How Can Your Organization Improve Cyber Security in the New Year?
As 2023 is coming to a close and 2024 offers a sense of a clean slate for most businesses and organizations, it's a good time to review the steps to improve cyber security. Small and large companies alike can benefit from a review of their vulnerabilities and team training to update employees of the latest security issues. According to Statistica, the average cost of a data breach in the United States amounted to $9.48 million, up from $9.44 million in the previous year. This being the case, it is worth the time, tools, and training to be proactive in taking steps to improve cyber security. As a kick-off to the new year, let’s revisit some of the ways your business can strengthen its security and stay on top of current cyber threats.
Assess Your Risk
Every business, whether they hire a managed service provider or have their own IT department, should regularly conduct a risk assessment to determine what areas are vulnerable to attacks. A cyber security plan is an optimal way to root out vulnerabilities and plan for potential cyber events. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers a cybersecurity planning tool (The Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0) to help you build a custom strategy and cybersecurity plan based on your unique business needs.
We often think of technical training as something that happens as we onboard a new employee, but training in regards to cyber security should be ongoing as threats come to light and as team members find their skills of identifying malicious red flags are in need of honing. Training should include best practices of how to spot phishing emails, use good internet browsing practices, avoid suspicious downloads, enable authentication tools and protect sensitive vendor and customer information.
Implement Software Updates
In an ideal world, software would always update automatically. Unfortunately, technology doesn't always follow the rules. That means your organization should be sure that software updates are being manually completed when autonomous conditions do not comply.
Install Anti-Viral Software
Every year, managed service providers or IT departments should make sure all business computers are equipped with antivirus software and are updated regularly. Additionally, software vendors supply patches throughout the year to adjust security software in response to hackers' attempts at targeting vulnerabilities.
Secure & Backup Data
Small or large, every business should have a backup plan and a disaster recovery plan in case the unthinkable occurs. The only way to avoid extensive downtime or worse after an attack is to have a recent backup to continue on with.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a security feature when logging into software that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Often a password, biometric or other credential is meant to enhance security for your network and devices. With the flip of the calendar, a new year begins and that means it's time to shore up your cyber security and ensure that your organization is doing all it can to be proactive and vigilant against the many attack vectors facing the tech world in 2024.