It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
If you weren’t already aware, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! However, cyber and data security shouldn’t just be at the forefront of your organization’s mind just one month of the year – cybersecurity requires a consistent effort.
To help celebrate this month, we thought we’d share some of our latest insights, tried-and-true tips, and best practices for keeping data safe and secure all year round.
Best Practice Number One: Establish and Maintain a Cybersecurity Program
As more and more cyberattacks and data breaches make the news, it’s important for every organization – both large and small – to be concerned about cybersecurity and work to implement the strongest plan possible against cyber risks. However, despite its importance, there’s still a large portion of organizations that lack a proper incident response plan. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of IBM, found that 77 percent of organizations still don’t have a formal cybersecurity incident response plan which is applied consistently across their organization.
One of the key reasons organizations need a policy in the first place is because of the increasing complexity of modern cybersecurity. However, no matter how complex the system, your cybersecurity program should be able to keep up with the landscape as both cybersecurity technologies and cyber criminals become more advanced.
If your organization doesn’t already have a cybersecurity plan in place it’s more than essential to put one together as soon as possible. Having a documented policy that serves as a formal guide to all cybersecurity measures can make a huge difference. Not only does it allow for security specialists and employees to be on the same page, but it also gives organizations a way to enforce the best set of rules to protect data.
Once you’ve established the cybersecurity program, it’s important to review, re-evaluate, and revise it regularly to ensure that your cybersecurity plan is built to protect your business operations and responds effectively when it’s needed. Plans may also need to be updated regularly to capture changes in your organization itself, in technology as a whole, and in ever-evolving compliance regulations.
Related Reading: Why MFT Should Be Part of Your Cybersecurity Strategy
Best Practice Number Two: Educate and Empower Employees
Why is it important to educate and empower employees on the importance of cybersecurity? While, the key to making cybersecurity work is to ensure that all employees are on the same page about best security practices, common risks, and how to identify potential attacks.
Communicate your cybersecurity policy to employees, and make sure they understand the relevant details like what they are expected to do, how to do it, and what could happen if they don’t.
Human error is what hackers rely on. Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip staff with the tools they need to keep the organization safe. Nipping human error in the bud goes a long way towards keeping your organization secure.
Best Practice Number Three: Keep Your Remote Workforce Secure
As the remote workforce continues to grow, it’s important to ensure that employees can log onto your network securely from anywhere without putting your organization at risk. To help keep your remote workforce secure, here are some key tips:
- Connect to private and secure Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi networks should be encrypted and secure, unlike public Wi-Fi networks. Although coffee shops and other locations may seem appealing aesthetically, they don’t offer the same feel security wise and leave wide open space for cyber risks to sneak their way onto your network.
- Use a VPN – With remote work you can help protect critical data by using a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs encrypt your connection and protect your private information, even from your internet service provider. When doing work outside of the office, a VPN is essential.
- Test your defenses – As an organization you can take several paths in order to get a deeper understanding of your risks. This includes things like penetration (pen) testing to identify cracks in your cybersecurity defenses. Third-party penetration testing services or pen testing software can help give your teams the power to easily conduct advanced testing in a secure platform.
For more to do: 5 Ways to Tighten Cybersecurity Working from Home
Best Practice Number Four: Pay Attention to the Top Cybersecurity Trends
Cybersecurity is one of the key trending topics in this current environment. It’s a shifting landscape that’s always changing and being taken to new heights. To keep your organization one step ahead, pay attention to what’s trending so you know what efforts you should be putting your focus towards.
What’s Currently Trending
Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering is an attack that involves the manipulation of others resulting in the obtainment of confidential information. It’s not a new concept, however, and these attacks are becoming more widespread and more advanced by the day.
One of the most well-known forms of social engineering is phishing. Phishing attacks use email and/or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy source. Along the same line are spear phishing attacks, where specific individuals are targeted, rather than just anybody. These attacks typically target someone in a higher-level executive role with access to an organization’s sensitive data.
There has also been an upsurge of SMS phishing and voice phishing. SMS phishing involves the act of trying to trick users into downloading malware onto their phones, while voice phishing aims to trick customer service representatives by posing as IT staff members.
Check it out: Stop phishing attacks with Agari
Ransomware and RaaS
As a top cybersecurity trend, ransomware attacks are largely opportunistic and typically infect a myriad of easy targets in the hopes of collecting a high financial reward. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a disturbing new business model that allows ransomware developers to lease their tools in a subscription-based approach.
With RaaS, ransomware is no longer limited to the developers who create it as they can now sell their product to affiliates who intend to use it to extort organizations. RaaS developers are often highly skilled and build ransomware that has both a high chance of penetration success and a low chance of detection.
RaaS expands the accessibility, potential reach, and overall, the entire ransomware threat landscape. Rather than a single group using ransomware code to attack victims, many groups of attackers can use RaaS to exploit a number of victims with a difficult-to-treat ransomware infection.
More Trends to Consider: The Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends of 2021
Best Practice Number Five: Choose Solutions that Complement Your Cybersecurity Strategy
Implementing and maintaining the right software solutions can go a long way in supporting cybersecurity efforts across your entire business. Ideally, any solution you choose to implement should come from a vendor your trust to keep your data safe.
If you’re in need of reliable and powerful tools to help you enforce security best practices, there are a number of data security solutions available for you to consider incorporating into your cybersecurity strategy.
These solutions include:
- Managed File Transfer (MFT) – Implementing a secure MFT solution in your organization will help guard your data against data breaches through robust security and encryption methods, all while streamlining the file transfer process to save you time and resources. GoAnywhere MFT is an all-in-one file transfer solution that provides secure connections for the transmission of data. It integrates with existing critical applications, allows for role-based security and user authentication, builds automated workflows, and more.
- Adaptive Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – DLP for MFT adds a layer of protection to your file transfers and helps to prevent accidental or unwanted file sharing through content inspection, modification, sanitization, and redaction.
- Data Classification – Data Classification streamlines the load when it comes to handling data, as well as enhancing data security and compliance. Modern data classification solutions include visual labelling which helps to enhance the performance of third-party technology solutions to determine how a piece of data should be treated, handled, stored, and finally disposed of.
Other ways you can help your organization with cybersecurity awareness is by implementing stronger practices like password protection and multi-factor authentication, backing up data regularly, keeping both software and hardware up-to-date, and using antivirus and anti-malware software.
Related Reading: How MFT Fits into Your Data Security Suite