If you’re a leader who is worried about your company’s data being compromised by hackers, you’re not alone. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, ransomware attacks alone have tripled over the last year. Corporate cybersecurity breaches in general are on the rise. And research shows that remote work as a factor can increase the cost of a data breach by US$1.07 million.
Corporate hacking is a booming industry for malicious actors and it’s unlikely to recede any time soon. But this doesn’t mean companies should accept that being hacked is inevitable. Instead, there are many steps you can take to prevent hackers from illegally accessing your company’s data. We recommended that you start with these five areas.
Review the basics
Ensure all applications on all devices your employees use for work are updated regularly. Software updates often include security patches so while updates can be annoying or time-consuming, they’re an essential layer of protection that keeps hackers out. Responsibility for updates may vary. With software as a service or SaaS applications, for example, the vendor is typically responsible for updates. But if you own the applications, your company will be on the hook.
Consider your company’s device policy. While bring-your-own-device policies are becoming more popular, they can increase your company’s vulnerability to hackers. If employees are using their personal devices for work then you may be limited in implementing some of the additional security recommendations that can keep hackers out.
Add digital checkpoints to incoming and outgoing traffic
If you’re not using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you might want to reconsider. VPNs create secure connections between two points, encrypting sensitive data while in transit. This is especially important for protecting data transmitted to your cloud computing tools.
Make sure you’re using a Domain Name System (DNS) server with security features. DNS servers enable your internet browser navigate the web by essentially translating IP addresses into webpage locations. And a good DNS server can help keep your team from connecting to harmful websites that may infect your system with malware. Canadians can use the CIRA’s free Canadian Shield tool.
Personalize your security efforts
Access to sensitive or classified information should be on a strictly need-to-know basis. Employees need the right tools and data to do their jobs. But more people with access can mean more opportunities for hackers to get access. Leaders should ensure employees don’t have access to more than they need:
Think like a hacker
If you want to protect your company from being infiltrated by hackers, try thinking like one. That doesn’t mean it’s time to fire up Tor and go traipsing through the Dark Web. Consider hiring an ethical or “white hat” hacker to help you assess your security system’s vulnerabilities. Ethical hackers help prevent security breaches through a variety of tactics – the most widely known is penetration testing.
Engage with a Managed Security Service Provider
With more security threats on the horizon than ever and with the costs of security breaches rising, companies shouldn’t be expected to do it all alone. You can outsource some of the important but complex work needed to protect your company from hackers using Managed Security Services (“MSS”).
MSS providers help companies in many ways:
Hitachi Security Systems offers a world-class Managed Security Service program. Are you interested in learning more about how we tailor a customized solution to your industry, size and scale? Contact us today for a free quote.