One thing is certain — at this point, no one’s doubting the need for strong cybersecurity. There may have been a time when the term was still very much obscurity, and most businesses, much less, individuals, had no idea what it meant.
Nowadays, however, seeing as most of our valuable assets are either sitting pretty on our computer, stored in a central database, or locked in the cloud, the need for heightened cybersecurity becomes as obvious as the need to have a lock on our doors, and then another lock to secure that lock.
So, yes, cybersecurity is a must, and that’s given. What’s not so obvious, however, are the ways to ensure this high level of cybersecurity. There seems to be no limit to how far hackers are willing to go, and just as many misconceptions on the most effective ways to guard against this.
To alleviate this as much as possible, we have compiled below eight of the best ways to heighten your online security, while dispelling a few myths in the process.
- Always be Prepared
Now, this may sound a little bit cliché, but the truth is that the number one reason hackers are so successful is usually not due to their expertise, as seen in movies, but due to negligence on the part of asset owners.
A common misconception, as pointed out by Federal-Lawyer.com is the assumption that a company is too small to be hacked. This is completely bogus. As long as there is an asset worth protecting, no business is too small.
Complete cybersecurity is hard enough. One thing you don’t want to do, as an individual or a business owner, is to make it easy for perpetrators aiming to compromise your systems.
- Implementing a Firewall
So now that you’re convinced that you should take cybersecurity seriously. What then is the first step? Well, a good place to start is by implementing firewalls. What are firewalls, you ask? They are just as the name sounds. A program built to serve as a fortified wall of fire to keep your assets safely stored in, and malicious parties safely locked out.
Firewalls are pretty easy to install. The best of them may cost more, but that is another thing when it comes to cybersecurity: never be afraid to spend to get the best security for yourself and your workers.
In the era of advance cyber warfare, passwords may appear to some as paltry instruments, like bringing a knife to a nuclear fight. This is very much untrue. Passwords have been the staple of cybersecurity for a long time and will remain so for a while – until even quantum computers capable of solving crazy mathematics in seconds become commonplace.
For now, though, having a solid password policy remains your first — and best – a line of defense against hackers. What are good password policies? Diversifying cases, numbers, symbols. Having a required minimal length, diversifying your passwords across multiple platforms, and so on.
- Two – Factor Authentication
Remember when we made mention of having a physical lock on your door, and then obtaining another lock to secure that lock? Well, that is exactly what two-factor authentication is. You can think of it as another layer of lock on your previously-existing cyber lock.
How two-factor authentication works are that, in addition to your existing password, you create another layer of puzzle/mode of authentication, to be activated in cases where the system suspects a hint of cyber compromise.
More layers of authentications are also available apart from the two-factor authentication. They’re known as multi-level authentications and can be three-factor, four-factor, and so on, depending on the value and importance of the asset(s) being protected.
- Software Updates
Compromises happen to even the strongest codes. Most times, however, the companies responsible for these programs and software make it a rule to be always on top of these compromises. There’s always a security team in charge of accessing damages and determining weak points in codes that hackers can exploit.
Once these are detected, the companies roll out a patch to fix it and immediately include this in the next version which is released for updates as soon as possible. Failure to carry out this update on your end may lead to a serious security breach. This ladies and gentlemen are why you must update your programs, software, and applications religiously.
- Security Training and Awareness Campaign
As an individual, you must ensure to stay up to date on cybersecurity trends and awareness by consulting appropriate resources on the topic.
As businesses, you must ensure to provide training and workshops aimed at enlightening workers on the necessary steps required to guide against cyber threats. An example is a course on phishing, which is the act of employing a decoy to gain access to a user’s online security credentials.
By teaching workers what to be on the lookout for, you essentially create another layer of security for your business.
- Wi-Fi Security
This almost goes without saying but it is worth mentioning anyway. Always make sure that your wireless connections are secured and the data are encrypted.
Another topic worth mentioning in your cybersecurity training workshops is the danger of links. Most phishing scams start with a link you can’t resist, especially via emails. They may come in many forms, including password recovery decoys, banking statements, and so on.
Always be aware of these, and teach your workers to the same. Should you have no choice but to click on a link, ensure that the URL is genuine and that the website is encrypted and secure before providing any data.
Cybersecurity is fast becoming one of the most important aspects of any business’s survival. Just one compromise may lead to the loss of numerous valuable assets. Thankfully, though, the most important steps in safeguarding your online assets are the basic, simple ones that aren’t so hard to manage once you remain conscious of them.
Listed above are the eight best practices. Stick with them, and your business will be fine.