Cybersecurity is high on any organization’s list of concerns. Adopting cybersecurity best practices allows organizations to consolidate a solid defense in the fight against computer attacks and breaches.
For small organizations, it is easy to think that cybercriminals will not attack them. Interestingly, large organizations believe that they are strong enough to easily resist all kinds of incidents against their computer security.
They are just as wrong as others because this type of attack can occur regardless of the size of the organization. Therefore, adopting the best cybersecurity practices, synchronized with an information security management system, is the only way to avoid being the victim of a cyberattack.
6 Cyber security best practices for growing businesses
Cyberattacks generally aim to compromise systems and access relevant information to take advantage of. Some typical examples are credit card information or login credentials for identity theft.
Implementing cybersecurity best practices save organizations a lot of money. Although this requires an initial investment, in the medium and long term the return on investment will be appreciated. Here are some of those practices mentioned by Steadfast Solutions.
#1. Assign a role dedicated to insider threats
Insider threats are especially critical to information security. Having employees with access to data implies a risk. An unavoidable risk, but one that must be treated.
Building an insider threat program is essential for organizations working with sensitive data. With it, that information is protected along with the reputation of the brand. Therefore, the work must be a responsibility assigned to a professional in the area who reports directly to senior management. This includes developing policies for each area and obtaining the commitment of the directors of each of them.
#2. Install a Firewall and anti-malware software
The first line of defense in a cyber attack is the firewall. The wall of fire is a powerful barrier between information and cyber criminals. In addition to the external firewall, organizations today also install internal firewalls for additional protection. But remote working has also generated the need to install a firewall on the home network of each of the employees who work from home.
For the same reasons, the installation of anti-malware software is made mandatory. Phishing attacks are growing every day, and employees aren’t always vigilant about opening risky links in emails.
#3. Create a clear policy on password management
Many passwords are used in an organization. A single employee can be in charge of ten different access credentials. It’s easy to give in to the temptation to use the same one for everything or to write down the passwords on post-its that stick to the computer screen.
Creating a policy in this regard that is known, understood, and accepted by all employees is the first step. The first step must be accompanied by other actions, such as the mandatory use of an application that generates secure passwords for each event, and that requires them to be changed periodically.
#4. Implement information security training programs
Rather than implement cybersecurity best practices, they should be instilled in employees through training programs that serve that purpose. Employees are the primary line of defense against cybercrime. Therefore, it is important to be attentive to their training needs and to develop all the skills and knowledge necessary to protect the organization.
At the same time, extend the reach of cybersecurity best practices to all stakeholders. Globalization and interconnectivity force many organizations to reassign specialized tasks to external partners or other outsourced organizations. These third-party contractors must also adopt the cybersecurity best practices that we reference.
Both internal staff and external contractors must be informed and trained to follow the implemented cybersecurity policies.
#5. Preserve the physical security of the equipment and backup regularly
Physical security is just as important as technical security. This is even more important under the conditions imposed by the new normal. Physical security begins by completely shutting down equipment that will not be in use for such a period of time that it could eventually be used by an unauthorized person. The same principle should apply to information stored on external drives or flash drives.
While it is important to prevent as many attacks as possible, there is still the possibility of losing data due to an unforeseen power surge or failure. Backing up word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounting files is undoubtedly one of the best cybersecurity practices that always applies.
Similarly, it is important to ensure that the copies are stored in a separate place, to prevent them in case of fire, flood, or theft, for example.
On the other hand, implement security protocols for mobile employees. Many corporate employees must access unsecured public networks while traveling for work. Sacrificing security for convenience is unacceptable in the modern organizational world.
These types of employees, usually from the commercial area, run many risks. Training and education on precautions they can take to avoid risks is one way to be prepared and protected. Designing and implementing security protocols for corporate network access from remote locations will reduce the security gap involving the out-of-office workforce.
#6. Implement an information security governance approach
All organizations need to establish and maintain an information security framework that aligns with existing strategies and management systems. This allows a risk-based approach to be applied at all levels, facilitating the detection of security breaches, and the clear identification of incidents to respond to them quickly.
In other words, each action of each employee, even if it does not require the use of electronic equipment, must be carried out considering the risk that it may represent for information security. So it should be for members of senior management and for the employee responsible for maintenance tasks at the lower level.
In small organizations, information security policy is passed on by word of mouth. That this happens, and that, by chance, in some of these organizations this works well, does not mean that this is appropriate.
To sum up
Documenting information security policies, procedures, processes, and protocols is important because it is the only way to ensure seamless, direct communication at all levels of the organization. Its requirements and guidelines, as well as its controls, are based on information security best practices for growing businesses. But adopting these practices effectively requires proper training and education.