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Are you determined to protect both your profit turnover and your brand image at all costs? If so, it is imperative that you go above and beyond to safeguard your business' data.
To find four things you must do to perform this crucial task, be sure to read on.
Draw up a cyber defense strategy
If you are serious about protecting your business' data from all of the danger that has the potential to befall it, you cannot just have a vague idea of what you plan to do in the event of a cyberattack. You need a strong cyber defense strategy in place if you are to stand a chance at fending off today's most dangerous online threats.
Here are five steps you must take in your attempt to draw up a robust cyber defense strategy:
- Identify what it is you are legally required to protect (employee records, customer details, transactions, loyalty schemes, etc.)
- Get to grips with your 'risk appetite' (the risk that your company is prepared to accept)
- Understand the threat landscape and study the dangers that you face (hacking, malware, phishing, trojan attacks, etc.)
- Determine the state of your current cybersecurity environment and establish a timeline for protection enhancement
- Evaluate your business' ability to execute your cyber defense strategy (do you have the right tech at hand? will your IT team be capable of handling this large-scale project?)
Educate your employees
Unbeknownst to them, your employees could be putting your business' data at risk every time they access your network. If they are not incredibly careful when it comes to cybersecurity, your staff members could accidentally bring down your protective measures and, in turn, open up the floodgates for cybercriminals to exploit your private company information.
If you want your employees to help and not hinder you in safeguarding your data, you need to educate them. To perform this all-important task in a highly effective and efficient fashion, you must:
- Talk to your employees regularly about cybersecurity and the current cyber threat landscape
- Ensure that everybody is aware of the important role they play (your system is only as strong as its weakest link!)
- Train your employees to recognize attacks (especially those that involve email phishing)
- Ensure that your staff members feel comfortable enough to raise red flags with you
- Test your employees' cybersecurity knowledge on a bi-annual basis
Align yourself with a professional whenever you sense danger
Regardless of the lengths that you go to in your attempt to educate your employees about the dangers of data theft, you can never truly control their actions while they are connected to your company's WiFi. No matter how hard you try to teach them right from wrong in this instance, your staff members could end up compromising your data security at any moment.
Should your employees ever click on a dangerous website (either intentionally or otherwise), the chances of your business being the target of a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack will increase tenfold. This type of vulnerability occurs when a web page lacks both validity and input filtering; without these two crucial components of cybersecurity, hackers are allowed to execute malicious code on innocent web users' computers.
If you want to stand the best chance possible of fending off this incredibly common and treacherous form of cybercrime, you must align yourself with a professional the moment you sense danger. The quicker you get in touch with an expert such as Veracode, the more likely you will be to reverse this type of attack and, ultimately, keep your user IDs and passwords safe from harm.
With Veracode by your side, you will be able to reap the following data defense benefits:
- Seamless identification of errors
- Immediate, real-time feedback within the IDE
- Authenticated scans that identify XSS vulnerabilities in seconds
Strengthen your passwords
Your passwords are your first line of defense in the war against cybercrime. Quite simply, should your codes and virtual keys ever become compromised, your data will be a sitting duck for hackers and scammers.
If you want your passwords to play an effective role in your cyber defense strategy, you must strengthen them by putting the following advice into practice:
- Avoid using easy-to-decipher information in your passwords (your company name or motto, for example)
- Use unique passwords for each account that you open
- Take full advantage of a password management solution
Should the employee records or customer details that you store ever fall into the wrong hands, you will be sure to face a plethora of problems. The financial implications of dealing with data theft will undoubtedly cost you a substantial amount of money in the long run. On top of that, you will also be tasked with rebuilding your brand image and reputation.
If you want to avoid the host of headaches associated with cybercrime, you must go above and beyond to safeguard your business' data. Put the advice laid out above into practice, and you will be sure to do just that.