As 2017 draws to a close, it’s important to look forward into the world of cybersecurity for 2018. It’s worth mentioning that 2017 was the worst year on record for network security breaches, and all signs point to 2018 continuing the trend.
IT support and security should be top on the list of priorities for any business going into next year. Here are a few best practices to adopt for 2018 (and beyond).
Create an Environment of Awareness
According to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report which analyzed over 100,000 incidents in 82 countries, a whopping 63% of confirmed breaches involved leveraging weak, default, or stolen passwords.
Despite all security tools available today, security still has to start at the beginning, and that is with proper training and education of employees. Create an informed workforce that understand and respect the importance of security. This means teaching them the risks of clicking on suspicious links and the importance of setting unique passwords.
With a stolen or weak password, breaching your system is easy for even the most novice of cybercriminals regardless of what other measures you employ. After all, the sturdiest, most secure lock in the world won’t stop someone who already has the key.
Restrict Access When Necessary
Just as a burglar would favor an unlocked door over a gated window, cybercriminals follow a similar path of least resistance. If the easiest way in is through email, then enhanced email and spam protection may be necessary considerations.
This is especially true of devices that may be afterthoughts when it comes to security, such as POS systems. While not always thought of as “a computer,” POS systems are necessarily connected to the internet to process credit cards. If employees are able to freely surf the internet or check email, the POS terminal may be exposed to outside threats.
Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
It is better to have a plan and not need it than to need one and not have it. Disaster can strike at any moment and may come in many forms. From network breaches to natural disasters, if the integrity of your IT infrastructure is important then a disaster recovery plan is crucial.
While backing up your data regularly is important, a disaster recovery plan takes things one step further and establishes clear guidelines for how your organization will approach an incident that threatens or disables your IT infrastructure. It should also include strategies for teaching employees what to do in case of a disaster and how often it should be tested.
Upgrade Your Systems
We live in an evolving world where new threats are cropping up almost daily. While overhauling your entire network may not be necessary, remember that criminals will favor the path of least resistance, and outdated security software and older operating systems fit that criteria.
Upgrading your software, including malware and spam protection with the latest rules and definitions is a big step in the fight against cyber criminals. In fact, keeping current may be the best first line of defense available.
Invest in Managed IT Services
Not every business has the luxury of a robust in-house IT department. However, their need for network security is no less important. Manage IT services can help bring your security software up to date, identify areas of weakness, and even monitor your systems in real time to identify and address incoming threats.
If you’re a business in the Raleigh, Charlotte, or Charleston, SC areas, contact Refresh Technologies today. We provide IT support and managed IT services to businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve and secure their network today.
As cyberattacks continue to evolve, your business’ approach to network security must evolve to meet the growing threat. Whether you’re moving offices, looking to upgrade your systems, or want to identify areas of weakness, we can help! With our on-demand services, Refresh Technologies puts the power of a full IT department at your disposal.