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September 20, 2019

5 Cybersecurity Defense Measures Every Business Owner Should Have

No one is safe from cyberattacks, not even your customers or your business. 

With cybercriminals employing more sophisticated ways to steal private information, a single cyber attack can do a significant amount of damage to your business.  

The fact is, it isn't just your moral responsibility to protect the personal information of your customers, but it’s also crucial to building trust with them — which ultimately leads to you getting more sales.

While no one is a hundred percent safe from cyber attacks, there are security measures you can put in place to mitigate cybersecurity risks, manage your security vulnerabilities, and defend against cyber attacks.

In this post, let me share with you five cybersecurity defense measures that every business owner like you should have.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Have a cybersecurity policy in place.

What good are your cybersecurity measures if no one in your company knows about them or their real-life application to help protect your business?

To help keep your business assets protected, you need to have written cybersecurity policies in place that serve as a formal guide to all your cybersecurity measures. 

It also lets your employees and security specialists have the same understanding of the importance of your cybersecurity measures and allows you a way to enforce data protection rules. 

For instance, you can include in your cybersecurity policy a step by step guide for employees in case of a data breach.

Here’s a sample cybersecurity employee guide I created using Canva.

Having guidelines like this in your cybersecurity plan helps your employees respond better to cyber threats in a way that can help minimize the damages.

Your cybersecurity policy shows you a layout of your business assets, the possible threats to your identified assets, and the controls and rules in place to protect them and your business.

It’s also a way to inform your employees and everyone working with your company of their responsibilities to protect your technology and highly-sensitive business information.

2. Understand how cyberattacks work.

One of the best ways to defend your business assets is to understand how cyberattacks are carried out.

When you understand how cyberattacks work, you’ll be better equipped to stop them or at least cut them off before they can do too much damage.

This is where adopting the cyber kill chain model as part of your cybersecurity defense measures can come in handy.

The cyber kill chain model allows you a first-person view from the start (reconnaissance stage) of an attack, all the way to the end when cybercriminals have achieved their objective of stealing your data, infecting your system with malware, and more. 

With the seven steps of the cyber kill chain, you’ll have better visibility and understanding of the procedure and techniques that a cybercriminal will use to carry out an attack.

It’s an effective approach to help you identify the stage where a potential threat will take place and disrupt the attack from doing further damage.

By adopting the cyber kill chain model as a preventive measure, you can strengthen your cybersecurity strategies and defend your business from all sides.  

3. Manage your Internet-of-Things (IoT) device security.

Internet of Things or IoT devices such as your smartphone, security camera, wireless printers, and more pose security risks for your business because they can store sensitive data.

For instance, if a cybercriminal manages to hack into your office router, then all your devices sharing the same Wi-Fi network is exposed to cyber attacks like data theft or exploitation.  

This makes it crucial for you to have cybersecurity defense measures in place that safeguard your IoT devices from attacks, and protect the data of your customers and business.

Here are a few tips to help you do that.

  • Use encryption for both your stored and in-transit data. 

  • Run penetration testing to understand your security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

  • Ensure you are using strong passwords for your router, networks, and devices. To help you create complex and secure passwords, use online password strength tests.
  • Ensure that your connections have proper authentication and allow only those trusted connections to your endpoints.

  • Establish a scalable cybersecurity framework to help support all your IoT device deployments.

  • Segment your Wi-Fi networks to minimize the risks of compromising your data in case of a security breach. It helps contain a cyber attack to a single network. 

By having security measures in your defense plan, you can better protect your IoT devices and data, plus, they can help lower the risks your data being exposed to hackers. 

4. Educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices.

You can have the best security solutions to protect your website in place, but one of the reasons why data breaches happen is due to human error.

Phishing is one of the most common methods that cybercriminals use to trick your employees into handing over sensitive data. 

For example, hackers will send your employees legitimate-looking emails and convince them to download links or files that will deliver malicious software to steal your data.

If that’s not scary enough, cybercriminals even use phishing to infect your system with malware that can shut down your business operations. 

You can help prevent this from happening is to establish basic defense measures such as raising your employees’ awareness, educating them on phishing techniques, and the best cybersecurity practices to protect against this kind of cyber threat.  

Here are a few tips to help address security malpractices and educate your employees on why cybersecurity matters.

  • Run simulations of real-life security breaches, their impact, and the recovery process.  

  • Ensure that all your employees and third-party service providers (if applicable) have read and have copies of your cybersecurity policy.

  • Conduct employee training on cyber threats your business faces and how they can negatively impact your bottom line.

  • Ask each department in your company for feedback on your current cybersecurity system.

Your various departments might have different experiences and security requirements, so it’s best to ask each one to avoid unnecessary security measures that might disrupt their workflow. 

  • Highlight the importance and proper applications of each cybersecurity measures your business has in place.

5. Work with third-party cybersecurity services.

When it comes to running an online business, there are many aspects that you need to look into that may negatively affect your sales, such as web design mistakes and neglecting to prioritize your web security.

If web security isn’t your strongest suit, then working with third-party cybersecurity services may be your solution.

Just remember to look for cybersecurity service providers that offer the kind of services that you need. Check out their website, look at their features, get a quote, and ask questions.

Working with third-party cybersecurity services provides your business and assets the protection they need, allowing you to focus on other aspects of growing your business.

Fortify Your Business

Having cybersecurity defense measures in place helps you prevent potential threats, minimize the risks, and prepare in the eventuality of a cyber attack.

Remember, the highly sensitive data of your customers and your business are essential driving forces for your success, so it’s crucial that you employ cybersecurity best practices to protect these assets.

If you find this post informational, please share it with your network. Cheers!


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