As an executive, you understand the risks of a data breach and its potential to ruin your company’s reputation and financial well-being. The rapid expansion of technology and networks has allowed more opportunity for cybercriminals to access your business’s data, leaving it vulnerable to attack. But with the right strategies in place, you can protect your company from a potential data breach.
In this blog, we’ll explore the steps you can take to avoid a cyber attack and keep your business secure from the next breach.
It’s important to understand the potential vulnerabilities in your current approach to data security. Many companies struggle in one or more of these areas:
- Outdated IT infrastructure
- A lack of employee training on cybersecurity best practices
- Weak login and password protocols
All of these can lead to a successful cyber attack, resulting in a devastating data breach. If sensitive information can be accessed by unauthorized users, it could potentially lead to disastrous consequences. If you want to protect your business against more advanced threat actors, you need to start by identifying the gaps in your current approach.
Once you’ve identified specific gaps in your system, the next step is to fill them and establish secure network infrastructure. For many companies, this often includes investing in state-of-the-art firewall systems and secure authentication protocols, as well as an ongoing plan for patching any known bugs or vulnerabilities as they arise in real time. Additionally, many businesses choose to partner with a 24/7 security partner to regularly monitor network activity for any suspicious activity, even when their in-house team is off the clock.
A firewall is an essential tool for keeping intruders out of your system. It acts as a barrier between your network and the internet by monitoring inbound and outbound traffic. Firewalls are typically configured with rules that specify which types of traffic are allowed to pass through the firewall and which types should be blocked. When it comes to optimizing your firewall, you need to consider options such as:
- Access control lists (ACLs): These are used to manage user access to sensitive data. You can use ACLs to define who has permission to access certain systems or directories on your network.
- Behavior-based detection: This type of detection uses advanced algorithms to detect suspicious behavior on the network that could indicate an attack or malicious activity.
- Intrusion prevention systems (IPS): An IPS monitors traffic in real-time and can prevent certain types of cyber attacks from taking place by automatically blocking suspicious activity before it reaches its destination.
Network segmentation involves dividing an entire corporate computer system into smaller, isolated zones with restricted levels of communication. This approach helps protect networks against cyber attacks because it minimizes damage. If one segment is compromised, other sections remain unaffected because they aren’t connected directly. Instead, they communicate through “segmented barriers” like firewalls and routers which filter out malicious traffic before it reaches its destination point in another zone. The most effective way for organizations large enough to warrant this type of segmentation strategy is by using virtual local area networks (VLANs).
As much as cybersecurity is important at the technical level, it is just as important to invest in employee training on the personnel level. Cybersecurity threats are no longer limited to external sources—they can come from within as well. A single employee mistake or oversight can have disastrous consequences for the entire organization.
The first step in this training should be educating employees on the latest cybersecurity best practices. The next time your organization has a new employee orientation session, make sure the importance of creating strong passwords and using two-factor authentication is covered. Taking this step will help ingrain a culture of security across the organization over time.
Additionally, make sure your current employees know never to click on suspicious links or share sensitive information over email or other messaging apps. One-time training is not enough here. The social engineering tactics cyber criminals employ are continually evolving and getting harder to detect, so you need to build an ongoing training plan into your organization’s quarterly initiatives. If you operate an online segment of the business, you can also train customers to only perform online transactions on your website or any verified platforms.
Encryption technologies help protect data sent over networks by scrambling information so that only intended recipients can view its contents when received at its destination point—even if intercepted during transit by attackers who don’t possess authorization codes granted specifically by senders themselves! Different kinds of encryption protocols exist depending upon requirement; some provide stronger protection than others depending upon particular application scenarios, so businesses need to decide which encryption technology best fits their operational framework server storage infrastructure.
Even if your goal is to avoid data breaches altogether, you still need to create an incident response plan. Developing clear procedures for how to respond when a breach occurs is just as important as having a top-notch firewall protecting your network. Creating policies for the preservation of computer evidence and data is essential to protecting your business from cyber liability and potential data breaches. By developing policies that address breaches of intellectual property rights, violations of privacy, or disclosure of sensitive information, you will be able to minimize risks associated with cyber attacks from external actors, as well as employees and third-party contractors.
If your goal is to prevent cybersecurity breaches, you can take proactive steps now to minimize the risk of a future data breach. Understanding existing vulnerabilities in their current security systems and training employees are key steps for keeping businesses safe from cyber threats, and that’s where BL King can help with a cybersecurity risk assessment. From there, we can recommend steps to solidify network infrastructure and keep your business protected.