12 October 2023
8 Ways to Tighten Cyber Security in Your Business
In an age where digitalisation and connectivity define the modern business landscape, concerns about cyber security loom large. With headlines consistently highlighting data breaches and cyberattacks, businesses of all sizes must be vigilant in tightening their cyber security measures. The security of your organisation’s digital assets and sensitive information is not only vital for its survival but also for maintaining the trust of customers, partners, and stakeholders.
1. Increase Password Security and Enable MFA
One of the foundational pillars of cyber security is identity security. Password management has evolved from a convenience to an absolute necessity. In today’s online world, it’s virtually impossible to remember unique and robust passwords for all your online accounts. The solution? Embrace password managers that generate and store complex passwords securely. Additionally, enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on all critical accounts to provide an extra layer of protection.
2. Assess Vendor and Supplier Risk
Your cyber security is only as strong as your weakest link. That’s why it’s essential to consider not only your internal systems but also the cyber security practices of your third-party vendors and suppliers. These external partners often have access to your networks, data, or systems, making them potential entry points for cyber threats. When onboarding new vendors, it is vital you conduct a comprehensive cyber security risk assessment. This assessment should evaluate the vendor’s security policies, practices, and controls. It should also verify their compliance with industry standards and regulations relevant to your business.
3. Bolster Accounts Processes
Manual checks, including the verification of bank details via phone for suppliers, continue to be indispensable in maintaining cyber security. Processes like payroll and accounts payable demand a meticulous eye for detail. It’s essential to implement rigorous controls and thorough review mechanisms to detect any discrepancies or irregularities before they escalate into significant security concerns.
4. Tighten Data Security
It’s crucial to restrict access to sensitive information, allowing only those with a legitimate need to access it. Role-based access controls provide an effective way to ensure that employees can only reach data relevant to their specific job roles, reducing the risk of unauthorised access. To fortify your data security efforts, consider implementing advanced data loss prevention (DLP) tools that can identify and address potential data security threats in real-time.
5. Test Backups and Disaster Recovery
In the event of a cyber incident, having a solid backup and disaster recovery plan is your lifeline. This applies even to cloud-based systems. While cloud providers offer formidable security features, the responsibility for data protection rests squarely on your shoulders. It’s imperative to consistently back up your data, rigorously test your recovery processes, and verify that your systems can be swiftly restored in the event of a cyber breach.
6. Protect Online Reputation
Your online reputation is a precious asset. Safeguarding it is paramount, as cyberattacks not only put your data at risk but also threaten your brand’s image. To fortify your digital presence, employ robust security measures for your website and social media channels. Ensure your website’s software is consistently updated and patched and opt for secure hosting services. Regularly monitor your social media platforms for any signs of suspicious activity and respond swiftly to potential threats.
7. Implement Education and Training
Your employees are the first line of defence against cyber threats. Consider investing in comprehensive security awareness training programs that keep your staff informed about the latest threats and equip them with best practices for prevention. Regularly conduct phishing simulation exercises to assess your team’s ability to identify and respond to phishing attempts. Remember, cyber security is a collective effort, and your employees play a critical role in maintaining a secure digital environment.
8. Consider an External Audit
External audits and compliance assessments offer valuable insights into your organisation’s cyber security posture. These assessments not only identify potential vulnerabilities but also provide actionable recommendations to enhance your defences. Achieving compliance with established cyber security frameworks such as the Essential Eight, NIST, or ISO 27001 not only strengthens your security measures but also sends a clear message to stakeholders that you prioritise cyber security as a fundamental aspect of your business operations.
When it comes to cyber security, prevention is always better than cure. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance and adaptation. By addressing the key areas of concern and adopting a proactive cyber security stance, your business can mitigate risks, protect valuable assets, and maintain a solid reputation in an increasingly digital business landscape.