For any company or organisation, especially those that rely on technology, it is imperative to ensure that all employees are aware of the cyber security landscape. In addition to implementing the latest security solutions, it takes a significant level of awareness from all staff to ensure that the business is safe from cyber security threats.

The human factor has played a significant role in cyber security for a long time. To adequately addresses this issue, let’s look at the major components that CIO or businesses owners should incorporate into their cyber security awareness checklist.

 

Secure Your Network

 

For organisations, protection of private and confidential information is of utmost importance. It is essential to properly configure all security devices/protocols including routers, firewalls and intrusion detection to prevent intruders.

Many hackers can easily retrieve confidential information from companies that have not patched their web servers. Therefore, always ensure that your web servers are patched regularly to prevent vulnerabilities.

 

Passwords

 

Apart from protecting your network, employees should be required to use strong passwords when logging into applications or staff portals. Ideal passwords should have more than eight characters with a combination of symbols and letters. Managers and employees should refrain from using words that can be found in the dictionary.

On top of that, they should ensure that you have unique passwords for different accounts. It’s important to avoid leaving passwords on places that they can be easily found. Avoid sending your credentials by email.

 

Awareness Training Programs

 

Tech-savvy businesses require well-informed employees who have a clear understanding of where cyber security risks lie. Working from home or on public Wi-Fi possess certain security risks. Thus, you should ensure that all your employees are aware of these risks. Mistakes made by untrained employees can prove to be very costly for the company.

Employees should also be trained on how to spot malicious attachment, pinpoint phishing and places where they should avoid handling sensitive content, especially when working remotely. You can achieve all this by developing a formal cyber security awareness program for all employees in your company in partnership with your IT support team.

 

Tighten Access to Cyber Infrastructure

 

Maintaining strong cybersecurity comes down to proper access control and authentication. You should ensure that your company’s cyber infrastructure, processes and systems are maintained by authorised personnel only, and that access is restricted.

Sensitive areas such as data centres should be restricted to authorised personnel such as the company’s IT staff. Finally, you should ensure that all non-staff members do not access sensitive areas of the facility, where they may be able to access the system and install viruses or steal confidential information.

 

Protect Your Wi-Fi

 

While we all enjoy the benefits that come with Wi-Fi networks, many of us tend to be blind to some of its risks. Many Wi-Fi networks and routers are filled with security loopholes which may leave your valuable data exposed to hackers. You can begin by setting up a guest network using a different SSID. In addition, you should also check your access points and wireless networks on a regular basis to point out any strange devices.

 

Encrypt Sensitive Data

 

The main reason why many business owners do not encrypt sensitive data is that many of them see encryption as a step too far. Apart from being too complicated, many entrepreneurs and managers also consider the expenses that come with data encryption.

However, encrypting any data strongly enough will protect it beyond the capabilities of many hackers. In addition, it’s not difficult to encrypt any sensitive or valuable data transferred between the client browser and the website.

 

At getNEXT we are committed to helping our customers safeguard their IT integrity and ensure their business continuity, focusing on business outcomes, not technology solutions alone. Get in touch today to see how we can help your business.

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