It is easy to see that data is essential, but it can be difficult to measure just how important it is to protect that data. Some studies claim that up to 60% of small businesses that have suffered a cyber-attack fail within 6 months. While other variables could affect that statistic, it makes sense that a breach would have a severe impact. Not only is there the loss of data, but there is also the cost of recovering from the attack, the cost of protecting against future attacks, and the possible loss of trust from your clients. Regardless of the size of your company, network protection is the top thing you can expect to increase in the coming year.
Increasing network security may not mean ditching the efforts you already have in place, but instead improving on them. Here are the top items to focus on:
While cyber-attacks may seem faceless, the human element should not be underestimated when securing your network. Educate employees against phishing and other security scams. What may seem like common knowledge to you may not be universally known. Training employees on traditional and current scams is a smart way to avoid a simple mistake.
Make sure your security policies cover everything you deem essential to protect your company and then verify that employees have all read and agreed to these policies. This further educates your employees on best practices within your organization, and then you can then set systems in place to ensure employees cannot either accidentally or purposefully break any of these policies.
Regular network assessments help find vulnerabilities before attackers and protect against them. Penetration tests are simulated attacks that evaluate how secure your network is, and should be included in your routine assessments.
Some systems will monitor the traffic, devices, and internal/external threats your network has and can notify you of them. Constant vigilance is needed to protect your network fully, and monitoring systems provide that.
Ransomware is an ever-growing threat, and it was never a small threat, to begin with. Ransomware encrypts your files, so they become unusable, and demands a payment to decrypt them. If this is not addressed, not only is your data useless to you, it may become available on the dark web. Reliable offsite data backups are essential in the case of a ransomware attack. Reliable is the key term here, as some backups may be susceptible to attack.