The world is going forward with immense speed in the unprecedented growth, innovation, and advancement domains. There are many factors responsible for such abnormal growth, but the top reasons are acceleration and expanding technological ability. Almost every industry is either disrupted or transformed with the aid of technology. Today, businesses are less reliant on humans, manual labor, or even geography. The enabling phenomenon like cloud storage, e-commerce, app development, etc., has enabled businesses and organizations to improve the progress and capability.
Such capabilities provide some apparent advantages. Many avenues that were previously not possible are the reality for businesses now. Today, companies can expand their sales in different parts of the world through e-commerce and fast shipping. Talent can be acquired from any part of the world instead of limiting to the native geography.
However, there is a flipping side of the coin. Such advancements and expansions come with some unique challenges, difficulties, and threats too. Since the fundamentals are new, the challenges and solutions are unprecedented too. Businesses are also very conscious and mindful of these challenges and prioritize the mitigation and elimination of such risks. We all have been listening to the buzzwords; Data Privacy, Data Theft, and Data Exploitation.
Since the invention is the mother of necessity; Cybersecurity comes into the picture when it comes to minimizing and eliminating threats. In simple terms, cybersecurity focuses on defending the digital ecosystem and keeping the digital space free from hazards, malicious attacks, and unwanted exploitation. Cybersecurity is one of the most thriving industries of the 21st Century. In the light of recent hacks and digital outbreaks, businesses are giving it a strategic consideration rather than a support function’s reputation. Let’s take a look at how we can strengthen a business’ cybersecurity.
- Have In-house Competent Cyber Security Department:
Some companies can fulfill their requirement to secure data and digital networks by outsourcing to external Cybersecurity firms. But if you and your business are too cautious, the best practice would be to set up and grow an in-house Cyber Security Department. You can either hire top talent or develop your existing talent by up-skilling them with advanced projects. Or you can equip them through advanced degrees and certificates like online masters cybersecurity to learn the tactics and measures. The in-house department has its defining advantages. An internal department can understand the business better and hence, can identify and rectify loopholes better. Similarly, the response time to act against any malpractice or digital attack can be lower.
- Educate and Train Employees Across Organization:
Cybersecurity cannot be top-notch with the diligence and efforts of the directly responsible department. From a junior clerk to the organization’s CEO, anyone can be a loophole or an opening for a motivated hacker to disrupt the business’s normalcy. Therefore, it is essential to educate, aware, and train the employees about the importance and seriousness of digital security. These can be done by providing regular training, organizing digital drills, and appraising employees as per their efforts related to cybersecurity.
- Review and Limit Access Permissions:
Suppose a company seeks to keep matters secure. It is crucial to limit the usability and access of the digital servers or digital networks to certain personnel only. Similarly, many sensitive areas should be authorized to limited people as their exploitation could lead to digital hacking, breach of data privacy, etc. One reasonable strategy is to do the Digital Access Audit to identify the loopholes and design security protocols to minimize the risks. Ensure not to limit such activities to one-off exercise but a regular affair.
- Offer a Bounty Program or Arrange Penetration Test:
No formal job-oriented procedures can beat the motivated and reward the hungry player. Many technology companies like Facebook and Google organize hackathons or offer bounty programs to invite hackers and developers to identify the bugs and loopholes. Such a strategy can be cost-effective and time-efficient. Competitive players can showcase better skillsets than the regular task force.
Similarly, your business can arrange a penetration test where ethical hackers find gaps, test the networks and identify vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
- Have a Plan-B in place:
It can be dangerous for any business to get affected by any digital attack or cyber crash. In today’s world, data privacy and data security are massive issues. Failure to comply with the standards can cost a business its life even. But, in the spirit of improving cybersecurity, a company must have a plan-B if any such security compromises. Employees should possess the training and education about the alternate plan to take quick and effective response in such conditions.
- Keep Software and Applications updated:
One of the most obvious yet sometimes ignored loopholes is the configuration and version of programs and applications running on the network. Software and application developers regularly provide updates which include the latest security patches to keep the systems safe. Therefore, it is crucial to check all the software, firmware, and application and ensure proper installation and upgrades. Please ensure that the peripherals like webcams, printers, and scanners adhere to security protocols.
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving need for businesses in recent times. And with time, its importance will only increase. Therefore, companies must think long-term and beyond doing formalities. Every business has its own set of digital challenges and sensitive areas to manage. Hence, relevant and contextualized measures need to be ready at disposal, in addition to standard protocols.