With cybercrime increasing at an alarming rate, many organizations are asking the hard question of how do you make your company hard to hack?
CTV News recently reported that 19 million Canadians have had their data breached in eight months. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) reported that approximately 59 per cent were a result of unauthorized access such as a hacker or phishing scam. They also reported that an additional 22 per cent were from accidental data breach data disclosures such as information being sent to the wrong person.
These are just a few but most IT security reports have shown that the number of Canadians affected by a data breach is well over 28 million including the recent large data breaches including Desjardins and Capital One.
- Layered security increases your online safety
Layered security is also known as defense in depth. It is very important that you ensure your IT department or managed IT services provider is using it to protect your network. Layered security is not new as it is an old concept. Even thou it is old, applying layers of security is very relevant today. You need to understand and choose the correct layers as it is paramount. Security defense gets you to handle risk mitigation by applying multiple layers of control across your IT environment.
Layered security does not guarantee cyber-attack prevention. It will however slow down cyber criminals and help protect your organization against those cyber-attacks. If you implement layered security properly, it will not only buy you more time, it will also give you more time to respond effectively to any cyber-attack attack and mitigate a potential data breach.
- Proactive protection includes network visibility
Proactive protection can make your company hard to hack. By having network visibility, this enables you to scan everything as well as spot anomalies and apply policies. Security event monitoring of this kind can be very cost effective in providing meaningful analysis that leads to proactive protection of infrastructure and the data within it. Network visibility helps you fight off the cyber criminals by spotting them before they get started. There are free network visibility tools that can be used such as Alien Vault’s ThreatFinder. It will check for compromised systems and malicious communication by correlating the created log file data against the live OTX database.
- Web protection is always policy driven
Web protection is a very open term. You can make your company hard to hack however it should be policy driven. This is an essential layer of security as it provides a window into controlling, monitoring, and enforcing web policies. Network devices can be controlled from a central policy that can be edited and scaled to suit a range of such devices rather than having device-level settings across the board. This enables website filtering by time, web content, and bandwidth. End result, this will help protect your organization against legal liability and exposure.
- Proactive patch management make security better
Ask any successful IT department or managed IT services provider, you can scan for cyber-attacks and apply policies, but cyber vulnerabilities change daily, and it is a challenge for any IT security professional to keep up. Proactive patch management is not the final answer to as it will not prevent zero-day exploit vulnerabilities from hitting your network, but it will help close the gaps. Most IT departments and managed IT services providers will proactively update your network with the latest patches. They will test the patches prior to launching them to ensure they are stable. If you were to use an unstable patch on a live network without testing, it can do more damage to your business.
- The importance of data encryption
Many think that data encryption is an extreme step as they think it is complex, expensive, and a bit much. The truth is that data is the most valuable and important item to your organization. Data encryption is strong enough to keep most cyber criminals and hackers at bay.
Here are several options when it comes to data encryption:
- Tablets and smartphones come firmware encryption built into their OS.
- Websites using Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) encrypt information between it and client browsers.
- Create a corporate culture to authenticate
Authentication can make your company hard to hack. Use tools such as password managers and multifactor authentication. Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass, and Duo are great examples. Strong passwords are a no-brainer however users are challenged by length and complexity making it very difficult for users to remember. Then users are faced with trying to remember multiple secure passwords which result on complete memory loss, confusion, or using the same password on all systems. A password manager or authenticator will handle these issues for you. Many of these tools allow you to manage a password policy from the cloud and generate truly secure passwords or add another layer of authentication to the mix.
- Secure erasure is not the same as hitting delete
It is very important to understand the difference between secure erasure (secure file deletion) and hitting the delete key. Hitting delete or formatting a hard drive does not permanently delete it. It is forensically possible to retrieve data easily and cheap if required. You should ensure your hard drive is encrypted as Windows 10 has a free feature called bit locker. If you really want to ensure no recovery of data, you can always shred hard drives.
Many IT departments are turning to managed IT services providers for additional support. For small business owners, this gives them access to a wide variety of external technology experts. These teams are constantly available to proactively monitor, manage, and fix your IT infrastructure. Managed IT services provide organizations with access to a wide array of tools that are normally only available to large organizations.
Want to make your company hard to hack? Let IT consultants manage your IT infrastructure so you can keep your network protected against the latest security breaches, as well as reap the benefits of a large enterprise-class IT team for the fraction of the cost.
With proactive remote monitoring and management of the network, technology and support issues are resolved before they can disrupt your business with significant network downtime. This increased efficiency leads to increased employee productivity and optimized return on investment (ROI).
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