Formerly, CEOs used locked file cabinets and shredders to keep their valuable information safe. But with the advent of powerful information systems technology, these executives are turning to more elaborate and effective safeguards. Here are five tips savvy CEOs and CIOs follow to keep their companies’ networks safe.
1. Use Antivirus/Anti-Malware Protection
Malware or malicious software of all kinds – viruses, spyware, ransomware – pose increasing risks to your network. Reputable antivirus/anti-malware applications protect your system and your privacy by fending off the latest threats.
2. Educate Users
Shred-it’s Ninth Annual Data Protection Report cited human error as the main cause of data breaches. Protecting your network starts with educating your employees about cybersecurity. Common threats include:
- Phishing scams – Messages masquerading as entities such as PayPal or the Social Security Department entice recipients to open a virus-laden file or to reveal PII, (Personally Identifiable Information).
- Password Problem – Poorly configured or poorly stored passwords open the door for unauthorized use of your network.
- Clicking Mistakes – Carelessness such as opening an attachment sent from an unfamiliar address or inadvertently sending sensitive data to the wrong recipient can result in serious data breaches.
- Unattended Devices – Do your employees lock their PCs before walking away from their desks? Anyone wishing to do harm or capture PII or other sensitive data can download this information to a USB drive in a matter of seconds.
3. Update Software
Reputable antivirus software providers continuously adapt to the prevailing hacking attacks. Update your versions of this software to take advantage of the revised protection. Updating all your applications is important, too. Developers continually monitor their software for possible security breaches and plug those holes in subsequent releases.
4. Protect Data
Should a breach occur, you need to recover quickly. Consider taking full backups and storing them offsite. Hot backups taken periodically can pick up changes made to the database since the previous full backup. Robust firewalls, software strongholds around your network, also ensure only authorized users enter the network and view the data.
5. Secure Mobile Devices
In a work-from-anywhere environment, your employees need to secure their mobile devices. Use strong passwords to lock mobile phones or take advantage of biometrics to unlock devices. Avoid Wi-Fi hacking techniques by ensuring the Wi-Fi you are using is protected. Mandate your employees log into the network with VPN (Virtual Private Network) and encourage them to use the built-in encryption features available on their mobile devices.
Does protecting your network sound overwhelming? Let the IT experts at JMA Consulting take the worry out of cybersecurity by assessing, implementing, and managing effective processes to keep your network safe.