.
So what is an effective patch management system? Performing patches regularly, utilizing Host-based Intrusion Detection Software & Tools, and measuring your actions and results.
2. Install Endpoint Protection
Endpoint protection solutions protect items such as phones, laptops, and tablets in addition to traditional servers and PCs & networks. Essentially, by setting network controls, functionalities, various processes, and protocols are used to prevent unauthorized access to enterprise networks and sensitive data within the network or on connected endpoints. Endpoint protection typically evaluates an endpoint before permitting access, such as the operating system, browser, and other applications, ensuring that they are up-to-date and meet defined enterprise security standards before an endpoint (such as a mobile device) is granted access. In doing so, endpoint protection prevents the introduction of security vulnerabilities through devices that don’t meet pre-defined security rules.
An anti-virus is a given at a bare minimum. However, a more robust option is using a Host-based, Intrusion Detection System (IDS). An IDS monitors & detects suspicious activities, then generates alerts when they are detected. Based upon these alerts, a security operations center (SOC) analyst or incident responder can investigate the issue and take the appropriate actions to remediate the threat.
3. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your account will add a step to the login process that requires the user to verify their identity. Users with MFA enabled will be required to use an authentication code generated by an authenticator application each time they log in to their account. This required proof acts as one more layer to protect you, your accounts, and your data.
4. Schedule Regular Backups AND Regular Restores
Backup is crucial for data protection. A regular data backup—preferably daily or weekly—saves your essential files from inevitable data loss situations due to everyday events such as system crash, malware infection, hard drive corruption and failure, etc.
Most importantly, test your backups. People often backup their files and forget about them. However, you must check the backup for data integrity and whether you can restore the files as intended. If not, recreate the backup. And never forget to encrypt the backup drive for data protection and unauthorized access.
5. Implement a Secure Password Policy
When it comes to passwords, encouraging your users to create strong passwords is only one more layer of defense in protecting your data. A policy can either be advisory or enforced by the computers system. It can be made a part of your organization’s official security awareness training program as well. Password length & complexity requirements are just two elements that help. As a rule of thumb, more characters are better.
- The password’ Atciex8!’ will take about 8 hours to crack a computer—eight characters with letters, numbers, and unique personalities.
- The Password’ Tscies1!cte8c’ has 13 characters with letters, numbers, and unique symbols that will take 2 million years to crack but are harder to remember by far.
- The password ‘This is a secure password!’ takes 15 octillion years for a computer to crack. It’s not always about the complexity, length matters a lot, and it is much easier to remember without complexity.
6. Continuous Training
With cybersecurity, the elements change in the blink of an eye. Keeping up with policies, training, threats, etc., has become an issue within itself to stay informed with skills and knowledge.
The biggest threat to your company’s security isn’t hackers; it is your employees. Daily, people open an email from unknown senders, click on unknown links and even print out sensitive info and leave it on the printer.
Links will be clicked, and viruses will happen, don’t turn them into an angry moment. Begin to grow your security culture with these issues and turn it into a teachable moment. Do not try to hide them under the rug, but instead use them as an example of how the team can get better.
Continually test your controls, your people, and your security products. Implement a security awareness program. Look for opportunities to celebrate the successes of the entire organization.
Monitoring and security software are vital components in any healthy business IT plan. But the human element of cyber security can’t be overlooked. Ensure that your employees have the tools—and especially the training—they need to help protect your business from a cyber attack.
We hope that these Top 6 Security Practices have provided insight into what you should be doing to keep your company cyber-safe. Let us know if you need guidance to understand if your company is protected. We are here to partner with you, understand your business requirements, and provide an appropriate recommendation for your industry to make you scalable for growth in the year to come. Contact us.