October is Cybersecurity Month here at WW Works.
Here’s the Forth part of our month-long series to help you stay safe while you are online. If you haven’t seen Part 1 – or Part 2 or Part 3 – please check them out too.
24 Protect sensitive patient and customer data
As we’ve mentioned before, organizations that hold sensitive information, such as personal information about customers or patients, are more likely to experience a cyberattack. When customers provide their information to an organization, such as a phone number, credit card information, or health-related disclosures, they expect this information will be kept secure.
If you are an organization that falls in this category, it is essential that you take preventative steps immediately to avoid a cyber breach. To protect customer data your organization can identify their third parties and corresponding vulnerabilities, eliminate sharing information unless it is completely necessary, and establish controls between the third-party companies you work with so the information you share remains isolated from the rest of the business.
25 Implement restrictive email measures
A common way for cyberattackers to gain access to your organization is through email phishing scams and suspicious links. Oftentimes, employees do not recognize the telltale signs of a scam or are unaware of the significant repercussions of entertaining the scam.
Equip your company’s email with spam filtering, message encryption, and antivirus software to limit the threats to the end user.
26 Create a response plan for your clients
Approximately 55% of small- and medium-sized businesses believe their public reputation would take a hit following a cyberattack. Intangible costs such as a damaged reputation, destroyed trust and relationships, and lost customers are some of the most significant of a cyberattack and can lead you out of business.
Even if your company is taking every cybersecurity precaution, a cyberattack is still possible. That said, if you are prepared with a response plan for your clients, this will aid in restoring and potentially improving your reputation and will help mitigate the associated intangible costs. This plan should include immediate and transparent communications, continuous updates, reassurance that their data is protected, and that you are doing everything possible to put a stop to the issue at hand.
27 Practice secure browsing habits
Secure browsing habits should be taught to, and practiced by, everyone in the organization. Such habits include thinking twice before downloading documents or clicking links on the internet. This thought process should identify the security of the website and consider any suspicious activity. You can also use browser extensions that give you a glimpse of the link by mousing over it, without having to click. Also, be sure to only visit websites that have an HTTPS encryption and avoid entering websites that Google deems as unsecure.
28 Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt.
So far, we have talked about encrypting your website, wifi connection, data, and more. However, it is highly important that as an organization, you encrypt everything you can. In addition to what we’ve mentioned thus far, this list also includes files in the cloud, messaging apps, personal documents, hard drives, backup files, browser traffic, and data on-the-go (such as USB drives). The list goes on, but this is what you should take away: encrypt everything you can that could contribute to a cyberattack, provide access to a cyberattacker, or includes information that is highly sensitive.
29 Maintain your website
Your website is an area that could create vulnerabilities and allow foreign access into your organization. This is especially apparent if your website is handled internally, neglected, and not updated frequently. Ensuring that your site is updated with the latest software can protect against the newest forms of attacks that website developers have not yet developed a defense for.
Conducting regular vulnerability checks on your website is also a proactive way to identify potential vulnerabilities before it is too late.
30 Pre-holiday checks
It has been shown that holiday traffic to websites leads to an increased risk of cyberattacks with small businesses being a prime target. Conducting a pre-holiday security check will ensure that it can handle increased traffic and is a simple way to avoid a cyber breach.
31 Hire an MSP
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again- hire a managed service provider (MSP). This past month, we have outlined 30 ways that you can better secure your organization and protect it against cyberattacks. 30 ways. And this list is not exhaustive. There is an incredible amount of work to be done for each organization when it comes to cybersecurity, and the increasing threats only make these practices more vital.
Oftentimes, for small- and medium-sized businesses, implementing all the cybersecurity practices discussed this month is not feasible to do in-house. It is expensive, time-consuming, and requires complex cybersecurity knowledge that you could learn, but probably do not have time to.
We know you want the best for your business. Well, what’s the best? The best is having a sufficient IT and cybersecurity infrastructure that protects your organization against cyberthreats. However, the best is also allowing each employee, from top to bottom, to focus on the core of their job to contribute to the company’s health and growth. Unfortunately, this is not always sustainable for SMB who attempt to have in-house IT.
Hiring an out-of-house MSP allows you to have the best of both worlds, with seamless cybersecurity to best protect against cyberthreats, while also allowing you to focus on the core of your business.
If you are interested in discussing cybersecurity further, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-332-5844. We would be happy to have a pressure-free conversation to discuss your current infrastructure and future organizational goals. We can also conduct complimentary vulnerability scans to various aspects of your organization, from your website server to your internal server, which will identify any vulnerabilities that currently exist.