At NextLink Labs, we are committed to serving our clients by consistently finding ways to enhance their cybersecurity. Our expertise allows us to recommend and implement the best systems for protection, but there are also simpler things that companies can implement as everyday best practices. Find seven of these steps below:
An out-of-date operating system is an unsecured operating system. The role of software is to protect your data. Technology is always changing, and attackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit flaws in software systems. Consistent software updates provide the most recent patches for those flaws. Employees rarely install updates and patches to their computers proactively. If the updates install automatically, any vulnerabilities are much more likely to get addressed.
The best protection against cyber threats is a secure password. However, even employees that “know better” resist diversifying their passwords. It can be time-consuming and irritating to keep track of secure passwords. Be sure to enforce password rules and educate employees on why they matter.
Further, teach employees how to remember passwords so they will be less tempted to cut corners. A strategy that can encourage employees to diversify passwords involves password vaulting, also known as using a password manager. A password vault can store all of an employee’s usernames and passwords for multiple applications, all under encryption. The employee only has to remember one password -- the password for the vault -- to allow access to all applications.
Backing up information is essential to protect against disasters, data corruption, or accidental deletion of data. However, backups are not a practical defense against malware and ransomware, in particular. Ransomware can target the backup itself to thwart the attempted protection. One option for backup protection against ransomware is offline tape backup, but that could become expensive and time- consuming, which limits its accessibility as an option.
Another simple way to enhance cybersecurity at your company is to ensure the trustworthiness of those entrusted with sensitive data or intellectual property by using background checks and contacting references when hiring. Communicate with your employees early and often about the sensitivity of data and the expectations you hold regarding security – do not assume they understand risks already.
Ensuring that your Wi-Fi network is secure is a primary step for keeping your data safe. Ensure that your business utilizes both guest and private Wi-Fi accounts, and be strict about access to the private Wi-Fi account. Allow guests to use the guest account, and limit the ability for employees to access the private account on their personal devices. Also, protect access to the Wi-Fi network by changing certain default settings for your network, like the default password and the manufacturer’s default SSID.
Limiting access to Wi-Fi is one step toward better cybersecurity, but further limitations should be common-sense. Encryption of data can help physically prevent data from being accessed by outsiders. Additionally, access to protected data should be limited to only those within the company requiring such access -- access should be on a “need-to-know" basis.
One opportunity for controlling your sensitive data is to control the devices that access or contain that data. If you supply company devices to employees, ensure that your company can control the devices remotely if the need arises. Also, if employees use personal devices for work, the company exerts much less control over malware defense on that device (among other concerns). For example, if a personal laptop is lost or stolen, the company cannot wipe or retrieve its data from the computer. There are other options if your employees are accessing company data on personal devices (like utilizing a VPN)
If your company needs help securing your network, lean on our expertise at NextLink Labs. These simple first steps are a must in protecting your valuable data, but if you want to know how we can further enhance cybersecurity at your company, schedule a free call with us today!