Every business in the world, no matter how big or small, looks to develop strategies to continue to be successful. In order to do so, businesses must overcome numerous hurdles in their everyday operations, including cybersecurity threats which have been on the rise because of the acceleration of business digitization.
Nowadays, most businesses run the majority of their operations online. This practice has made it more accessible for cybercriminals to exploit businesses around the world for their benefit. Cybercriminals’ next target remains uncertain, thus making it important for businesses to find a way to address, and ultimately prevent cybercrime.
A challenge for many businesses is creating and maintaining an effective cybersecurity strategy. A company’s tactics and overall strategy determine how successful it will be in identifying and preventing attacks. This article looks into some of the top cybersecurity strategies businesses can implement in 2021.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
1. Invest in Cloud Security
One of the best tactics a business can explore is investing in cloud security. The cloud stores and protects essential data and information from cybercriminals. Besides offering basic protection, cloud infrastructure provides businesses with the opportunity to scale without security worries.
Cybersecurity threats affect business productivity, and the cloud offers solutions to this problem. As you look to enhance productivity and outperform your competitors, the cloud is a good option to help you do so. Even so, how successful you are when it comes to security depends on the cloud platform you pick.
A good cloud platform needs to have proper security protocols. It should be able to detect threats ahead of time and keep you a step ahead of digital intruders looking to infiltrate your network. This will help ensure that security doesn’t become a hindrance to your business’s success.
It is difficult for businesses today to operate without the cloud. This is primarily because the cloud comes with superior security infrastructure that cybercriminals cannot easily hack. With the right cloud security provider, you can easily predict emerging threats and prevent any potential impacts.
2. Meet Industrial Cybersecurity Standards
Cybersecurity compliance can help your business prevent attacks. Every industry has standards that a company has to meet before operating to ensure its safety. However, many firms don’t meet these minimum set security standards, making them insecure and prone to different attacks.
For instance, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has set standards for electricity providers in North America. Companies that want to supply electricity to this region need to show that they meet the minimum NERC CIP standards before starting operations.
Some of the standards set by the NERC seek to control personnel training and security management as well as ensuring that electricity suppliers manage risks well. Others focus on incident reporting and response plans. These standards are set to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply in North America.
Other industries need to set standards to ensure good security so businesses can be sure they meet them and remain safe from attacks and other online threats. Being compliant with such standards helps you build a reputation for your company and improve customer trust in your data handling procedures.
3. Create Security Awareness
The first line of defense from cybersecurity attacks is a business’s employees. You are not safe, even with the most sophisticated infrastructure, if your employees don’t understand cybersecurity. Therefore, you should be sure to invest in teaching your employees about the latest security awareness trends and best practices to build a united front against attackers.
Cybersecurity awareness training needs to include every department, team, and decision-maker in order to support the security efforts. In short, your training program should build a cohesive mindset in regards to cybersecurity that every person in your company shares — from management to new employees.
In order to do so effectively, security training programs should have high-quality content. You need to personalize the content and training so that every employee relates to it. You can also consider partnering with a third-party security training company to achieve your cybersecurity goals.
Another thing to consider is that if your employees work remotely, you are more vulnerable to attacks. You will need to train them on mobile device security and how they can maintain confidentiality on the internet. You will also need to train them on how to use public networks as well as password best practices. This will help make them security-aware and significantly reduce the risk of human error.
4. Ensure Strong Network Security
One of the most overlooked aspects in business is network security. Having proper security on your networks can help prevent intrusions, breaches, and other threats to your data. Good network security should be cost-effective and be able to safeguard your business from the losses that could result from breaches.
There are different types of network security protections that you can consider. For example, you can use firewalls to control incoming and outgoing traffic and block malware. You may also want to consider network segmentation that helps define internal boundaries within your network for better security.
Another essential network security feature to consider is using a virtual private network (VPN). This tool helps secure access to your network by administrators, clients, and other users. It adds an extra security layer to passwords and other security features that you already use in your organization.
Good network security helps prevent viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, etc., from your network as well. This ensures that your business and client information is safe. Besides, it enhances your overall business performance and productivity. Teams can concentrate on production and not on detecting and identifying security threats, ensuring that they deliver high-quality performance and retain customers.
5. Ensure Continuous Security Monitoring
Businesses also need continuous security monitoring solutions to be safe. A CMS is an automated tool that makes it easy to collect insightful security information. It helps monitor a network for threats, misconfigurations, and other vulnerabilities that can expose it to data breaches and lead to losses.
With CMS, business owners can get real-time visibility of what’s happening in their networks. Different devices used by a business get monitored, which helps companies stay ahead in regards to security. These solutions easily integrate with other organizational infrastructure to help you get the best insights on your business activity.
The best thing about having a CMS on your network is that you can develop a good response plan. It can identify threats before they occur, allowing your cybersecurity team to devise a plan. A good CMS comes with a suite of essential tools that have countless benefits to businesses.
A CMS is one of the first things to have in your security strategy as a business that looks into the future. It can be difficult to manually detect potential security threats on a company’s network, but a CMS works 24/7, continuously checking the network for potential hazards and raising the alarm.
6. Frequent Updates and Upgrades
Another cybersecurity tactic that works is regularly updating and upgrading security software. As a business owner, clicking on that ‘remind me later’ button every time an update pops up can be risky. You are exposing your network to threats by leaving security holes that hackers will be able to easily access and exploit.
There are several reasons why frequent software updates and upgrades are essential. They add new features that offer better security than outdated ones. In addition, updates help repair security holes that experts identify in different software, including operating systems that should be running on the latest versions.
Frequent software upgrades and updates also help to enhance data security. With sensitive business data now being stored on devices, a security flaw on your network could be a significant risk. Hackers are always looking for unsecured networks and devices, making it vital for businesses to upgrade software.
With the updated software, your business will no longer face the threat of crashing. One of the reasons why software on your devices may not be stable is because they are outdated. You could get exposed if the software you use keeps crashing. Regular updates and upgrades can help you avoid this.
7. Data Backups
Keeping your business data secure also means backing it up regularly. The cloud offers businesses an abundance of space to back up their data and protect it from threats. With a cloud backup service, you can recover your data in real-time if a virus strikes your network, making the data unreadable.
There are different cloud backup service providers that you can consider. The service you choose depends on your needs, however, it is advisable to choose one that guarantees access to a complete history of stored data. Some will only provide you with a snapshot of data for the duration of a few days or months, so it is important to consider your options.
You should also check a company’s security protocols before using its cloud service. An ideal backup service provider needs to have end-to-end encryption on their network. This prevents unauthorized access to any of the data that is exchanged between the cloud and your network.
Frequent data backups are essential for every business in 2021. They play vital roles in data management, especially with the many threats that exist today. Companies that back up their data could save a significant amount of money and time if a successful data breach occurs on their networks.
8. Segmented and Limited Access
A key component of data security that shouldn’t be overlooked in your strategy is access control. Using this tactic will help you prevent people from accessing information or areas on your site that they should not. As a business, start by building a solid access control policy and ensuring that your employees and clients understand it.
Access control plays a critical role in your business. For instance, if your network got hacked and you use this tactic, it can be easier to prevent further damage. You only need to know what area of your site is at-risk — the employees or users involved — and implement a strategy to stop further damage in other areas as you repair.
If you are a business owner implementing access control, you need to make sure to understand its security gaps too. One common gap is poor authorization and authentication. The best solution is to have a centralized authorization point. This gives your security team control over who can access your network and what they can do.
Remote access to devices can also be challenging to control, and this often puts networks at a greater risk. However, IT departments can use access control to ensure that networks are safe, even if it is remote. They also need to ensure that users do not have multiple profiles they access your network through. More profiles mean more areas that can be attacked.
9. Invest in Cybersecurity Insurance
You never know when your company will be a cybercriminal’s next target. And even if you did, it may be difficult to counter the attack. This is because the methods cybercriminals use today have become even more sophisticated, and businesses are still learning how to come up with the right response to them.
As a business owner, investing in insurance can significantly minimize the damage in the case of an attack. Good insurance coverage cushions you from the impact an attack can have on your business. It helps your business recover and gets back to normal operations sooner than you could have without good coverage.
Even the most security-conscious businesses need insurance. There have been instances of even the biggest companies, which use advanced security to protect their networks, getting attacked, so no business is safe. Cybersecurity insurance should be considered an investment into your business and essential to its future safety.
The truth is that no business is immune to cyberattacks in today’s online environment. As a business owner, you need to understand various threats in order to develop an effective security strategy. It is vital to find out what tactics work for you so you can create a robust cybersecurity strategy that fits your business operations.
This article has explored some essential tactics that businesses should consider in 2021. Building a secure culture in your organization lays the foundation for cybersecurity in your organization. This includes educating your employees about the threats that your business could face through mandatory cybersecurity training.
Every business needs to treat cybersecurity as a strategic priority. By implementing the best security practices, a company will build trust with its customers. It can also fuel business growth and increase return on investment as well as increase productivity. Any business looking to build a solid cybersecurity strategy should consider these tactics.
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