The word “cybersecurity” is now a part of the daily news cycle as governments and businesses alike continue to experience breaches in their networks. As the costs of such breaches rise, it is imperative that businesses, large and small, develop a business continuity and incident response plan. Cybercriminals don’t stalk only the big companies, on the contrary, the smaller companies are softer targets and easier to penetrate. And, because a network breach can be so devastating to a business, every business should take proactive measures to protect its network and devices.
The U.S’ National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyberattack. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for middle market companies, it’s over $1 million.
When addressing cybersecurity for your business, starting with network security basics is key. Dobson Technologies’ technical support team recommends the following to improve the cybersecurity of your business:
- Invest in cybersecurity training and education for your employees. Most breaches occur because an employee clicked on a link or provided information that allowed a cybercriminal access to the network.
- Be sure to have a business-class network security appliance (NSA) in place. No single product or service can offer 100% security, but a NSA or firewall is like having a guardian at the gate of your network, which controls all the data coming in and out of the network.
- Maintain Multi-Layer Antivirus and Malware protection on the network. Antivirus software scans all the files you open, providing real time protection. To maximize the security effectiveness, it’s very important to stay current on the software updates as new malware and virus definitions are constantly changing.
- Strong web filtering technology. Web filtering tools provide real-time monitoring of URL and content to block undesired access and uphold user permissions to protect your network.
- Two-Factor Authentication. Access control to your computer network is paramount to security, which starts with confirming a user’s identity with two different components for access.
- Robust password complexity and rotation policy. Passwords are an important aspect of computer security and every organization should have a policy addressing it. The purpose of this type of policy is to establish a standard for creation of strong passwords, the protection of those passwords, and the frequency of change.
- Effective backup (It isn’t keeping a breach from happening but can definitely help clean it up!) With ransomware as a prevalent threat to security and how you risk losing access to your company files, practicing regular backups of your network is a proactive step toward a continuity plan for your organization.
Cybersecurity for your organization is a collaborative effort with your I.T. management and employees – but the first step begins with the awareness that I.T. risk is a part of corporate risk management. Get a strategy, get policies in place, and get a continuity plan!
Be Proactive. Be Vigilant.
Dobson Technologies provides partial or full-service IT managed services and Telecommunication solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as high-speed Internet across our 3,000 mile, fiber-optic network. We are celebrating 80 years of operations as a comprehensive technology firm that serves the needs of businesses across the state of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.
*Source: Travis Rutherford, Director of Technical Services, Dobson Technologies