Organizations with weak cybersecurity have been severely punished with cyber-attacks, data breaches, and huge losses in the past. According to Varonis and RiskBased, over 4 billion records were illegally accessed through data breaches in 2019. This mind-blowing figure pinpoints why companies need to have a solid holistic cybersecurity strategy in place.
Interestingly, people seem to have become more aware of the need for a secure workplace in 2020. Nexor, a service provider in the cybersecurity space, asserts that Google searches for ‘cyber defense’ surged by 126% in the first quarter of 2020. To put this into context, that is 116% higher than in the same period last year!
But while awareness is high, actionable measures are less so. Below, we’ll walk you through the best practices that will help you improve your company’s cybersecurity posture.
Security through a VPN
Investing in a robust data security solution can be difficult, especially for smaller firms with few resources. In such a case, a virtual private network is the second-best alternative. Using a virtual private network at the workplace creates a more secure connection through which employees can access files.
Among many other benefits, a VPN encrypts these files and keeps the online activity private by masking a user’s real IP address. Here are the different ways in which a VPN elevates cybersecurity:
Encryption technology in VPNs helps conceal the user’s data. Top VPNs such as ExpressVPN feature best-in-class AES encryption with 256-bit keys, the standard used by the US government. Due to the security provided by encryption, you can keep company data in transit from the prying eyes of cybercriminals.
This feature allows you to connect to different servers simultaneously. The technology increases the level of security by implementing double encryption.
Not every staff at a workplace is tech-savvy and can identify harmful links. The anti-malware and anti-phishing option in some VPNs doubles up to a company’s cybersecurity by intercepting phishing attacks, pop-up adverts, and other malicious cyber threats. With this option, company data can be protected by avoiding malicious links.
Multiple security protocols
VPNs also come with a wide range of security protocols. The standard protocol is OpenVPN, and it’s highly recommended due to its great balance of speed and security. There are however other secure protocols that you can use, such as IKEv2.
Encrypting the Wi-Fi connection at your workplace goes a long way in elevating the overall cybersecurity. You can start with the most basic measure of changing the router’s password to a stronger one before moving to advance options that involve router configuration. Note that by router’s password, we mean the password that protects your Wi-Fi configuration, not the one that permits access to the network.
Password managers and two-factor authentication
Passwords have for long been great identity and access control methods. However, their reliability often hinges on how they are used within an organization. You’d be surprised that most employees use simple passwords or worse, the same password across different accounts in fear of forgetting the combinations.
This practice exposes the company’s data to breaches as hackers can easily crack the passwords. For better password security, it is highly recommended that you use a password manager. This is a handy utility tool that holds your passwords securely and ensures that you use strong passwords at all times. Password managers also allow members using the same account to share passwords safely.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) should also be used at it reinforces security, making it harder for cybercriminals to gain illegal access to a staff’s account. Note that 2FA doesn’t necessarily have to be centered on codes and numbers. Employees can alternatively use applications such as Google Authenticator that forward approval notifications to mobile devices.