[Editor’s note: In light of the 45,000+ ransomware attacks being reported today, we thought this guest post from tech writer Rick Delgado to be particularly pertinent.]
5 Essential Cyber Security Strategies You Need to Know
Securing your business has taken on a whole new meaning with the different opportunities cyber thieves have as the internet and technology overall continues to evolve. Cyber threats are real in case you’re unaware of the financial impact of cyber hacking.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cybercrime in 2015 was an estimated $3 trillion. The analysis by Cybersecurity Ventures projects potential cybercrime costs of $6 trillion by as early as 2021 worldwide. Cybercriminals are working harder than ever as shown by the 230,000 new malware samples produced each day in 2015. Different damages tied to cybercrime efforts can include but are not limited to:
- Reputational harm
- Deletion of hacked data and systems
- Lost productivity
- Theft of intellectual property
The good news is that, although these cyber threats are real and costly to your enterprise’s safety and security, your business doesn’t need to take the damages. Your organization will need to go through an IT Transformation by being proactive and vigilant. Here are five different cyber security strategies you need to implement in order to keep your business safe and secure:
- Create a security system: Unlike traditional administrative structures where operations and enforcement of rules are handled from the top-down, creating a security system using your human capital will need to be organized from the bottom-up. This security system to protect your enterprise starts by securing devices your employees use in your business. Work on creating a culture of accountability so everyone will communicate with systems don’t seem to being working as intended.
- Increase your employee skillset: Your cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link. Regularly train your team on the latest IT best practices. Help them understand that their efforts are critical to protecting company assets and that it’s in their best interest to increase their IT knowledge base regardless of whether they’re a software developer or a marketing specialist. While it may be expensive upfront, paying for coding boot camps for your employees is a worthwhile investment.
- Backup your data: Just like the best YouTubers constantly create backups of video footage they record, you need to constantly backup your organization’s data. Always backup your data, files and any electronic information that is vital to your business as well as the most recent drafts/iterations of projects your team is working on.
- Put the cloud to work: Although the cloud still has its risks, you are less likely to lose critical data by saving data to the cloud. Using the cloud for data storage is an economical option for small to mid-sized businesses. As smaller businesses scale and grow as result of increased sales, cloud storage and cloud security tools can scale with the business. Cloud options are continuously improving so your business can be sure to always have the latest options for storage and cyber security.
- Invest in your IT infrastructure: Install antivirus programs and firewalls on your computers. Firewalls will discourage the average cybercriminal seeking to do damage your company. Regularly update your computer security systems. Don’t be shy when it comes to investing in your IT infrastructure.
This IT transformation to secure your business will take work and time but the transformation is worth it. To recap what we just covered: create a security system, increase your employee skillset, backup your data, put the cloud to work and consistently invest in your IT infrastructure. As you work to evolve and improve your IT security systems, you will be doing your best to protect your company’s data.
Rick Delgado is a business technology consultant for several Fortune 500 companies. He is also a frequent contributor to news outlets such as Wired, Tech Page One, and Cloud Tweaks. Rick enjoys writing about the intersection of business and new innovative technologies.