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The number of companies that fall victim to cyber attacks steadily increases every year. According to BCI, 66% of organizations have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident in 2016, and 11% have experienced more than twenty incidents. While falling victim to such attacks is not necessarily in direct correlation with an organization’s lack of security, there are ways to improve organizational and individual habits to help bolster security and significantly lower risk. In this article, we have outlined six ways to reduce the risk of cyber attacks.
1. Reduce Data Transfers
Transferring data from business devices to another device is often inevitable as a result of the increasing amount of employees who work remotely. While it may appear secure, keeping work data on external or personal devices may expose your data to hackers. Partnering or consulting with an experienced cybersecurity provider will help you to determine devices or endpoints that are exposed and how to better secure them.
2. Download Discernment
Downloading files from the internet without verifying their sources can expose devices to many types of security risks. Some of the common types of malware that are encountered after downloading files from untrustworthy sources include:
- Ransomware: Malicious software that, upon downloading to a computer, encrypts files so they can no longer be accessed. Alternatively, it locks down the entire operating system, so anything is inaccessible to the user.
- Adware: Unintended advertising that offers free downloads
- Scareware: False advertisements about viruses
It is always important to verify sources and avoid unnecessary downloads to lower your device susceptibility from malware.
4. Software Updates
While software updates are often free, like those that are regularly provided by Microsoft, end users may ignore or postpone installing those updates due to busy schedules. Software companies are continually providing these patches to make their products more secure, and not installing them can make devices highly vulnerable to an attack, so don’t make a habit out of skipping them.
5. Monitor Data Leakage
Data leaks that compromise sensitive or proprietary data can be incredibly damaging to a company’s reputation. There are a variety of ways that data leaks can occur, including, but not limited to:
- Sharing internal data with vendors who have risky security practices
- Saving information on unsecured devices
- Transmitting data over an unsecured Wi-Fi
Retaining a professional cybersecurity team to regularly monitor where data resides and identifying and mitigating existing leaks will help you to lower the risk of data exfiltration.
6. Develop a Breach Response Plan
Breaches can still happen for companies with security checkpoints and security guards. Establishing an incident management plan helps any type of organization determine how to respond in a real-life scenario and how to contain the damage.
Align’s subject matter experts leverage over three decades of experience, providing award-winning Managed IT Services and Cybersecurity Risk Management Solutions. Align’s Customized Cybersecurity Programs, Managed Threat Protection and Education Models can help your business identify and mitigate cyber risks. Our unique end-to-end cybersecurity solution and collaborative approach allow us to detect risks and identify threat points embedded in virtually all business functions across the cybersecurity risk management spectrum.