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Cybersecurity success — elevate your defense against cyber threats | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

As cybercrime continues to increase, organizations must consider actions to improve their cyber security and cyber resilience. There are constantly new ransomware and data breach headlines hitting the news, and, according to research, a company falls victim to a cyberattack every 39 seconds.

To bolster cybersecurity, organizations must maintain constant awareness, and they should regularly update systems, encrypt and backup data. Cyber security is an ongoing action, it requires constant vigilance as cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to exploit systems and steal data. In addition, 85 percent of all organizations consider their data as one of their most valuable assets, and hackers also share this view. Ransomware is not a problem that is going to go away on its own, especially as it continues to be very profitable for criminal cyber gangs. Having said that, there are many things that you and your organization can do to mitigate against becoming another victim of cyber crime.

Get the basics right

The first stage is something that sounds obvious, but is an absolutely essential and foundational first step that everything else will be built on, and that is knowing your weaknesses. You can’t build a solid cybersecurity strategy if you do not know where the gaps in your organization’s defenses are. This can be a complicated process, as there is no one size fits all solution. Every organization has a complex and unique set of technology, from individual applications all the way up to the full supply chain of connected and integrated systems. This means that constant analysis and re-analysis is required in order to make sure there are no obvious exploits. Cybercriminals are also finding new ways to break systems all the time, so being aware of any new discoveries that might be relevant to you is also highly recommended.

It is also very important to be vigilant with making sure that all of your systems are up to date with the latest security patches. This will ensure that you stay ahead of cybercriminals who are looking to exploit known vulnerabilities in your technology, and that you have the latest protections built in to any programs that are vital for your business to function.

In terms of more classic cybersecurity, one of the most vital steps you can take to protect your data is having modern data protection and backups as part of your strategy. The often cited 3-2-1 rule, that says to have 3 copies of data, on two different mediums, with one off site, is a good starting point. However, it is highly important that you make sure the data also has 0 errors, as you cannot rely on faulty data in the event of a cyber security incident which requires you to utilize a backup.

Another strategy that is becoming increasingly viable with new technology is having automated defenses. With the advent of widely available, open source AI tech in 2023, it is now easy and cost effective to have machine learning aiding your security strategy. This can help with identifying threats much more efficiently, and without the risk of human error.

Secure your data

The target for cyber criminals when it comes to ransomware is your company’s valuable data. The aim is to steal this data and sell it back to you, or risk having it leaked online. There are a number of ways to make sure your data is safe and secure, chiefly among them is encryption. If your data is well encrypted enough, then even if it is stolen by hackers they cannot use it to fulfill their ransomware goals.

Something else that organizations need to be mindful of is the danger that can be posed by unsecure Wi-Fi networks. This issue mostly does not pose much of a threat, as a majority of the time work will be taking place on company networks. However, it only takes an employee momentarily connecting through a public network, or a piece of the network in the supply chain not being secure, to introduce a vulnerability that can lead to a data breach. It is vital to make sure any internet connections that are being used to send sensitive data are locked down and secure, or use a VPN.

Curb human error

According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breaches Investigations Report, 82 percent of data breaches were the result of human error. This is not surprising, as computers essentially cannot make mistakes, and human vulnerability is always the easiest for cyber criminals to exploit. Therefore, factoring the human element into your cybersecurity strategy is as essential as things like backups and encryption.

One simple way to curb unauthorized access to sensitive information and systems is through two factor authentication. This is common practice in a lot of tech today, but you need to make sure it is utilized to its fullest extent. Another relatively rudimentary system that can have a huge effect on keeping your data safe is having a program that scans links in emails, and can recognize disguised email addresses. Phishing attacks are one of the main ways in which hackers exploit the human weak link to gain access to secure data, so being vigilant around email security can take away one of the st effective tools in the cyber criminal toolbox.

Overwhelmingly the best way to stop a large amount cyber attacks is by having well trained and aware employees. Implementing an ongoing security awareness program will help employees understand the importance of cybersecurity, teach them how to identify potential threats, and how to respond appropriately.

Implementing these tips will allow your business to stay ahead of the game, and have a highly resilient cybersecurity strategy in a world where ransomware is a multi-million dollar business. Staying vigilant against threats will ensure that your company is not the latest in a long line of cyber incident headlines.

Image credit: / Shutterstock

Sam Woodcock is Senior Director of Cloud Strategy, 11:11 Systems.


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