To be successful, businesses need to protect their sensitive data and value their most important stakeholders, their employees. When there is data leakage, organizations need to find the underlying causes and address them timely. Similarly, when employees are not performing up to the standard, there is a need to conduct a workplace investigation process to reveal the causes of ethical lapses, misconduct, and wrongdoing. This way, businesses can resolve issues immediately before they become more serious and incur losses to them.
Losing crucial data to cybercriminals can have a tremendous impact on businesses leading to operational disruption, compromised customer information, and lost revenue. It can also have an impact on the brand image causing businesses to lose valuable customers.
With so much at stake, how can staffing agencies in Pittsburgh reduce cybersecurity threats? Let us have a look at a few mitigation strategies that can reduce the risk of cyber threats.
Upgrade and Update Regularly
Software vendors are not responsible for regular security updates for unsupported products. Therefore, make sure to always install authentic software and upgrade as soon as they release new versions. These latest versions of operating systems have advanced security features that provide maximum data protection.
Moreover, even a simple download from an unauthorized link can expose the business to cyber-attacks. To prevent these, businesses must regularly update their data protection software. It is ideal to automate this process so there are no gaps in security management. However, make sure to use only use protected links and authorized sellers.
Use Firewalls and Antivirus Software
Businesses must install security solutions like antivirus software and firewalls to protect against data breaches. Firewalls serve as a barrier and buffer making it difficult for criminals to access the business network. Moreover, they give businesses greater control over their outgoing and incoming data.
Likewise, antiviruses regularly search the devices they are installed on to detect malicious threats so businesses can counter them timely.
Minimize Attack Surfaces
Attack surfaces are the entry points or vulnerable areas through which cybercriminals can access sensitive business data. If businesses minimize these entry points, they can avoid huge losses. Here are the three common attack surfaces:
Digital attack surfaces: These are all the digital entry points that criminals can access with the internet like servers, websites, emails, and others.
Physical attack surfaces: These are all the assets that cybercriminals can exploit by physically visiting the business premises.
Social engineering attack surfaces: These are all the manipulation techniques cybercriminals use to get essential information from employees.
Storing crucial data in plain text form makes it more vulnerable to attacks. On the contrary, encrypting it limits data access to members who have the encryption key. Even if outsiders gain access to encrypted data, they cannot cause any harm as they cannot read it. Some advanced data encryption tools even inform businesses when someone attempts to tamper with or modify the data.
Encrypting data is a critical step in safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized access and breaches. It involves converting data into a coded language that can only be accessed with a decryption key. In today’s digital age, where businesses rely heavily on digital storage and communication methods, encrypting data has become more important than ever before.
This technique helps protect financial transactions, customer information, and confidential business data from cyber attacks. Encryption technology has advanced significantly over the years, making it easier and more accessible for businesses of all sizes to implement. By encrypting their data, businesses can comply with various data protection regulations and provide peace of mind to their customers.
Businesses must constantly back up all their data to prevent data losses. The absence of a secure backup can result in operational disruptions that may cause huge losses to the business. The 3-2-1 rule is one of the most effective data backup strategies. According to this rule, businesses must make 3 copies of their data, and store them on two different media like tape and disk, and one copy must be placed off-site for disaster recovery.
6. Conduct Regular Security Assessments
In the fast-evolving landscape of cyber threats, more than merely updating and upgrading systems is required. Regular security assessments are critical in identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring that defenses remain robust against emerging threats. This involves a proactive approach, employing penetration testing strategies and red team tools to simulate real-world attacks.
Cybersecurity professionals utilize red team tools to test and improve an organization’s defense mechanisms. These tools mimic real attackers’ tactics, techniques, and procedures, providing a realistic assessment of how well a business can withstand a sophisticated cyber-attack. Regularly conducting these assessments allows companies to find and fix security weaknesses before actual attackers can exploit them.
Additionally, regular security assessments help maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations, which often mandate periodic reviews and audits of security measures. By routinely evaluating their security posture with the latest red team tools and techniques, businesses can ensure a proactive stance against cyber threats, safeguarding their assets, reputation, and customer trust.
Businesses need to keep their confidential data secure. For this reason, they must limit the access of unauthorized individuals to business laptops and desktops. They must install automatic locks on devices, create separate user accounts for each employee, and secure them with strong passwords. Moreover, they must restrict administrative access to only trusted IT personnel.
Ensure Vendors Follow Data Security Protocols
Businesses sometimes hire outside vendors or agencies to help with business operations like strategies for talent acquisition, contact center operations, and others. Businesses that outsource their operations to third parties are at constant risk of data leakages. Therefore, they must address these threats proactively instead of waiting for something serious to happen. They must develop data security policies and make sure the vendors comply with them to avoid data breaches.
Use Strong Passwords
Simple passwords are easy to crack for hackers. Therefore, businesses must ensure the use of strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to discourage cyberattacks. They must make sure employees do not share passwords and that each employee has a unique password. This way, even if a hacker gains access to one desktop, the others will remain safe.
Here are a few points to keep in mind while creating strong passwords:
- The minimum password length must be eight characters,
- Use alphanumeric characters,
- Do not include personal information like the year of birth,
- Avoid using numbers or alphabets in sequence.