A Proactive Cybersecurity Strategy Can Strengthen Your Defenses Against Hackers
Industrialized cultures have implemented wide-reaching infrastructure to seemingly make us safe and secure. If your home or business catches on fire, you can call the local fire department. Someone gets injured, and ambulance can speed to their aid. These and other safeguards make us feel increasingly secure because they are all just three digits away, 9-1-1.
But the unsettling reality about all these protections is that none of them keep us out of harm’s way. They are all support systems we rely on after the fact. The question business leaders may want to consider is whether you want to suffer the damage of a cyber-attack and then call a technician to clean up after a devastating hack.
Or, would you rather work with a managed IT cybersecurity consultant to harden your defenses so that your organization doesn’t suffer a crippling breach in the first place? If you rank among proactive thought leaders, these are three ways a cybersecurity expert can help build your ramparts now.
Understand How Threat Actors Target Your Organization
A common misconception exists that hackers focus their time and energy on big corporations to make big-league thefts. Unfortunately for small and mid-sized businesses, nothing could be further from the truth. According to a Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, upwards of 28 percent of data breaches were suffered by small businesses. The more prevalent individual threat actions taken include the following.
- Spyware (Malware) 46 percent
- Capture stored data (Malware) 34 percent
- Brute force (Hacking) 34 percent
- Use of stolen creds (Hacking) 30 percent
- Export data (Malware) 29 percent
- Phishing (Social) 22 percent
- Password dumper (Malware) 17 percent
Given the exponential growth in remote workforce business strategies, cybercriminals are using these criminal methods to target unsuspecting employees to gain access to business networks. It many cases, digital thieves simply troll for vulnerabilities and discover the business size and type after the fact. Hackers treat online theft like a business. An easy breach equals easy money.
Secure Your Remote IT Infrastructure
Cybercriminals invest a great deal of time and energy targeting remote workers. They see them as weak links in your company defenses because they too often utilize devices, programs, and networks with subpar cybersecurity. Common deficiencies may include residential-strength routers, unpatched programs, less-than-secure antivirus software, firewalls, and login profiles. Business leaders leveraging the Cloud would be wise to implement proactive measures that include the following.
- Virtual Private Networks
- Enterprise-Level Firewalls & Antivirus Packages
- Improved Endpoint Device Cybersecurity
- Two-Factor Authentication for Worker Login Profiles
- Encrypted Data Transmissions
- Restricted Network Access Privileges
By proactively closing potential security vulnerabilities, you establish a more robust defense. And by limiting network access rather than using open-ended login profiles, a hacker cannot seize control of your entire wealth of digital assets even if they breach the system.
Empower Workforce To Deter Threat Actors
Hackers may view employees — particularly remote workers — as the low-hanging fruit. This does not necessarily have to be the case. A well-informed and trained team member can just as easily form part of a determined frontline defense.
Consider working with a third-party cybersecurity firm to craft a company-wide defense strategy that hones employee knowledge. Cybersecurity awareness and training can include threat recognition tips, webinars, and real-time information about emerging threats, among others. Leaving valued staff members out of the loop or behind in the informational curve means you could be cleaning up after a disastrous data breach or ransomware attack.
It’s true you can dial a cybersecurity firm for emergency services, much you like you would call 911 after your house is already ablaze. On the other hand, you could invest in a sprinkler suppression system that douses the flame before any damage occurs. Proactive cybersecurity can save millions of dollars in losses, downtime, and damage to your industry reputation.