7 ways to spruce up your cybersecurity practices

David Pollino
Posted by David Pollino

It’s not surprising that cyberattacks may be among the greatest threats to companies in 2018. Last year, we saw a large number of high-profile cyberattacks including Equifax, Uber and the now infamous WannaCry ransomware attack. Regardless of size or sector, all organizations may be vulnerable.

Mature, spry businessman sitting and working on the laptop that's in his lap.A new report, “Cyber Readiness” by insurance and underwriting firm Hiscox, has found 73% of organizations have major shortcomings in their readiness to protect against cyberattacks. To protect your business, here are seven ways you can “spring clean” your businesses’ cybersecurity:

1. Safeguard your intellectual property. Intellectual property is vital to many businesses. Product blueprints and trade secrets are essentially the lifeblood of the company. Screen employees and vendors, as well as securing networks, computers and equipment against intrusion from malware and spyware, malicious software that can disrupt devices and networks or capture confidential data and send it to hackers.

2. Patch your systems. Install anti-virus protection on every computer and device on your network.

3. Educate your workforce. Teach your employees to recognize, avoid and report suspicious emails containing attachments or hyperlinks, common signs of phishing, in which hackers use electronic channels to steal sensitive information.

4. Update your data policies. Ensure your software and operating systems are current.

5. Scan for vulnerabilities. To ensure no unauthorized code has been introduced to your company’s network, run a vulnerability scan against approved applications. If any software is vulnerable, you should get your IT department to update and patch immediately.

6. Maintain a separate administrator account. Using an administrator account with a unique password so that if an IT administrator’s primary email or passwords are compromised, hackers will still not have administrative rights to gain control of servers and networks.

7. Create a response place. Develop a plan for responding to cyberattacks. If your business becomes the target of a cyberattack involving unauthorized financial transactions, for example, promptly contact your financial institution and notify federal law enforcement of the incident. Implement verification processes as an extra layer of security for approving outgoing funds transfers or for changes to vendor payment instructions.

Companies can help mitigate common cybersecurity threats by adopting simple measures that can go a long way to protect your organization.

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