Good Cybersecurity Practices — How To Protect Your Digital Assets
As more businesses are going digital, so are the assets belonging to these organisations. However, the increase in digital assets being accessible online has resulted in an increase in cyberattacks as well. In fact, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), there are 144 cybercrimes reported every day which have resulted in $300 million worth of losses annually.
ACSC’s survey of small businesses in 2020 has revealed that 62% of businesses have experienced a cybersecurity breach, yet 50% said they spent less than $500 to protect their digital assets. Another study has revealed that 95% of breached records came from three industries; government, retail and technology. These industries are popular targets thanks to the abundance of personal information in their records.
In this post, we’ve outlined the steps you can take to improve your cybersecurity and protect your digital assets.
What Are Digital Assets
You may think of your business’s assets as the cash in the account, equipment, vehicles and premises. However, you most likely have digital assets as well whether they exist on your device, local server or online.
Your digital assets include (but are not limited to) important documents, E-mail contacts, customer lists, photographs, websites, blogs, apps you’ve created, manuals, business processes you’ve developed, and products that you have online. While some assets may be more valuable than others, they’re all vital to run your business and could cost you if they fall into the wrong hands.
Backup Your Data
The first step to strengthening your cybersecurity is to back up your business’s data. Perform backups often and use multiple backup methods to ensure your important files are always secure.
Schedule automatic, daily incremental backups and use a combination of weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly server backups according to your business needs. Other than backing up to a local server, you can back up your data to a cloud storage for more security. You can also save some crucial files to external secure storage devices like a portable hard drive or USB flash drive.
To ensure your backup data is usable, do regular checks and test that you can restore the data.
Secure Your Network And Devices
Cyber threats such as computer viruses and malware can attack your business via the internet and through external devices that you connect to your computers. To ensure that your devices and network are secure, here are steps you should take:
- Set up a firewall to examine and filter all the information coming through your Internet connection. A firewall is the first line of defense because it can stop malicious programs or attackers from gaining access to your network and information.
- Install business security software on all of your company’s computers and devices to protect against viruses, malware and spyware.
- Update your software regularly including your operating system and security software. Regular updates will ensure that your software is protected against the latest cybersecurity threats.
Manage Your Organisation’s Passwords
To prevent hackers from getting easy access to your devices and online accounts, use strong passwords and change them regularly. A strong password should be lengthy and have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
If you find that you have too many passwords to keep track of, use a password manager to securely store them for you. Most password managers can even generate random, strong passwords.
A way to further secure your devices and online accounts is to enable 2FA (two-factor authentication) for logins. 2FA uses another verification method when logging in such as a code sent your mobile phone or email and even biometrics such as your fingerprint. By requiring additional verification, 2FA provides an additional layer of security for your business.
Educate Your Staff And Establish Policies
Your staff and team members are your business’s last line of defense against cyber threats. Therefore, you should educate them so they know how to protect their data, the devices they use and the business as a whole. Things all staff should learn about include:
- How to maintain strong passwords.
- Best online practices when using work computers, devices and emails.
- How to treat fraudulent emails.
- Their responsibilities and rights when using the company’s secure network and computers.
- How to report suspected security threats.
You should also have clear cybersecurity policies in place to help your staff understand their responsibilities when they use company data, computers and devices. The policies should also state what type of business information they can share online and where (social media, emails, website, etc.)
Other Measures You Can Take
Besides the steps mentioned above, there are other measures you should take to further protect your business’s digital assets. Here are some of them:
With these tips, you can ensure that your company’s network and devices remain secure from external attacks and that your digital assets are protected.
If you’d like to know whether your business’s digital security is sufficient, contact Lateral for a thorough cybersecurity audit now. We’ll not only analyse the security of your network and software but also provide a detailed report of the results and recommendations for improvement.
- Consider getting cyber liability insurance for your business. While it may not directly protect your digital assets, it will cover the cost to recover from a virus, cyberattack or data breach, and the resulting legal claims.
- Invest in a secure online platform for customer transactions and make sure it stores customer information safely.
- Consult a professional to conduct cybersecurity audits for your company. Professionals such as Lateral will thoroughly review the quality of your business’s software code, data storage, encryption and communication, as well as provide solutions to fix any security issue that are discovered.