Organizations today are facing an extraordinarily risky cybersecurity landscape. These threats can cripple their productivity and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover. “Now more than ever, it’s critical to ensure your business's defenses are at full strength,” said Conrad Bell, Chief Information Security Officer at C Spire.
We asked Bell to share a few tips that organizations can immediately implement to increase their resilience against different types of cyber attacks. Here are his top four suggestions:
1. Apply patches and security updates
The health of your network can hinge on the swiftness with which you update your software and apply patches. Data breaches shouldn’t occur because of a failure to address known vulnerabilities. Businesses that don’t have a strict update policy need to implement one immediately. Plus, updates not only correct security holes, they also add new software features and improve existing ones.
2. Know your network
You need full insight to your network. From security cameras to printers and laptops, your vulnerabilities are growing every day. That’s why it’s critical to have a complete inventory of devices and users accessing your network. You can’t detect suspicious activity if you don’t know what’s in the environment. To improve network security, organizations should immediately gain insight to what’s happening on their network and keep a log history.
3. Train your employees
Whether you work in marketing, accounting or network infrastructure, everyone plays an important role in preventing a security incident. It’s important to keep security at the forefront of everything you do. Many security threats can be avoided by following your company’s best practices and official company security protocols, policies, and procedures. Make sure your employees are regularly reviewing your policies.
4. Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a login verification method that requires you to prove beyond your password that you should be granted access to a system. A recent Microsoft study found that MFA reduces the risk of compromise by 99.22% and 98.56% in cases of leaked credentials. Every business, no matter the size, should implement multi-factor authentication.
Bell also suggested organizations stay informed of credible threats through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which has recommended that all organizations adopt a heightened cybersecurity posture. Read the CISA recommendation here.