IT supervision in the business world means balancing finances while also protecting the data efficiently. While large businesses have the resources to invest in multiple layers of security, start-ups and small-scale businesses must be more strategic with their expenditure.
While larger businesses can afford to go overboard with multiple layers of advanced security, smaller companies have to be more strategic with their expenses. Occasionally IT professionals make difficult decisions about which investments are more important and which ones can be postponed.
However, since cybercrime has been increasing with the passage of time and hence endpoint security something any business— big or small— cannot afford to exclude from the budget or postpone. According to a report by the Online Trust Alliance, Cyber-attacks doubled in 2017, which is termed as their cord worst year for cybercrime and it has been multiplying every year.
Even an average cyber-attack can cost small businesses dearly. Additionally, it also hampers the company’s reputation, as even one breach could lead to catastrophic consequences.
Here are the top five security tips which will help protect the critical data for your business and reduce the risk of data breach.
1. Vulnerable Entry Points
According to a report by Ponemon Institute, IT professionals estimate that as much as 30% of their organization’s endpoints are unsecured.
To know in which areas you’re most vulnerable, analyse the inventory of company’s endpoints. This includes, all devices and equipment connected to the internet, including employees’ personal mobile devices, laptops, printers, fax machines, etc.
Make a note of how all the devices have been protected and accordingly take measures to secure them.
2. Vetting Vendors
While it might seem appealing to cut your expenses by purchasing cost-effective equipment for the organization, compromising on security might have dire consequences. Hence, ensuring security providers take proper measures to reduce security risks is important. Some of the measures that can be taken are automatic firmware updates, inbuilt malware detection, and encrypted network communications. These three features ensure a secure space for the workplace data.
Keeping these in mind, paying a bit extra and hiring trusted partners with a strict security policy can save money siphoning and fraud. This is important to avoid the incidences of stolen data, legal fees and other unnecessary expenses that can hinder your business and reputation severely.
3. Stay on Top of Asset and User Management
It is very important to monitor and control the device related activities of employees. When employees are provided administrative access to the devices, they can install applications from unknown vendors which might lead to security loopholes and risks. Although the employees might mean no harm, data might be stolen due to the breach.
This also applies to devices which are out-of-date. It is far easier to hack old devices as their bugs and loopholes are well-known by the hackers. Hence, it is crucial to invest on state-of-the-art equipment and devices to ensure better security
Finally, it is quite important to implement efficient management practices and keep a cap on who has administrative permissions to the systems and devices in the company. The access should only be provided to those employees or technicians who are experienced and the necessary skills to access the systems securely without exposing the data to vulnerable environments.
4. IoT Security
According to data published by Statist, the estimated number of IoTconnected devices will surpass 30 billion by 2020. The numbers include those devices that were previously considered to be ‘unhackable’. Smart devices such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, home security systems, bulbs, locks and many more are coming up making lives of people more convenient.
However, these ‘Smart’ devices also pose risks as they follow algorithms and codes over connected devices and can be easily hacked and are considered entry points. Hence it is advisable to minimise the use of these devices in the workplace as they might be an opportunity for a data breach.
5. Employees and Importance of Endpoint Security Management
As an IT pro for a small business or an IT Helpdesk manager, you know how challenging it can be to convince the leadership team to sign off on new tech. But securing your endpoints is non-negotiable. To help employees and executive leadership better understand the importance of endpoint security, take time to educate them on the topic.
Be sure to include facts and ﬁgures — like the number of cyber-attacks that happen each day (4,000 according to the FBI), or how well-meaning employees are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain who inadvertently expose companies’ most valuable assets to professional criminals. Remind users that anything connected to the Internet could be hacked, and should be pro
6. False Positives
False positives are a major hindrance for both small and large businesses in terms of the wastage of IT and cybersecurity resources. False positives occur when a threat is detected, before discovering that it was an error or a unique yet harmless instance.
This not only wastes the valuable time of the cyber security team, which could have been efficiently utilised elsewhere but also drain budgets by using other tools to minimise the risk of the seeming threat. Some big enterprises spend about a million dollars every year on the red herrings of false positives. It also drowns potential threats by providing them a window to wreak havoc on the servers and data.Hence, it is important to monitor the endpoints with the help of an efficient instead of on that shells the cyber security team with false positives.