Cybercriminals never sleep. Well, actually they do, but that’s not the point we’re trying to make. Every day, they probe the defences of businesses worldwide, looking for weaknesses. When they find them, they pounce, grabbing all the data they can get their hands on.
The consequences of cyberattacks are often dire. According to CNBC, the average attack causes $200,000 in damages. 60% of the time, victimized companies go out of business.
Businesses must stay on top of the latest trends to avoid this fate. In this article, we’ll brief you on cybersecurity tips & tricks that will keep your company safe in 2021.
Bring in a Managed IT Services Firm
Cybersecurity is an incredibly complex field. Because of this, experts often command six-figure salaries.
Most SMEs can’t afford that level of sophistication, so they hire IT generalists. These professionals do the best they can, but often, they come up with mediocre solutions. Often, these defences don’t hold up in their first encounter with a seasoned hacker.
Sound like an impossible situation? Not so fast – there is a way to have your cake and eat it, too. Managed IT services firms provide network services to thousands of American businesses at scale. Because of this, they can hire some of the brightest minds in cybersecurity.
Internet security is a subject best left to the pros. Leave it to the experts, and your network defences can improve dramatically overnight.
Secure your Work Mobile Devices
Thanks to COVID, much of our nation’s workforce does their job from home. The problem is, many of these employees are using unsecured mobile devices.
WFH will be a big part of our lives from this point forward. As such, IT managers should move quickly to supply their employees with secured mobile devices. These smartphone/tablets should come equipped with apps that enable encrypted communications (e.g. Signal, RedPhone, etc.).
But, they should also have VPNs equipped. Also known as Virtual Private Networks, these apps provide end-to-end encryption in insecure environments like cafes. This way, workers can enjoy workplace freedom, all while staying safe.
Make Use of Password Managers
In recent years, hackers have increased their password cracking capabilities. Super-complex passwords have become necessary, but this shift has resulted in unpleasant side-effects.
Namely, nobody can remember their password anymore. Ask your help desk employees, and they’ll tell you – password resets now make up much of their workload. Sometimes, employees are coming up with digital master lists – a risky practice in this day & age.
Instead, we suggest using a password manager like LastPass. It stores all your complicated passwords – in return, you only need to remember your LastPass password. Do this, and you’ll improve security while freeing up your Help Desk’s bandwidth.
Adopt Code-Based 2FA
Hacker password cracking tools have become scary good. But, these aren’t the only tricks up their sleeve. They’re also calling businesses, pretending to be clients & family members.
Here’s why – these days, many login systems make use of 2FA. But often, IT teams implement it by using “Security Questions”. To compensate, hackers mine for answers by mounting social engineering attacks.
Code-based 2FA can counter this strategy. Upon entering your password, IT may send a PIN code to your phone, which you then input on the secondary login screen. Physical tokens do the same thing by generating a one-time code. By implementing either solution, you’ll greatly strengthen your 2FA system.
Consider Alternative Authentication Solutions
Passwords are so 2019. Snobby cliches aside, though, these codes may soon become a thing of the past. The Quantum Computing Revolution is almost here. When it arrives, the computing power it’ll unleash will revolutionize tech.
Unfortunately, it’ll also give the bad guys their most potent tool ever. Soon, the impossibly complex passwords we use today will fall in seconds.
Thankfully, cybersecurity experts are aware of this threat. In response, they are creating alternative authentication methods. Some solutions already exist, like the hardware tokens we covered earlier. Others, like biometric scanners, are currently in development.
When they become available, though, we strongly advise switching over to them. Otherwise, you may become one of countless businesses that will soon fall to quantum hackers.
Update to the Most Sophisticated Firewall Possible
Cybercriminals and bored teenagers aren’t the only hackers out there. These days, entire nation-states are getting in on the action. Countries like China and Russia aren’t just going after government servers – they’re conducting industrial espionage as well.
Intelligence agencies don’t mess around – they employ the best of the best. That said, by making yourself a difficult target, they may move onto easier conquests. By upgrading the best firewall available and keeping a cybersecurity consultant on retainer, you can greatly improve your odds.
Stay on Top of the Latest Cybersecurity Developments
The more one learns about cybersecurity, the scarier the internet gets. However, by taking common-sense measures based on the latest info, you can keep your company safe.