7 Ways to Mitigate Your Business’ Cyber Risk
As a small business owner, you are keenly aware of the many risks your company faces. However, one of the most often overlooked of these risks is cyber security. Despite being one of the most common threats, businesses often do not take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from a cyber attack.
Hackers are always coming up with new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, so it’s important to take steps to protect your business. Here are 7 ways to mitigate your cyber risk:
- Perform a cybersecurity risk assessment
- Install a firewall and keep it up-to-date
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly
- Educate your employees about cyber security best practices
- Consistently update and upgrade your software and systems
- Reduce your attack surface
- Monitor your network for suspicious activity
While there are many cybersecurity measures you can take, implementing even a few of these tips can drastically help reduce your chances of becoming the next victim of a cyberattack.
1. Perform a cybersecurity risk assessment.
A cybersecurity risk assessment is an important tool for businesses to identify areas of vulnerability in their systems and networks. By conducting a robust risk assessment, businesses can identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, and develop plans to mitigate or reduce those risks. Risk assessments can help businesses to better understand their cybersecurity posture and make informed decisions about how to protect their data and systems.
When conducting a risk assessment, businesses should consider the potential impact of a breach, the likelihood of a breach occurring, and the costs associated with recovering from a breach. Risk assessments can be conducted internally or externally, and should be tailored to the specific needs of the business.
2. Install a firewall and keep it up-to-date
A firewall is a critical component of any organization’s cyber security strategy. It helps to protect your network from external threats and can be configured to allow or deny access to specific services and applications. However, your firewall must be kept up to date with the latest security patches and updates to be most effective.
Just as importantly, organizations should also consider implementing a next-generation firewall (NGFW) which offers advanced features such as application control and intrusion prevention. NGFWs can provide a higher level of protection against sophisticated cyber attacks.
3. Use strong passwords and change them regularly
Another way to mitigate the risk of infiltration into your business is to use complex passwords. By using a password that is difficult to guess, you make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your system.
You can also deploy multi-factor authentication strategies. This means that in addition to a passwordyou will also need another form of identification, such as a fingerprint or an iris scan, to gain access to your system.
A strong policy is just as important as strong passwords.Your policy should discourage password sharing among employees. Not doing so creates a security risk by allowingmultiple people to know the password to a given account. It also makes it difficult to keep track of who is using which password. Finally, if an employee leaves the company, any passwords they know should be changed to prevent them from accessing company information.
4. Educate your employees about cyber security best practices
The best way to mitigate your business’ cybersecurity risk is to train employees regularly on how to identify and avoid cybersecurity threats. By doing so, you can ensure that your employees are aware of the latest threats and know how to protect your business’ data.
Phishing emails are a common risk to your employees and the importance of identifying phishing attempts cannot be understated because of the damage it can cause to your business. Phishing is a type of online fraud that occurs when an attacker tries to trick a victim into providing personal information or financial data. This information can then be used to commit identity theft or other crimes.
Unfortunately, phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot, so it’s important that your employees know how to identify them. Providing proper training to ensures your employees don’t leave the door open to hackers..
5. Consistently update and upgrade your software and systems
One of the most important things you can do to protect your business from cybercriminals is to apply software updates as soon as they are available. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software, and if you don’t have the latest security updates installed, you could be at risk. That’s why it’s important to check for updates regularly and install them immediately..
To help with this effort, most service and software providers release patches on a regular schedule. Cybercriminals are aware of this and often target organizations that have not implemented an effective patch management schedule. By being aware of when their service or software providers typically release patches, organizations can create an effective patch management schedule and help protect themselves from attacks.
6. Reduce your attack surface
The term “attack surface” refers to the areas of vulnerabilities or entry points that cybercriminals can use to access sensitive information and data. The larger the attack surface, the greater the risk of a successful attack. To reduce the attack surface, organizations need to identify and eliminate as many potential entry points as possible. This can be accomplished through a variety of security measures, including firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and access control lists. Attack surface reduction is a critical element of any effective security strategy.
An organization’s attack surface can be divided into three categories:
- External attack surface: This includes anything that is publicly accessible, such as websites, email servers, and DNS servers.
- Internal attack surface: This includes anything that is accessible from within the organization’s network, such as file servers, databases, and application servers.
- Endpoint attack surface: This includes anything that is connected to the organization’s network, such as laptops, smartphones, and printers.
The goal of attack surface reduction is to minimize the exposure of all three categories listed above. By doing so, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of a successful cyberattack.
7. Monitor your network for suspicious activity
Being proactive is one of the most effective strategies for mitigating cybersecurity risk. By taking proactive steps to secure your systems and data, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack. Implementing strong security controls, such as multi-factor authentication and data encryption, can make it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to your systems and data.
At USX Cyber, we provide advanced cybersecurity, before you need it.. We are able to do that because our GuardientTM platform leverages the most-advanced cybersecurity technologies under the watchful eyes of our US-based analysts. This means your business will be the “first to act” vs. the “last to know” when it comes to cybersecurity threats.
Protect Your Business Today
While following these tips can’t guarantee that your business will be impervious to a cyberattack, they will help you mitigate the risk and make it less likely that your company will be compromised. However, if you’re like many small businesses, you might lack the time, resources or staffing to put these tips into practice. We can help. Contact USX Cyber today and find out how easy it is to get powerful, 24/7 protection that is scaled to fit your business.