Everyone knows cyber crime is becoming an increasingly large problem, but most don’t realize the full extent of the issue. The global economy loses $575 billion every year due to cyber crime, the Washington Post recently reported. According to Politico, the United States takes the brunt of that damage, losing $100 billion annually. That’s a massive amount of money, and it comes in part from the 40 million Americans who had their personal information stolen in the last 12 months.
Data theft is a major problem, and it appears to be growing. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and are reaching for bigger targets all the time. But that doesn’t mean businesses are no longer at risk. Victims of hacking have come in all sizes, from individuals to enterprises and even the White House, proving that cybercriminals don’t care who you are as long as you have data they can steal.
With the situation becoming dire, it’s more important than ever to focus on security strategies and tighten network defenses. Recently, New York State’s Department of Financial Services released a report on cybersecurity practices within the banking sector in an effort to encourage banks to increase security. More than 150 financial organizations in New York rely on third-party service providers for critical banking functions, leaving the door open for mistakes, fraud and data breaches. But government regulators shouldn’t be the only ones concerned with the future of cybersecurity. Every business needs to keep information security at the forefront of their concerns and take steps to improve defenses. Luckily, there are four basic steps enterprises can take to enhance their security posture:
1: Adopt secure email habits
Everyone who has ever had an email account has encountered spam messages, and the amount of junk mail only increases on corporate accounts that receive hundreds of emails every day. While the majority of these annoying messages get caught by spam filters before ever reaching an inbox, the most dangerous types of junk mail are rapidly becoming more sophisticated and able to fool not only filters but readers as well.
In order to avoid falling victim to a phishing scheme, enterprises should implement two simple strategies. First, have employees view emails in plain text. This removes malicious links and embedded viruses and leaves only the text of the messaging remaining. Second, require workers to create a primary email address that is reserved solely for communication and is never shared with stores or subscription services. This way anything unrelated can be easily identified as junk and deleted before harm can be done.
2: Increase password security
By now, the idea of creating a variety of secure passwords is probably old news, but people still don’t seem to adhere to the practice. Computer users commonly employ the same password for every account they have, making hackers’ work very easy for them. Creating multiple, unique passwords and alternating them throughout accounts works wonders to prevent data breach and theft, and best of all – it’s free.
3: Account for human error
Even with all of the most advanced security measures in place, one wrong click by an employee or a misplaced file can leave an enterprise vulnerable to a cyber attack. There is no way to prevent 100 percent of human errors, but implementing company-wide security training can help to raise awareness of best practices and dramatically decrease the amount of preventable errors made by staff members.
4: Deploy a layered security solution
One of the most reliable ways for enterprises to improve their cybersecurity policies is to employ a endpoint security solution. This type of security option utilizes a variety of different defenses at once to keep malicious actors away from business-critical material, a strategy that is especially beneficial to organizations with large amounts of sensitive information as it will protect records at all possible endpoints. Solutions like Faronics Anti-Virus offers traditional firewall protection, as well as Anti-Spyware, Anti-Rootkit, Anti-Virus and Web filtering.