Cyber crime is big business for cyber criminals… and it’s a threat that’s increasing all the time. In fact it is predicted that the cost of cybercrime will cost the global economy as much as $6 trillion a year by 2021.
Cyber criminals are highly motivated and organized – some of these organizations are extremely sophisticated. They are able to succeed because security measures aren’t tight enough and employees are too careless with credentials – leaving finances, company secrets and personal data exposed and vulnerable.
These are measures you can take to reduce the probability of your organization being the victim of cyber crime:
1. Tighten your security controls
Make sure your systems and software applications are using the maximum security settings. This can include turning off unnecessary services or denying privileges in the settings to most users.
2. Keep your software patched and up-to-date
Software vendors release new versions of software and patches for software quite regularly, often in response to the discovery of vulnerabilities that are being exploited by hackers. Unfortunately many businesses don’t install these updates and patches in a timely manner and are eventually targeted.
3. Have a good first line of defense
Make sure you are using reliable anti-virus software and anti malware software and regularly download definition so you can be protected against the latest threats. You should also have a firewall in place to help protect your systems from incoming attacks.
4. And protect your outbound data as well
You should take measures to ensure that certain data never leaves your organization – either as the result of a rogue employee or a simple user error. Egress filtering can prevent sensitive data or malicious software being released to the outside world from your company’s network.
5. Have good password protocols
Many companies make the mistake of issuing their employees with default passwords that are easily guessed, and/or not enforcing their employees to regularly change these passwords. In 2017, a study of 10 million computer users revealed that 17 per cent had ‘123456’ as their password.
Employees should be required to have strong, unique passwords in place to access any business-related software, devices or hardware. Passwords should be changed regularly too, and should contain a mix of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers.
6. Raise awareness and educate your employees
Every employee in your organization should be savvy and alert about security risks. They should understand different threats such as phishing scams, suspicious attachments and other ways hackers can try to access your systems.
A good way to run these campaigns is by using DeskAlerts, a clever internal communications solution that sends messages to your employees’ desktops in the form of a pop-up window, disrupting whatever they are doing so your messages can penetrate.