cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is well underway in the US and learning the best ways to keep your business safe online is crucial.

Recent rapid digital transformation and reliance on cloud-based solutions have made businesses – in Africa as in the rest of the world – more vulnerable to cybercrime. In today’s global village getting hacked or being the victim of cybercrime inevitable.

While you can’t ever be able to completely eradicate the risks, there are simple steps to take that can build the cyber-resilience of almost every business. Work with your reality – whilst IS issues are global, they manifest differently in different areas; there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Focus on the basics, develop a plan and lead for success.

The first step is to check the internal and external IT perimeter for gaps. A single-entry point can allow an attacker in, rather like an open window is an invitation to an opportunist thief. In today’s fully connected workplace, every device is a potential entry point for criminals.

Everyone’s security and every piece of equipment needs to be on par.

You can ask a friend to assist and give comprehensive assessments to help mitigate security vulnerabilities.

Look for third-party service providers with built-in security and a good track record, you may have already paid for security services through your email and internet provider; check what you already have and plan from there. Working at scale allows them to incorporate many security features at a much more reasonable cost.

Most importantly, ensure your employees turn on security features in the software and devices they use. Multi-factor authentication is offered on almost all social platforms, is usually free, and is one of the easiest ways to give your security a dramatic boost.

Ultimately, people are both your strongest and weakest link. It only takes one errant click on a phishing mail to open the company to risk. Educate employees on basic cyber hygiene and encourage them to come forward and share mistakes. If an error is out in the open, it can be fixed. Your defense strategy is only effective if breaches are reported.

Develop processes and systems that protect against loss if one person’s email is compromised.

You don’t need to be the most secure business; you just need to be more secure than your neighbors. Most criminals are opportunists, looking to attack easy targets. It’s not about spending; some companies invest heavily in IS but haven’t turned on email multi-factor authentication.

By taking control of your information and network and educating all your employees, you can keep one step ahead of cyber-criminals and continue to serve your customers with confidence.

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