Technology is now known as a valuable asset for modern businesses. It improves mobility, productivity, and ROI while decreasing expenses. Yet, as helpful as up-to-date innovations such as tablets, smartphones, PCs, and cloud computing are to small companies and organizations; they also pose a growing threat to security. Large corporations aren’t the only target for cyberattacks. Groups and charities can become a target also.
Financial records, customer details, employee data, and other sensitive information are probably stored on your business’s information technology (IT) devices. If you have cloud computing devices, you might also have sensitive data placed externally from your company.
Because of the growing security concern of using IT systems, having proper IT security becomes essential. IT security or cybersecurity involves strategies to safeguard computers, devices, networks, programs, and data from illegal access and leak of information. These methods ensure that sensitive business and customer information remains protected from cyber criminals and malicious attacks.
Altogether, this article outlined some ways to maintain proper IT system security so your business can avoid the negative impacts of a cyberattack.
Conduct Cybersecurity Training
There is a continuous increase in threats to IT systems, and each person’s data isn’t assured to be secured anymore. As a matter of fact, cybersecurity issues grew 600% in 2021. Although organizations use firewalls and other security software, employees are still the most usual targets for phishing.
Similarly, these entry points increase for a company with more employees, suggesting a growing threat of more phishing attacks. For such reasons, businesses shouldn’t undermine the need for employee training about various IT threats and the best practices to counter them.
Knowing the best practices against IT threats is one reason to integrate cybersecurity training in your organization. Yet, another reason to do so is that your business can avoid the repercussions of possible downtime from such threats.
Employees with proper cybersecurity training are more likely to immediately detect possible threats and notify the business about any incoming situations that may lead to downtime. Your business can avoid operational disruptions inside the company, and IT security teams can quarantine threats before they become worse and cause more damage to the company.
Limit User Access
Another way to secure your IT systems is to conduct access control. You must carefully take note of access control as part of your IT system security because of the amount of data you have and the possibility that a cybercriminal may access them.
It’s critical as it controls who or what can view or access any given resource in your network. In an IT security environment, this could mean who can access and edit a specific file, what types of equipment can be used, or who can use particular devices.
Know that access control works by determining users through proper verification of different login credentials, which can involve passwords and usernames, PINs, security tokens, and biometric scans.
Various access control systems also have multi-factor authentication (MFA), a security method that leads users to conduct different authentication methods to confirm their identity. Once a person is verified, access control allows them to have the proper level of access and permitted actions tied with that user’s IP address and credentials.
Likewise, there are various practices in integrating access control into your organization. You can start by allowing IT experts to record and create a baseline of existing access levels and controls. By doing so, you’ll see the gaps in your existing processes and immediately catch unwanted offenders.
Backup Your Data
Backing up your data means you have to make copies of all your files and store them in a device or cloud storage. The purpose of backup data is to have a safe and protected copy of your important documents in cases when the original is unavailable, lost, or destroyed.
Suppose your business experienced a ransomware attack, and all of your information has proper encryption and reliable backups. In that case, you may only experience losing one week’s worth of data or less, based on how often you perform backups. This is different from a business that only backs up its data every six months or none at all. They might be placed in a situation where they’ll have to pay a ransom or stop operating altogether.
As regular backups of sensitive information are vital, the good news is cloud services that store data off-site make it easier than ever. Yet, it still necessitates you to set up the schedule and be aware of the best practices for storing, creating, and restoring data backups.
As a standard measure, you must back up all data that can’t be replaced if stolen or lost. The data that should be backed up can consist of:
- Financial databases
Conduct Proper Password Protection
Using the correct password may seem easy, yet many cyber-attacks attained their goal precisely because of weak password protocols. Stolen or weak employee passwords accounts for 81% of hacking-related breaches in 2022. So, you must secure access to all equipment, sensitive data, and wireless networks with unique user names and passwords created for certain people.
If you’re thinking of how to generate a strong password, you can follow the steps below:
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols: Add random characters, letters, and numbers to have a more complicated password.
- Never repeat passwords: If you reuse similar passwords for other accounts, you risk credential stuffing attacks.
- Never use personal information as part of the password: You shouldn’t use names, birthdays, phone numbers, or addresses in your password.
- Avoid using actual words: Hackers have malicious programs designed to crack passwords by processing every word found in a dictionary. And so, avoid using proper nouns and other standalone dictionary words.
Take note of password length: Secured passwords must be 16 characters long to prevent a data breach.
Your IT system plays a part in increasing productivity, mobility, and ROI. Yet, it can become a target for cyberattacks. As such, your business must integrate proper security measures to protect it. This includes cybersecurity training, access control, regular data backups, and strong passwords.
Overall, when your organization has proper IT security, you can prevent downtime, loss of revenue, and negative impact on your reputation.