Security remains one of the most important areas that businesses need to focus on. How can you expand your security capabilities? What can you consider doing today to improve your business’s defensive measures? Here are some of our top tips.
1. Put the fundamentals in place
The cybersecurity landscape evolves rapidly, but some recommendations remain constant: Make sure you have a business-grade firewall and a data backup solution in place.
A next generation managed firewall solution is still an elementary and mandatory piece of any organization’s perimeter security. An off-the-shelf consumer firewall is not enough (a topic we’ve discussed before), so look for a managed firewall designed for intense business use.
Similarly, data backup is a critical security measure in a world where ransomware is prevalent and catastrophic. Data backup is also a number one protective measure for physical disasters. Backing up your data regularly and to an off-site location gives your business peace of mind and a number of options in case of an emergency.
2. Weigh Endpoint Protection Against Traditional Anti-Virus
What’s all this talk about endpoint security? Are anti-virus and anti-malware solutions dead? Quick answer: No, but endpoint protection is an advanced system of multiple security solutions, including anti-virus, which is far more effective and proactive in defending against sophisticated cyberattacks.
No security defense is ever going to be 100% effective against all cybersecurity attacks. But we can aim for progressive improvement. Security tools evolve to counteract changing cyberattack methods. Endpoint protection is now a must-have tool in any organization’s arsenal, especially now that it is affordable for small and medium-sized businesses.
OXEN is convinced that endpoint security is important for our clients and for our own digital estate. We’ve upgraded our managed IT services to include it!
3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication is another must-have for businesses and individuals. Turn on MFA (also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) for any account and system that you can. MFA is a great way to defend against brute force attacks and phishing attempts. If you’re using Microsoft 365, MFA is already required and in place for a number of your critical tools. But investigate your other systems, applications, and accounts to turn this feature on.
And this is one security recommendation we want to highly encourage for individuals, not just businesses. Strengthening your personal accounts – like social media and personal email – with MFA helps protect your identity and private information. That layer of security can help protect your professional identity and your workplace too.
4. Protect Your Remote Workers
Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, an unprecedented number of people are working from home for the first time. Many businesses and organizations have had to wrestle with rapidly switching to remote work, even in industries where telecommuting was previously rare. This has, unfortunately, led to a prime target for cyberattackers: Remote workers on unprotected home networks, using unsecured connections.
Help your remote workers understand how to secure their home networks and set up VPN connections for sensitive data access. Remind your employees of basic security procedures, such as setting strong passwords, guarding physical devices, and more, using a checklist such as OXEN’s “18 Tips for Remote Work”.
5. Educate Your Employees About Security Best Practices
Current threats and new scams are constantly appearing. Security isn’t a “set it and forget it” project. An integral part of continuous security measures is educating your employees about new threats and how to respond to suspicious activity.
People are often the weakest link in security, but they can also become your greatest asset – a “human firewall” – when they are trained to recognize threats.