Cybersecurity can seem overbearing to non-experts, and with the challenges of a growing organization, it can all too easily be placed further down on your priorities list. While taking measures to improve your cybersecurity may seem arduous, doing so is much less stressful than dealing with threats like ransomware or phishing scams, which can end up costing your organization a lot of time and money.
Luckily, there is a comprehensible starting point you can take to protect your organization’s data. Below, we’ve listed 10 tips for improving your organization’s cybersecurity.
- Avoid the “Little Fish” Mentality
If your organization is relatively small, you may feel like you aren’t going to be targeted by an attacker. On the contrary, this mentality creates a perception that smaller organizations will be laxer with their data. Don’t make an attacker correct in this assumption. Remember: your organization is never too small for cybersecurity.
- Vet and Empower your Administrator
We’ve previously mentioned the need to ensure you have carefully selected admins and have given them the tools they need to keep your organization safe. This point bears re-emphasizing here. Make sure your point person on cybersecurity has the time, access, experience, and reliability to keep your organization’s data safe.
- Protect your Passwords
No matter how secure you want to make it, your workplace is always going to be a public place. Vendors, cleaners, consultants, and visitors will all likely pass through your office. You don’t want a post-it with a password in plain sight of anybody who walks by. Once an attacker has the means to access your system with the right credentials, your data will be compromised.
- Identify Sensitive Data
Data can be protected with measures like restricted access, limited access, and encryption. These tools are effective if they are followed. However, locking every bit of data behind these features risks employees looking for workarounds to avoid the hassle. By identifying what data needs to be protected, you can then take appropriate security measures that won’t overburden employees.
- Invest in the Software
Anti-malware software and firewalls are essential frontline components to your organization’s security. Make sure you are running regularly updated software from reputable providers.
- Plan for Rogue Employees
With the difficulty of dismissing an employee, cybersecurity may not be at the forefront of your planning, but it should be. Your software won’t be able to distinguish well-meaning employees from malicious ones and terminating an employee before first revoking their permissions and suspending their accounts can leave your organization’s data extremely vulnerable.
Make sure you have a record of your employees’ permissions, company devices, and devices with remote access to your network. Give your administrator time to revoke all privileges and access before terminating the employee.
- Limit Unsecured Personal Devices
While it’s convenient to have portable communication devices that can keep your organization connected, unsecured personal devices with access to your network should be limited as much as possible. An employee’s personal device may be casually accessed by their family and friends (not to mention anybody who may discover said device if it were lost). You can also add a layer of security with multi-factor authentication measures.
- Build Security Habits
Proper training and security onboarding for your employees is crucial to avoiding user-made security vulnerabilities. While your employees may not be adept in cybersecurity, they do understand building habits. Promote positive security habits like:
- Deliberately memorizing passwords
- Putting away personal phones in the office
- Locking their computers when away from desk
Avoid a piecemeal approach to building your cybersecurity. The more separate pieces of security software you have protecting you, the more of them you will have to manage. You want to make sure that alerts, settings, and policies are as streamlined as possible to prevent important information from getting lost in the chaos. Do so by getting a full assessment of your security needs and building your cybersecurity more deliberately.
- Get Help
As we mentioned above, the best way to streamline your cybersecurity is to get a sense of where your company stands. By bringing in experts to evaluate your organization’s vulnerabilities, you will be able to put everything you just read into context and create an action plan that responds to your unique challenges.