In today’s digitized world businesses can no longer afford to skimp on cybersecurity. Data breaches bring firms to their knees every day and the costs are astronomical. Cyberattacks can take on many forms, some of which are breathtaking in their subtlety and sophistication. No matter how elegant the code may be, there’s nothing pretty about a cyberattack.
Reducing the Attack Surface
Firms today need to take a defensive stance against cybercrime, which means having a deep understanding of the attack surface and proactively reducing it. A company’s attack surface refers to the number of digital resources that are open to attack. Any equipment or network infrastructure with a weakness to exploit is part of the attack surface.
Printers, PCs, phones, and almost anything that connects to the internet is part of the attack surface. The key is to continuously improve defenses on these components to reduce potential damage. The explosive growth of cloud computing has widened the attack surface by connecting even more devices.
Reducing the attack surface can be achieved by improving in these areas:
- Network segmentation – segment off as much of the network infrastructure as possible, isolating endpoints. Ideally, this is done by micromanaging until security can be controlled for each individual device with extensive partitioning.
- Make it simple – the more complicated the security policy, the less effective it is. While an arcane 4,000-page policy might make networks impregnable in theory, no one is going to follow it and mistakes will be made. The more complexity the, more room there is for error.
- Model the attack surface – developing a visual representation of the attack surface in its totality is one of the most effective ways to make improvements to security. By seeing it clearly modeled, weaknesses can pop out and be patched with ease.
In addition to implementing these recommendations, firms are advised to keep the attack surface in mind whenever purchasing new equipment. When shopping for new equipment one of the first questions should be how it will affect the integrity of the attack surface.
The Danger of Wi-Fi Hotspots
While simple, every employee needs to be trained to understand the dangers of public Wi-Fi hotspots. An office worker could easily take their laptop down the street to the coffee shop and connect to a Wi-Fi malicious hotspot setup by cybercriminals, contract viruses, and bring them back to the workplace.
Why Use a VPN?
There are several reasons to utilize a virtual private network, such as security and remote access. It permits employees to get more work done while away from the office without compromising security.
At times, companies experience complications when employees inadvertently forget their laptop or phone at a restaurant or establishment. Safeguard office data by applying encryption and remote access, so thieves are unable to access and use information.
Hackable Keyboards and Mice
Wireless keyboards and mice are easily hacked if the office is within a football field length away from a hacker. There is a variety of technical equipment on the market that is vulnerable to hacking called, “mousejacking.”
Problems with Using Software that is Outdated
Offices need to keep their software routinely updated. The culprit for a high percentage of hacking is from companies utilizing outdated software for their applications and systems.
Defensive Measures to Bolster Cybersecurity, How to Protect Against Cyber Attacks
Now it is more important than ever to have a small business cybersecurity plan. Starting with simple yet effective cybersecurity measures that every firm should be implementing, two-factor authentication is a must. Company systems should invariably require two-factor authentication to log into any systems.
The Importance of Employee Cybersecurity Training
All the cybersecurity knowledge in the world won’t do any good if it is not distributed across the entire workforce. Employee cybersecurity training is one of the single most effective ways to improve defenses.
Hackers count on technical naivety in the workplace and exploit it at every turn. Downloading an attachment from a single spam email can trigger a massive cyberattack and cost the company millions.
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