It can be challenging for businesses to stay on top of their cybersecurity. They feel that their relative anonymity protects them from hackers who are looking to break into Fortune 500 networks and financial institutions. Unfortunately, hackers view their sites as ready-made training grounds.
Disruptions caused by hackers can harm sales, interfere with operations, and corrupt or expose data. Consumers tend to avoid websites that have been hacked in the past out of concern that future attacks may compromise credit cards or personal information stored on the site.
It gets worse. The average ransomware payment was $111,605 in 2020, which the average cost of a data breach in companies with fewer than 500 employees was $2.35M in 2020.
We’ve put together three steps businesses should take to meet their need for cybersecurity without the expense of maintaining a full cyber team.
Human beings are one of the weakest links in a company’s line of defense. They are susceptible to giving away passwords in response to phishing and social engineering scams, use passwords that are easy to remember and type in rather than secure, and try to reduce security measures to make it easier to log in.
Provide your employees with comprehensive security training and follow it up periodically with supplemental or annual training sessions. Your employees need to recognize that they will be targeted by hackers, even if they are working at a small company, and how to protect company data. Consider offering some type of reward for those who complete the training – the price will be significantly less than dealing with the cost of a cyberattack.
Your IT team needs to take a proactive approach to secure your network to the best of their ability. Unsecured networks can provide an opening for cyber-criminals to break into your network and steal data or interfere with your operations.
Updating patches isn’t glamorous and can be time-consuming, but your IT team must close holes in the network through patches. Create patch management processes and policies to ensure that they are closed as soon as patches become available.
Limit Access Based on Roles
Role-based access (RBA) is a critical safeguard to protecting information from leaking, particularly with SaaS software. While it can be time-consuming to map out user roles and define access privileges, RBA limits exposure if passwords are hacked or employees share access with outsiders.
RBA provides information to users based on what they need to know. If a user account is compromised, the company’s exposure is limited to the account that was exploited. It helps isolate the threat and protects the integrity of the remaining data.
While many SaaS applications offer RBA, it’s vital that you provide the right level of privileges to each role. Security steps aren’t effective when they aren’t deployed correctly.
Close Vulnerabilities and Keep Your Company Safe
While there is no substitute for a comprehensive cybersecurity team, taking these steps will give you a leg up in protecting your data, and make cyberattacks more difficult.