Many companies wait until a breach has occurred before making security a priority. The truth is, cybercrimes are a lot more common than people think, and waiting to address security concerns as problems arise may be too late. An attack could have disastrous consequences, especially if the attacker hijacked secure company data or even financial information. Here are some ways that businesses can address some of the most common security vulnerabilities so they can prevent attacks from happening in the first place:
Understand the Vulnerabilities
Before businesses establish a cyber security plan, it helps to know where the real security concerns lie. The role of establishing each of the security risks falls to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), or the Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO), depending on whether or not the company has a fully staffed IT department in-house or uses a Managed IT Service Provider. Vulnerabilities include password security, lack of knowledge concerning the latest scams, and computer viruses.
Once these concerns are identified, the CIO or VCIO would come up with a plan that will enable the IT department to address all of them. For instance, they could keep workers in the company informed of all the latest email scams to prevent someone from innocently clicking on a link within an email that actually contains a virus.
Install Antivirus Software
Companywide use of antivirus software can also help prevent cyber attacks. As such, it is crucial for members of the IT department, or the CIO or VCIO, to research the most effective antivirus software out there and facilitate its instillation on every computer in the company. It is also up to IT to stay up to date on all the latest viruses to insure that the antiviral software the company uses is equipped to identify the latest viruses if they occur. That is why it is always important to install the latest versions of the antivirus software. Developers stay current on the latest threats and always roll out updates when the need arises.
Use a Firewall
One of the best ways to prevent cyber attacks is to use the latest in firewall technology and this means installing firewalls on both the software and hardware level. For instance, Windows operating systems have Windows Firewall already built in, which provides items such as packet filtering and monitoring that enables it to control both outgoing and incoming network traffic. Firewalls at the hardware level would involve protecting the hardware of the IT infrastructure, including network switches. Hardware firewalls are easy to maintain and protect every piece of equipment involved with the company’s networking capabilities.
Cyber criminals are constantly honing their skills, which means that companies need to make cyber security a priority. IT departments need to stay abreast of all cyber threats and create a plan that will prevent these attacks from happening. This includes using updated versions of antivirus software as well as installing firewalls at both the hardware and software levels.