Use These 5 Strategies to Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats
One of the biggest risks that modern organizations today face involves cybersecurity threats. A survey from IDG Research Services, commissioned by Insight Enterprises, found that 80% of Information Technology (IT) security leaders believe their organizations lack the necessary protection against cyberattacks. This is especially alarming after organizations have been working from home or have shifted to hybrid workforces, where technology is no longer operating under the same roof.
Read on for what cybersecurity threats organizations face and how employers can protect their information, technology, and assets moving forward.
What are Cybersecurity Threats?
According to the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.”
From phishing scams and malware to stolen technology equipment and data breaches, cybersecurity issues can happen to any organization, anywhere. The result? Sensitive information is exposed, money is lost, and trust with clients and partners is compromised.
Cybersecurity is even on the Presidential agenda. In May, the White House announced an executive order to improve the United States’ cybersecurity.
5 Ways Workplaces Can Combat Cybersecurity Threats
While not all security can be foolproof, there are measures you can take as an organization to protect your company data, employee information, and your clients’ information. Here are some actionable ways your organization can improve its security:
1. Conduct a Password Audit
When having employees set up passwords, have them follow guidelines to strengthen their passwords beyond the word “password.” Most experts suggest phrases that are easy to remember and harder to guess. If your organization’s workforce hasn’t changed their passwords for a while, have everyone change them.
2. Protect Your Technology
One of the easiest ways to protect your organization against a security threat is to keep technology locked whenever employees are not using it. This goes for computers, whether desktops or laptops, whether employees are working from home or the office.
It’s easy to leave your computer open when running to grab a coffee or taking a short break, but you never know who can walk by your screen or swipe your computer, especially if you’re working from a flexible space like a coffee shop. Employees should always keep screens locked with a password when they’re away at their workstations.
3. Employee Cybersecurity Training
A great way to ensure security compliance and make sure everyone in your organization is on the same page is to conduct cybersecurity training. Organize a group training session where employees can learn the ins and outs of basic security practices, like the ones mentioned above, as well as other valuable information like how to identify a phishing scam and the next steps when that happens.
A group training session also allows everyone to have a dedicated time to set up a new password and initiate two-factor verification where necessary with a dedicated IT team standing by.
4. Using a VPN
Employees should use a Virtualized Personal Network (VPN) when they’re traveling or working from a space other than your company’s office, especially if they’re handling sensitive information.
According to the Center for Internet Security, “Requiring employees to VPN into a secure network is essential; using public wi-fi networks can expose your organization's accounts and data to malicious actors or compromised infrastructure.”
Whether your organization is a victim of a security breach or is looking to implement a new cybersecurity software protection or consultant, how you communicate this information is extremely important.
For example, when searching for a new IT consultant or cybersecurity specialist, be careful where you post that information. Not only that, but be sure to remove your organization’s name from the communications—otherwise, it could make your company vulnerable by advertising a lack of security.
Likewise, if your organization suffers from a data breach and client information is compromised, you’ll need to communicate this quickly and effectively while taking extra care to ensure compliance.