If you haven’t yet read our previous piece in this blog series, which explains what steps your organisation needs to take in order to check cybersecurity risks, we recommend that you go through it first to understand this topic better – here. In this article, we cover some of the most important steps your IT team needs to take, specifically, in order to ensure your organisation isn’t vulnerable to the world of cyber threats. Let’s cut straight to the chase!
Expert Advice for Avoiding Cyber Threats Whilst Your Staff Works From Home
Part 2: Steps To Be Taken By Your IT Team
#1. Setup End-Point Security Management Software
If your organisation has a BYOD policy and your staff are currently using personal devices for work, the cybersecurity risks are much higher than usual. Needless to say, your IT team should now spend more time than usual monitoring your office network for any and all potential cybersecurity incidents.
However, to ensure utmost network security, your IT team needs to install endpoint security management software, which needs to be updated regularly to keep in check the new and upcoming cybersecurity threats. In addition to this, they need to ensure that the enterprise network is protected, end-to-end, with an enterprise-grade firewall.
This will also help your IT team track who is logging on to the office networks, from what location, using which device and operating system.
#2. Provide a Secure VPN Connection to All Employees of the Organisation
Once the hackers get access to the account(s) of one or more employees, the next step is usually stealing sensitive business data and unleashing a cyber attack. This is why it’s now more important than ever to make sure your entire remote staff is provided access to a highly reliable and secure virtual private network (VPN) connection, in order to effectively encrypt their emails, file transfers, and other sensitive business communication, while also masking their IP addresses. If not using a VPN, your employees’ work devices and online communication can get intercepted by ‘bad actors’ without much effort.
#3. Implement Strict Email Security Policies and Protocols
If your organisation is serious about not just securing sensitive business information which gets shared in email communications, but also blocking phishing and spoofing attempts, implementing strict email security policies – such as DKIM, DMARC, and SPF – is a major key.
#4. Keep Your Databases Fully Secured by Making Multiple Backups on a Regular Basis
Disasters strike without warning, which means disaster recovery is an aspect of cybersecurity which should never be ignored. As a first step, make sure your IT team regularly creates multiple backups of critical business data, stores them securely at different locations, with at least one copy of these backups placed at an off-site location as an added safety precaution.
#5. Implement Two-factor Authentication for All Employee Accounts
A strong password may prove to be helpful in most cases, but it’s still not an adequate account security measure, all by itself. Two-factor authentication (or 2FA, in short) can provide a reliable added layer of account security when employees log into their accounts, and also cause an alert, in case any suspicious account login activity is noticed. This security protocol relies on using an additional passphrase, which is unique, time-sensitive, and gets delivered instantly to the account owner’s work device when they are trying to log in.
#6. Set Up a Strict Policy for User Access Control
The last thing you want is one of your organisation’s insiders to become the weak link and get influenced or misdirected by ‘bad actors’ into revealing sensitive business data. Hence, your IT team needs to implement a strict policy for managing user access control for each of the employee accounts.
By limiting the access to your company’s internal databases to only a few selected people, specifically the ones whose jobs fully depend on it, you can effectively reduce the chances of a potential data breach happening in the future. Ask your IT team to implement RBAC (role-based access control) or a similar access control policy across the board, for all the employees of the organisation.
This isn’t a definitive list of actions your IT team needs to take for improving the cybersecurity strength of your organisation. However, it’s certainly a good place to start.
In the next article of this series, we will be shedding light on how IT support and cybersecurity firms can provide round-the-clock protection to your business from all kinds of cyber threats and support business continuity, without requiring a significant investment. Stay tuned!