National Cybersecurity month is coming to an end. Let’s take a minute to recap some of the most important cybersecurity basics for you to do as a business to stay cyber secure.
When it comes to cybersecurity for your business there are three main areas to focus on: infrastructure, email security, and account/system configuration. Here is an overview of the basic principles, guidelines, and tools to safeguard each facet.
Your IT infrastructure is the collection of all your hardware, software, networks, and facilities used to support your IT. This means all your servers, computers, networks, printers, firewalls, anti-virus software, and so on. It’s crucial that you create your IT infrastructure with integrity.
Infrastructure integrity means that you have set things up in a way that promotes safety and security. It’s all about layering. Layer in firewalls, anti-virus, backups, etc. This provides your system with integrity and gives a foundation for security. This way if one of your defenses is bypassed or compromised, there are other defenses in place to still protect you.
Executech technicians are skilled in helping organizations establish infrastructure integrity. They have years of experience and leading industry knowledge. Therefore, they will help you create an IT infrastructure that will keep you and your data safe. Contact Executech today for a free consultation that can help you game plan improvements to your infrastructure.
External Penetration Test
A penetration test will assess your network and look for vulnerabilities. It’s important to have external penetration tests done regularly. An external penetration test is where an outside company or individual will look for vulnerabilities in your network and system in the manner that a potential hacker would. Penetration tests are the equivalent of practice for a sports team. You practice and attempt what might happen in the game so that you can be ready for it when it happens. An external penetration test gives you a chance to have weaknesses exposed in a safe environment and give you time to sure up your defense before the real attacks happen.
Internal Breach Detection
Tools that will alert you when a security breach takes place. 66% of security breaches go unnoticed for weeks or months. These tools will help you to catch a breach early. By using effective internal breach detection tools you’ll be able to greatly reduce the effects of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks that go unnoticed all the virus or vulnerability to run through your systems unchecked. This will maximize your data loss and greatly increase your subsequent costs.
Next Generation Firewalls
Intrusion Prevention, Dynamic Blacklisting, Content Filtering are all features you should look for in a firewall. A firewall is your first line of defense and cutting-edge ones will stop most cyber attacks. A firewall is a defensive layer around your computer network that will defect and defend against most cyber attacks.
Firewalls are foundational pieces of every cyber defense. However, a firewall alone will not keep you safe from the many kinds of possible cyber attacks. So, make sure you start with a firewall and build your defenses from there.
Tools that help keep your internet activity and website secure. These can help keep you safe from many forms of internet-delivered viruses or attacks like trojan horses, malware, or some ransomware.
Sophos Intercept X
Sophos is the only product that helps to predict and stop malware attacks using AI. It uses machine learning to anticipate the next move of malware and stop it before it can tear through your defenses.
Cutting edge firewalls that help to prevent all kinds of cyber attacks on all of your systems; in office, remote, and mobile. Sonicwall has a wide range of product offerings so that every business can find the caliber and price of firewall that their organization needs.
Email is an essential form of business communication and as such, it’s one of the most common methods of cyber breaches. Hackers are very cunning in the way they manipulate email accounts. Many malware and ransomware attacks are delivered via email. These three tips are settings that you can change on your email account that will intercept many infected or phishing emails. Make sure these settings are enabled in order to protect your data:
Auto filters out emails that are spam and could carry cyber threats
Auto filters out emails from locations you wouldn’t be receiving emails from
Block Email from Yourself
Hackers will imitate your email address and send you malicious emails. This allows them to bypass many normal spam filters.
Part of your IT infrastructure is your account configuration. Account configuration is the way that you set up your accounts, how you can access them, and how you store or backup data. It’s important when configuring your accounts that you make them secure and always have recurring backups. Each of the following measures is important to make sure you’re safe.
Two-factor authentication is when you need two checkpoints to access an account. Often it’s used with email accounts of certain web services. Usually, the two steps are 1) a username/password combo 2) a text, email, or push authorization. Adding in that second step dramatically increase your security and makes your account nearly impossible to hack.
People are hesitant to use two-factor authentication because they feel it will be cumbersome and add a lot of extra time. However, that’s not the case. The technology is sophisticated enough that generally, it will add less than 10 seconds of additional time to logging in.
Backups are the holy grail of computing. Make sure you are having consistent backups and replications taken to ensure you’re prepared in case you’re hacked or lose your data. Backups, replications, and images have been mainstream in business for a while and are essential. Without current and complete backups, replications, and images you are at risk of losing everything. So, every IT plan needs to incorporate backups.
These maintain logs of your network and important programs. If your data is lost you can easily revert to the old version. Revision histories almost completely erase the reboot time needed when data is lost or compromised. It’s also critical in case there is an employee error or mistake made to the network because you can easily revert back to how things were before.
Are your network and system up to your industry’s regulatory compliances? Industries that handle sensitive information will have certain standards that their systems need to be kept at in order to protect customer information. Executech’s technicians can perform a free audit to check your systems compared to the regulatory compliance of your industry and see if any changes need to be made.
Ensure that your company has a disaster recovery plan in place for IT. Disaster recovery plans establish protocols when your systems go down or are breached. So, if everything goes down, what do we need back first, second, third etc., and how are we going to do that.
Cybersecurity needs to be a priority for every business. Don’t let cybersecurity intimidate you. These cybersecurity basics are given to help any business leader have direction in where to direct their cybersecurity efforts. From here it’s helpful to consult IT professionals who can provide expert advice into your cybersecurity objectives. Also, it’s often a good decision for many businesses to outsource their IT to a managed service provider (MSP) to alleviate the strain of IT maintenance from others in your organization.
To learn more about cybersecurity and how you can better protect your data, get started with a free business assessment for IT Services in Seattle, IT Support in Spokane, or Managed IT Services in Utah or Oregon.