The 8 Most Important Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity Strategy

These days, you can’t be too cautious when it comes to cybersecurity – especially if you run a small- to mid-sized business. More than 43 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses, with even small breaches costing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Larger-scale attacks can do upwards of billions of dollars of damage.

The 8 Most Important Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity Strategy

The real tragedy is that most cyberattacks are entirely preventable. With the right combination of proactive strategies and cybersecurity improvements, you can maximize your chances of remaining unscathed.

Cybersecurity Improvements

Let’s take a look at some of the most important cybersecurity improvements you can make:

  1. Invest in website security. If your business has a website, you’ll need to think seriously about website security. Your website is one of the most important elements of your business’s success, and it’s highly vulnerable to attack. Some basic measures can instantly reduce your risk profile, such as keeping your CMS updated, setting better passwords, and minimizing the plugins and extensions used. You can also choose a better, more secure host, rely on HTTPS, and guard against SQL injection attacks.
  2. Work with an expert. Next, consider working with an expert. Basic security measures are intuitive and easy to adopt, but a seasoned professional will be much more capable of identifying potential issues and making recommendations to proactively guarding against them. There are many options for this. For example, you could hire a full-time, internal director of cybersecurity. You could also work with an independent consultant or enlist the services of an IT and security agency.
  3. Understand and prevent your biggest threats. Not every business is going to face the same threats or have the same risk profile. Depending on your business model, the online resources you depend on (such as a website, an app, and internal software platforms), your industry, and your size, you may be especially vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Understand the nature of these attacks and have a plan to prevent them.
  4. Keep things updated. The most common security vulnerabilities stem from outdated software and devices. When developers learn of a vulnerability, they design and implement a patch to fix it – but this is only effective if you take the time to update the software. The easiest long-term solution here is to turn on automatic updates, but it’s also suitable to take time regularly to review and update your software manually.
  5. Monitor for abnormalities. Your business needs some kind of monitoring system in place. For example, if you have a website, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your traffic and take action if it seems like an excessive volume of traffic is coming from bots in an attempted DDoS attack. Often, if you catch an abnormality early, you can take proactive measures and prevent a worst-case scenario attack.
  6. Utilize firewalls and screening. It’s also helpful to implement firewalls and other screening features. Firewalls are fully customizable, allowing you to determine which kinds of traffic are allowed into and out of your network. It’s a great way to prevent outsiders from launching attacks and prevent your employees from making a critical error that could jeopardize your business.
  7. Train your employees. By some estimates, human error is the root cause of roughly 60 percent of all security breaches. Most cybercriminals don’t want to go through the effort of breaking through a robust defense; it’s much easier to use social engineering to get an employee to voluntarily hand over their password. Attacks along this vector are so simplistic they often require no existing technical knowledge. The upside is that they’re also easy to prevent. Spend some time educating and training your employees on basic best practices in cybersecurity, such as avoiding opening unfamiliar email attachments, choosing strong passwords, and refusing to give out passwords to others.
  8. Don’t forget about physical security. Finally, don’t neglect the importance of physical security. The best firewalls and monitoring systems available aren’t going to do anything if someone breaks into your office and steals a physical laptop that isn’t secured with a password. If your business operates remotely, you’ll need to train your employees to follow physical security measures.

The Importance of Adaptability

Hackers and cybercriminals are always adapting. They’re figuring out new strategies, they’re identifying new kinds of vulnerabilities, and they’re coming up with more impressive attack sequences. On top of that, there are more and more cybercriminals and hackers to contend with every year.

If you want to stay at the top of your game and keep your business well-protected, it’s vital to remain adaptable. You have to stay one step ahead of the threats and keep modifying your business to stay secure.

The real tragedy is that most cyberattacks are entirely preventable. With the right combination of proactive strategies and cybersecurity improvements, you can maximize your chances of remaining unscathed.

Cybersecurity Improvements

Let’s take a look at some of the most important cybersecurity improvements you can make:

  1. Invest in website security. If your business has a website, you’ll need to think seriously about website security. Your website is one of the most important elements of your business’s success, and it’s highly vulnerable to attack. Some basic measures can instantly reduce your risk profile, such as keeping your CMS updated, setting better passwords, and minimizing the plugins and extensions used. You can also choose a better, more secure host, rely on HTTPS, and guard against SQL injection attacks.
  2. Work with an expert. Next, consider working with an expert. Basic security measures are intuitive and easy to adopt, but a seasoned professional will be much more capable of identifying potential issues and making recommendations to proactively guarding against them. There are many options for this. For example, you could hire a full-time, internal director of cybersecurity. You could also work with an independent consultant or enlist the services of an IT and security agency.
  3. Understand and prevent your biggest threats. Not every business is going to face the same threats or have the same risk profile. Depending on your business model, the online resources you depend on (such as a website, an app, and internal software platforms), your industry, and your size, you may be especially vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Understand the nature of these attacks and have a plan to prevent them.
  4. Keep things updated. The most common security vulnerabilities stem from outdated software and devices. When developers learn of a vulnerability, they design and implement a patch to fix it – but this is only effective if you take the time to update the software. The easiest long-term solution here is to turn on automatic updates, but it’s also suitable to take time regularly to review and update your software manually.
  5. Monitor for abnormalities. Your business needs some kind of monitoring system in place. For example, if you have a website, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your traffic and take action if it seems like an excessive volume of traffic is coming from bots in an attempted DDoS attack. Often, if you catch an abnormality early, you can take proactive measures and prevent a worst-case scenario attack.
  6. Utilize firewalls and screening. It’s also helpful to implement firewalls and other screening features. Firewalls are fully customizable, allowing you to determine which kinds of traffic are allowed into and out of your network. It’s a great way to prevent outsiders from launching attacks and prevent your employees from making a critical error that could jeopardize your business.
  7. Train your employees. By some estimates, human error is the root cause of roughly 60 percent of all security breaches. Most cybercriminals don’t want to go through the effort of breaking through a robust defense; it’s much easier to use social engineering to get an employee to voluntarily hand over their password. Attacks along this vector are so simplistic they often require no existing technical knowledge. The upside is that they’re also easy to prevent. Spend some time educating and training your employees on basic best practices in cybersecurity, such as avoiding opening unfamiliar email attachments, choosing strong passwords, and refusing to give out passwords to others.
  8. Don’t forget about physical security. Finally, don’t neglect the importance of physical security. The best firewalls and monitoring systems available aren’t going to do anything if someone breaks into your office and steals a physical laptop that isn’t secured with a password. If your business operates remotely, you’ll need to train your employees to follow physical security measures.

The Importance of Adaptability

Hackers and cybercriminals are always adapting. They’re figuring out new strategies, they’re identifying new kinds of vulnerabilities, and they’re coming up with more impressive attack sequences. On top of that, there are more and more cybercriminals and hackers to contend with every year.

If you want to stay at the top of your game and keep your business well-protected, it’s vital to remain adaptable. You have to stay one step ahead of the threats and keep modifying your business to stay secure.

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The 8 Most Important Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity Strategy