With hackers increasingly targeting business establishments, it has become essential for companies to secure their data. This responsibility falls upon the CIO of an organization and he needs to take adequate steps for IT security solutions. With information flowing in and out of businesses at several stages, the points of attack for hackers have vastly increased.
This is especially true in the case of small businesses, as many of them don’t even have an IT department in place to counter cyber threats. As a result, such establishments need to follow several guidelines in order to maintain company security.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication enhances account security by using something that the account holder knows (passwords) and something he owns (mobile phones). While this may not make accounts invincible, it does add an extra layer of security.
Be aware about phishing techniques
Phishers regularly use ‘social engineering’ tricks to steal data and confidential information. They trick people by displaying fake pages and inviting them to willingly divulge their details and passwords. It is advisable to be aware of the common tricks used by phishers and also to educate employees.
Carry out efficient data storage and management
Data management is crucial as improperly stored data can be misused. CIO’s should ensure that employees only get access to data that they need and no more. They should also be trained on how to handle and store the data. CIO’s should also create a sorted data inventory and classify it efficiently.
Never underestimate the importance of data encryption
If data is stored anywhere, it can be breached. Therefore, encrypting it is essential. Several tools can be used for this and CIO’s need to pick the most appropriate one. Windows PC’s have a built in feature called BitLocker (Macs have FileVault) that encrypts entire disks within minutes. Using advanced tools for encryption is also recommended.
Secure wireless networks within the organization
Many hackers use a technique called ‘wardriving’ wherein they drive around in cars fitted with high powered equipment to scan for weak and unprotected networks. Once located, they infiltrate them and steal data or block them and hold companies to ransom. CIO’s should ensure that their wireless networks are secured and their broadcast signals are cloaked.
Ensure that cloud services are adequately secured
Companies use several cloud services to operate today. It is necessary to ensure that these services are secured in the right manner so as to minimize data loss, identity theft and other threats. Secure cloud services should be preferred over unsecured ones and CIO’s should monitor all potential access points for hackers.
Build a risk-aware culture and educate employees
In order to avoid cyber-threats and hackers, all employees of an organization must be on the same page. CIO’s should regularly train and educate employees about various threats and how to avoid them. A company that has a prevalent risk-aware culture will always be able to prevent cyber-threats before they reach crucial stages.
Keep everything updated at all times
Some of the biggest threats to enterprise security are programs that have not been updated. CIO’s should ensure that vulnerable programs like Flash, Java and others are updated on all their machines.
Follow all commonly preached precautions
All CIO’s are well aware of several commonly known precautions like efficient firewalls, gateway servers, updated programs, employee training and more. They need to ensure that these precautions are strictly adhered to and not disregarded. Spambots and DDoS attacks can lead to several security issues, so prevention is better than cure.
Use the best anti-virus and security possible
Needless to say, CIO’s should ensure that they have the very best antivirus software installed and functional on all the machines that the business operates on. Each of these machines can be a source of vulnerability so keeping them all secure is only possible with the aid of a complete enterprise security package.
By keeping these top 10 security measures in mind, CIO’s can prevent cyber-attacks on their organizations. They can help minimize the threat of data loss and resource mismanagement as additional benefits.