How to modernize cybersecurity at your organization
When is the last time you looked at the cybersecurity policies and procedures at your organization to ensure they’re still up to the highest standards? If you haven’t taken a look recently —or ever —you really need to update your process. Cyber risks change quickly, as do best practices to keep your business secure.
Read this article to discover the best ways to modernize cybersecurity at your organization.
Research shows that two in five workers admit they click on links, or open attachments, in emails even if they don’t know who the sender is. This statistic paints a dangerous picture — employees are one of the greatest cybersecurity risks at your organization.
The moment one of your employees opens an attachment from an unknown sender, they are opening a path for malware to infiltrate. To curb the threat, employers should offer continuous training to employees so they can stay abreast of modern cyberspace threats.
- Perform “live-fire” training: Many companies perform regular “phishing tests”, which is the practice of sending employees fake phishing emails to see who falls for it. Then, organizations can pinpoint if there are particular departments that need more or customized training to proactively identify malware threats.
- Start early, perform often: The earlier you can instill strong cybersecurity habits in your employees the better. Add cybercrime training to your existing onboarding program, and then continue to monitor and evaluate the progress of your employees over the years.
The more informed your employees are about cybercrime, the fewer instances your organization will face a breach.
Get top-level buy-in
To have top-notch security, you need to take a top-down approach. Strong IT infrastructure can only be developed with total buy-in from executives and board members.
The training and architecture required for security takes:
- Continuous attention
This can’t be a one-and-done type of initiative. So, gather key stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss the risks associated with cybercrime. For example, during a meeting, talk about what would happen to your organization’s bottom line if your company was affected by ransomware and couldn’t access your systems for several hours. By describing the costs associated with a lack of business continuity, you can reiterate the importance of cybersecurity to key stakeholders.
Update your security policies
Training and discussion won’t go anywhere if there aren’t rules to govern the importance of your efforts. Write down guidelines for your organization to abide by for further protection. For example:
- Password guidelines: Instill password requirements like a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters and numbers. Provide tools for employees to store and share passwords securely, and make it easy for them to update passwords while maintaining their strength.
- Work from home instructions: If you allow employees to work remotely, ensure they aren’t accessing public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks. Consider providing employees VPNs, or pay for cell phones with hotspots to maintain privacy.
- Laptop controls: Require that employees lock their laptops whenever they aren’t at their desk to prevent unauthorized access.
- Added layers of protection: Use two-factor authentication for all work and personal accounts.
- Require patches and updates: Inform employees to regularly update anti-malware programs, web browsers and other programs to minimize malware attempts.
Create an incident response plan
If your organization is breached, how will you respond? Be prepared by creating a plan before an incident occurs. Your methodology should include the following areas:
- Define, analyze, identify, and prepare: It’s critical for you to understand every type of cyber risk that threatens your business. How you will identify them, and what team can you assemble to respond should an incident occur?
- Contain: When a breach does occur, you should know the exact steps to stop the threat in its tracks. How can you isolate the incident without causing further damage?
- Eradicate and Recover: The stage means that you have cleansed your system from the threat, and all systems are restored to normal operation.
- Follow-up: Anytime an incident occurs, it’s wise to learn from the breach. Collect as many details from the breach as possible so you can learn how it happened, what damage it caused, and how it can be stopped in the future.
For more information on modernizing cybersecurity at your organization, read these helpful resources:
- Why You Should Consider a GDPR Password Policy
- Five Tips for Creating a Better Password Policy at your Company
- Five File Sharing Habits You Need to Break Immediately