Did you know that hackers attack someone, somewhere on average at least once every 39 seconds? Exploiting vulnerabilities in IT security has become big business for cyber criminals, and it’s anticipated that it will only get bigger.
In fact it is estimated that the damage caused by cyber crime will be $6 trillion annually by 2021 – up from $3 trillion in 2015.
If your business falls prey to a cyber attack, the impact can be catastrophic. Not only can it cause major financial damage – maybe even sending you bankrupt – but it can severely damage your reputation and erode any trust you have with clients and possibly even land you in legal hot water as well.
Putting systems in place in advance and being vigilant about security can help to prevent or mitigate an IT security disaster.
These are the best ways to improve IT security in your organization:
1. Educate your people
It’s estimated that employee error is the cause of more than 90 per cent of cyber attacks. This is a statistic you cannot afford to ignore.
Train your staff to always regard security as a serious issue, especially as it relates to your organization’s IT systems.
Often breaches will occur when a staff member falls for a phishing scam, accesses unsafe websites or opens a suspicious email attachment.
2. Enforce secure password practices
Cyber criminals don’t always find a vulnerable back way in to a company’s IT systems: sometimes they are able to come strolling right through the front door.
When a hacker can gain access to an employee’s password, they can log in just as any employee would.
Regularly changing passwords can help to mitigate the risk of passwords becoming known by cyber criminals.
3. Have security policies in place
Staff should be able to read your expectations regarding IT security. This should be a document that clearly and concisely sets out what an employee’s obligations are when accessing your IT systems, and should be kept in a location that is easy to access.
Becoming familiar IT policy should be a mandatory aspect of initiation into your company for new recruits.
4. Alert your staff early to threats
If you’re aware of viruses and ransomware spreading around the globe, it’s important to inform your staff as quickly as possible so they can be vigilant.
With an alert notification system such as DeskAlerts you can communicate instantly with every member of your workforce via a pop-up window that disrupts whatever task they are working on on their computers.
This is a more reliable communications method than email, and you can be assured that it has been received by everyone.
5. Keep your software up-to-date
One of the most common ways hackers access companies’ IT systems is by exploiting known vulnerabilities in software.
Make sure you update software as soon as possible whenever updates and patches are released by software vendors. It is absolutely critical you do this to ensure your ongoing IT security: there have been many cases where hackers have gained access to organizations many months after a patch or update was released but not installed.