2018 is upon us so here are our top five tips for things you can do to improve your cybersecurity in the new year. Cybersecurity has been the most critical issue in 2017, and that’s not going to change. If you haven’t begun addressing your organization’s cybersecurity defense, let’s start now!
#1 Train Your Employees
The best way to improve your IT security is to train your employees on best security practices. Educate them so they can recognize and avoid cyber threats like phishing and scams. Teach them about protecting sensitive information. Humans are the weakest link in your security defense: with a single click in an email they can open the door for hackers. You should have a network firewall, but don’t forget your employees are a firewall too.
#2 Create Security Policies & Enforce Them
Do your employees know what they are expected to do and not do to protect your data? Do you have enforceable, written rules on how your organization’s equipment and data can be used? Do you have a plan in place for properly reporting security threats? Security policies answer questions like these. Create security policies and make sure your employees read and acknowledge them. And take a moment to update your employee handbook or other written policies to include security rules, social media directives, and more.
#3 Assess Your Network for Vulnerabilities
If you’ve never had your IT network assessed for weaknesses and vulnerabilities — do it right away. You will probably discover holes in your security that you never even expected. But that’s OK! The point is that you find out before hackers do, or before the next ransomware strain takes advantage of unpatched, outdated software or hardware.
#4 Back Up Your Data
Ransomware emerged as a huge threat in 2017, with many high-profile global attacks in the news. And ransomware isn’t a problem that only “bigger companies” face. Smaller businesses must deal with ransomware and cyberattacks too. That’s why we recommend backing up your data. Restoring from a data backup is the best — and sometimes the only way — of recovering from a ransomware attack. In general, having a reliable data backup solution is just good business practice anymore too. It’ll improve your security and it will improve your ability to recover should a catastrophe hit. Alternatively, if you already have a backup solution, check that it’s working. Review your backup reports closely. Ask your backup provider about test restores — do they happen regularly? Are you sure you can restore data from a backup in an emergency?
#5 Monitor Your Network
Here’s what we know many business leaders are asking: How do I even know if my network is under attack? How do I know if there are threats in my network? If a security breach happened to me, would I even know about it? What do you do when you don’t know what’s going on? One of the answers is network security monitoring. A service like this can securely monitor your network’s traffic and connected devices to detect threats internally and externally. Network security monitoring tells you what’s happening. If you want to get a leg up on security defense, consider this.
Security Will Be Just As Important in 2018
Cybersecurity isn’t going anywhere. It’s a top concern for everyone and we predict it will continue to be the biggest technology issue in 2018 and beyond. It’s time to get serious about it, even if you’re a small organization, because it doesn’t matter what size you are: the consequences of cyberattacks and security breaches are always big.