This week is the final week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean that you or your organization should be relaxing your efforts to be more cybersecure. In fact, every aspect of our connectivity, from our devices to the cloud, can affect the future of our personal, consumer, and business cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming more of a consideration in how we work, learn, and play. It is rapidly expanding beyond the realm of just cellphones and computers and will soon encompass network-connected IoT devices, like smart thermostats, driverless trucks, and even children’s toys. The IoT market is set to reach a value of more than $1 trillion in the next few years, expanding both our connections and capabilities, as well as the potential for new and ongoing breaches in cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with a crisis, like a breach or a hack in your workplace. However, when we treat cybersecurity as a year-round effort, it becomes much easier to manage.
Today, we’ll guide you through some of our most useful and actionable tips to help keep cybersecurity a priority throughout your company, reducing your risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.
Actionable tips for year-round cybersecurity
Being cybersecure doesn’t just begin and end with your IT department. As a business owner and company leader, you have a responsibility to do your part and incorporate greater awareness of cybersecurity into every decision you make.
Making these changes doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition, although many companies are making sizeable investments in this area this year. Annual global cybersecurity spend is growing at a rate of 12–15%, with more than $1 trillion expected to be spent between 2020 and 2025 alone. Making risk-reducing changes can be as simple as limiting file access since, currently, reports show that two-thirds of companies offer all employees access to at least 1,000 sensitive files. This can be remedied quickly and will immediately reduce your risk and limit damages in the event of a breach.
Here are a few more of our most useful tips to help you be more cyber aware.
Remember smart devices connected to the cloud need smart security
Making investments in IoT and smart devices can make our workplace smarter, offering actionable insights that we can use to help increase productivity. However, the use of these devices should not be undertaken lightly.
Instead of unthinkingly letting these devices access your network, take the opportunity to work with your IT department to create new security policies that govern your company’s use of these objects.
Ensuring that these devices are configured correctly will help ensure better security, but that’s just the beginning. Regularly updating devices with the latest patches and network settings will help ensure they remain protected from hackers, who can use them as the first point of contact to access sensitive files and data.
Put cybersecurity first in every decision
As a leader, there’s very little that goes on within your business that you aren’t involved in. Even if it isn’t your forte, you still need to be an advocate for cybersecurity and ensure that it’s considered a critical part of every decision.
Whether you’re leading the development of better cybersecurity policies or simply creating relationships with reliable agencies and partners to ensure you always receive timely access to cyberthreat information, you have enormous power to implement positive change. Make sure that you’re using it to put cybersecurity first in every aspect of your job.
Advocate for strong passwords and passphrases
If companies do not develop strong and resilient password policies, employees will be left to determine the best practices of password creation on their own. Instead of prioritizing company security, most employees will simply do what’s easiest for them, leaving company data and systems vulnerable.
Strong password policies can empower your employees, making it easier for them to get involved in the cybersecurity of your organization. Training them on password best practices and providing them tools like an electronic password manager are great first steps.
Never use public computers to log into your accounts
When you’re trying to stay on top of company business, it’s tempting to bypass security in favor of getting work done. This drive has led many business leaders to use public computers to log into their secure work accounts. These public devices are not safe for secure company work, even if it’s something as simple as checking your email.
Always err on the side of caution and avoid using these public machines. If you have used a public computer to conduct work business in the past, change the passwords on those accounts now.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when idle
When your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity is engaged, your location is being tracked. To help limit your exposure, especially when you’re in the workplace, you should always disconnect your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities when they are not in use.
Looking for more resources on how to help your company be more cyber aware? Check out this list of resources from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the organizers of Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
How cloud computing can improve your organizational cybersecurity
If your sensitive data and applications are all hosted on a local server, this can be a huge potential risk for your cybersecurity. Making a move to the cloud can help offer better protection for these assets, while also simplifying the process of regular backups and disaster recovery efforts. Many organizations have used the upheaval of the last year to implement new cloud architecture, with forecasts projecting a global spend of almost $75 billion in 2021 alone.
Have you considered implementing more cloud computing to help with your organization’s cybersecurity? What’s holding you back?
This is a complex, yet necessary, process that can help lower your company’s risk for a breach. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, a trusted cloud expert can help you determine the best way forward.
Enlist a cloud services expert for continued cybersecurity support
Deerwood Technologies has been working with businesses in Minnesota and the surrounding area for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve been trusted to implement quality IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, to help improve their ROI and ensure their ongoing cybersecurity.
Want to start a conversation about improving your organization’s cybersecurity through a move to the cloud? Reach out to Deerwood Technologies to start the conversation today.