Written by: Jay H.
Every business is at significant risk of a cyberattack. Indeed, 42 percent of businesses experienced a cyberattack in the last year, yet many businesses still do not take action to defend themselves. Reducing your firm’s cyberattack risk should be one of your biggest priorities in order to prevent costly breaches. Here are some ways you can reduce the cyberattack risk for your organization.
Nurture staff cybersecurity awareness
Most successful cyberattacks result from human error, with an employee falling for a phishing attack that downloads malware. These attacks are often extremely sophisticated, making it difficult to differentiate between legitimate and malicious emails, especially for the average user.
You can foster your employees’ cybersecurity awareness by providing routine training on topics such as phishing campaigns. This can significantly reduce the risk of employees compromising your firm’s security by:
- Clicking on a malicious link in an email.
- Downloading suspicious email attachments that contain malicious code.
- Disabling or bypassing anti-virus software and firewalls.
- Transferring funds to fraudulent bank accounts from the direction of impersonated superiors.
- Giving credentials of your systems to fake requests.
Limit system access
Most organizations have many user accounts with excessive privileges. You can significantly reduce your organization’s cyberattack risk by implementing the principle of least privileges (PoLP). Essentially, the PoLP is the concept that you should only grant any user, program, or process the bare minimum privileges required to perform its tasks. This means that every user should not have administrative permissions, and even administrative staff should use standard accounts when not performing administrative tasks.
Organizations can implement least privilege access through various steps, including:
- Identify where excessive privileges exist.
- Remove unnecessary admin accounts.
- Determine how much privilege each user, program, or process requires and then grant the least privileges necessary.
- Create user accounts with the bare minimum permissions required to do everyday business activities.
- Use just-in-time privileges to grant privileges only when users need them, then revoke them when finished.
- Only use administrator accounts when absolutely necessary; otherwise, use standard accounts.
- Regularly monitor activity on all administrator accounts.
Develop an acceptable use policy for devices
Your employees need their devices for business purposes, however, careless use can put your organization at risk. You need to determine and enforce an acceptable use policy for devices, including:
- Determining acceptable and unacceptable uses.
- Prohibiting credential sharing.
- Determining work-from-home procedures to minimize cyberattack risk, including VPNs, firewalls, antiviruses, multi-factor authentication, and more.
- Developing a bring-your-own-device policy, if applicable.
Partner with a managed IT service provider (MSP)
An MSP such as Design2Web IT can be one of your greatest assets in combating cybersecurity risks. Their services include 24/7 proactive monitoring and management of your IT infrastructure, data backups and restoration, remote technical support, software updating, and more. Considering that the average data breach costs Canadian businesses $6.35 million, partnering with a proper MSP can be one of the best investments your organization makes. Talk to your MSP to determine which services your firm requires.
Still not working alongside a reputable MSP? Contact us today to discover how we can fortify your firm’s defences against perpetual cyberattacks.
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