Cyber Security Best Practices
Data breaches are costly and oftentimes devastating attacks for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). Even if the quantity of information available is less than a larger company, many SMBs are targeted because their networks are vulnerable and easy to attack. While not every company has the benefits of an IT security expert on staff, or an unlimited cyber-security budget to work with, any SMB can prioritize and implement a few systems to protect their data and thwart cyber criminals. Here are 3 cyber security best practices:
It is important that all employees, regardless of their level of access, be educated on the threat of cyber criminals. A breach can happen to anyone on the network, so a SMB needs to provide training and protocols across the board. Employees should be able to reference a regularly updated checklist or other documentation that maps out exactly what is required for network security. This is particularly true for employees who are working from home, or for companies that allow personal or mobile devices to connect to their network. Understanding what home network firewalls are required, what kind of password protection policies apply to phones and watches, and what to look for in regards to phishing emails, are foundational cyber-security policies that a company needs to clearly communicate to all employees.
Education is the start of cyber-security best practices, but action is needed to protect your network. SMBs should consider providing firewall software and support to all employees devices. They should also implement Multi-factor Identification as another layer of protection against potential breaches. In case a network breach does occur, employees should be required to have anti-malware software installed on all devices. Regular back-up schedules should also be implemented to ensure that no data is lost. Being proactive and setting up employees for cyber-security success will provide a SMB with layers of network security that can be continually reviewed and strengthened.
Knowledge is power, and tools make the work possible, but enforcing the protocols and demanding accountability are what strengthens your cyber security. Weak password practices are one of the biggest areas of vulnerability in SMBs – enforcing a frequent (and strong) password change policy is an important practice for all employees. Strict mobile device and at-home policies are also crucial best practices to protect your data. With the workplace becoming more and more mobile and spread out across a number of devices, the expectations and practices need to be upheld and enforced across the board in order for employees to take security seriously.
By focusing in on these 3 cyber security best practices, any SMB – regardless of budget, internal capabilities, or time sensitivity – can take the necessary steps to secure their network. Catalyst Connection can provide a tailor made plan to help educate, execute, and enforce your approach. Through a comprehensive 4 step plan that covers Discovery, Remediation, Testing and Validating, and Monitoring and Reporting, Catalyst Connection’s team of experts can partner with your company and help strengthen your vitally important cyber security program.