As businesses adopt a more digital approach, they become prone to cyber security threats and attacks, exposing their business and customers to vulnerabilities and risks. Cybercrime and malware advance and innovate along with technology, which is why IT infrastructure services continue to strengthen their systems proactively.
Cyberattacks happen every day. Data theft, data breaches, information leakage, credit card fraud, and hacks are problems that all companies, businesses, and government entities face. Just last year, there were over 18 million new malware samples captured.
Consider the events from 2016 where Russian hackers influenced the US elections; data of 70 million Filipino voters were leaked; the Dyn DDoS attack staggeringly compromised thousands of IoT devices and caused internet shutdown in large parts of the US and Europe; $81 billion was stolen from Bangladesh banks; and Yahoo! experiencing two major data thefts just three months apart.
These are just a few examples of cybercrime that could have been prevented with a solid IT infrastructure. IT outsourcing companies remain vigilant in strengthening their systems and processes to prevent and manage cybersecurity threats.
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1. Regularly Assess your IT Infrastructure
An infrastructure assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of your current information technology systems. This is the first step to strengthening your IT systems by making long-term changes and improvements.
Review your entire IT architecture and environment to make sure that all bases are covered when you start addressing issues, loopholes, and risks.
2. Start with Basic Regulations
Most people use passwords that are easy to remember. What’s worse is that they use the same password across all their accounts due to password fatigue.
Last year, Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, fell victim to password fatigue and used the password “dadada” in different accounts. As a result, his Twitter and Pinterest accounts were hacked.
Create regulations that will encourage your employees to diligently use a strong password that’s unique to each account. Educate both your employees and customers about password protection, and encourage them to change their passwords periodically. Don’t make it easy for hackers to breach your accounts.
Conduct regular awareness training among your employees about malware and virus protection to help them detect suspicious messages or activity on their own.
3. Implement Strong Data Encryption
Encrypt data on your business systems such as laptops, desktops, and other computers. Use a strong encryption for wireless systems. Ask your IT service provider to develop an encryption program specifically for your organization.
Consider the state of data you’re encrypting, as each presents unique challenges. There’s data in motion that’s transmitted over a network; data in use that’s in a constant process of creation, update, and revision; and there’s data at rest, which means that you’re no longer using these files that are stored on computers, hard drives, and other devices.
4. Enable White-Listing Capability
Most networks filter the “known bad” and provide default access to the “known good.” However, advanced malware can now disguise as “good.”
By enabling a white-list capability in your network, you’re only allowing access to networks and users that pass a certain set of standards to identify them as safe and trustworthy. Unknown apps, software, websites, or sources are then isolated in a “black-list” container and minimize exposure to your network. This prevents suspicious malware from overtaking your system and damaging your IT infrastructure.
5. Identity Management Protocol
Identify all accounts, remote users, and associated credentials. Make sure to include SSH keys, hard-coded credentials, and passwords to determine who has access to your critical systems. Once they are all identified, store them in a safe, encrypted place where they can be more efficiently managed and protected.
When employees resign, all their accounts and files should be disabled and purged. Securely dispose of data and information that are no longer needed to prevent data theft. When disposing of old computers and hardware, make sure that you remove the hard disk and properly destroy all sensitive business data and information.
6. Assign a Dedicated Team of IT Professionals
Firewalls and software can only do so much for your business. It only takes an hour (sometimes even just minutes) for hackers to infiltrate your system and expose sensitive information that your organization holds. This can happen in the middle of the night, or when you least expect it.
You can hire a team of IT professionals that’s solely dedicated to monitoring your IT systems and infrastructure on a 24/7 basis. Don’t let your organization become vulnerable to cyberattacks just because your IT team only works during business hours.
Make sure your team is armed with an IT continuity plan. So, they have a system in place to efficiently and effectively handle any malicious event should a cyberattack happen.
7. Partner with a Reliable IT Outsourcing Company
Hiring an in-house team of IT experts that work round-the-clock can be expensive and costly. Consider partnering up with a reliable IT outsourcing company to ensure the security of your data and networks.
With an IT outsourcing company, you don’t have to worry about screening and hiring IT professionals, as they already have a team of IT experts who hold years of experience in delivering IT support services for a wide range of clients.
IT outsourcing companies also keep themselves updated with the newest trends in information technology. They are aware of the latest advancements in cybercrime, threats, and security risks.
Cybersecurity is a serious concern for everyone. Be vigilant! Cyber criminals are constantly updating their knowledge, skills, and tools to bypass sophisticated IT systems. So, it’s important that you do the same thing.
Always be one step ahead to ensure that your business is protected with the most up-to-date information technology available. Create a solid and scalable IT strategy to reduce the risk of cyberattacks and threats to your organization.