The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks continue to grow, and it is now safe to say that such attacks represent a threat to every company and every individual in all the developed parts of the globe.

Although the risk is a very real one and that many firms now adopt a “when, not if” attitude to security breaches, such attacks are not inevitable. By taking a few simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the chances of your firm suffering a cyber attack.

Know your enemy

The notion that knowledge is power was never truer than in the world of cybersecurity. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of suffering from a cyber attack is to have the best possible understanding of the many forms such a threat can take. Taking the time to stay as up to date as possible with the latest scams and threats makes it easier to identify potential points of weakness.

You should also ensure that all of your systems are updated on a regular basis. One of the reasons the WannaCry ransomware attack was so successful was because tens of thousands of computer users had failed to apply the latest security updates, leaving their systems vulnerable.

Migrate to the cloud

The infrastructure of AWS means there are extremely strong safeguards in place to ensure all data is securely stored. One of the key benefits of AWS Security from Skyhigh includes the fact that the system already meets all the major compliance regulations and that, as you only pay for what you need, it is hugely cost-effective, no matter how big or small your enterprise is.

Don’t overlook physical security

As the majority of cyber-attacks have an online element, it’s all too easy to overlook the physical component of keeping your business secure. Should a criminal gain unauthorized access to your systems within your building or an employee loses a laptop or company mobile phone, this could potentially provide a lead to a major breach.

Ensuring that doors to offices and server rooms are fitted with study locks, that desktop computers are fitted with security tethers, and laptops are stored away at the end of the working day can go a long way towards cutting down the chances of suffering such an event.

Prioritize staff training

No matter how many systems you put in place to keep your firm secure, the fact remains that your employees are likely to be the weakest link. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a once-a-year training session will be enough to change behavior. Introduce a program that involves regular training sessions conducted in different ways to ensure variety and covering different topics.

The best training is hands-on. Your firm may even want to occasionally employ a form of covert testing where selected members of staff are sent suspicious emails to see how they respond. Those that click on the emails are then required to undertake further training to ensure they understand the importance of good cyber hygiene.

If your office operates a bring-your-own-device policy, then ensuring your staff undergoes sufficient training becomes even more important. One benefit of getting it right is that your employees will take their good practices home with them and this, in turn, will help protect their families and their homes from cyber-attacks.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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