In a world now hinging on computer technology and data, it is sadly inevitable that cyber-crime is on the rise. Yet what is increasingly cause for concern is just how many of us are misinformed as to our own level of vulnerability and how we can go about protecting ourselves and our organisations from potential threats.
Not only should we be cracking down on our financial security, our intellectual property is just as valuable and should be attributed the same level of care and protection from hackers. It is easy to assume that desirable IP is exclusive to financial institutions and the defense industry, but this could not be further from the truth. Any information that is valuable to your company will be valuable to someone else who may be prepared to access it in whatever way they can.
In order to protect your intellectual property, you must first identify it. Carrying out a data classification exercise allows you to find the data and its location, assess its sensitivity and update its security accordingly. Not only is this beneficial to its protection, any organisation with well-ordered files assigned to specific machines and staff will run more smoothly.
The first thing any organisation should do is educate employees about security, especially things such as spear phishing and other social engineering attacks. The reason being that they exploit the most basic weak point of all: human error. All it takes is for an unwitting person to click on a compromised link and an entire system is open to attack. Whilst the consequence can be severe, the risk can be significantly minimised by informing people of the dangers.
Ensuring that all your systems are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus software is crucial in maintaining basic security. Installation isn’t enough however. Running monthly reports to identify any systems that fall short of compliancy is worthwhile too. Patch your systems regularly and be aware that many attacks use Java or Adobe rather than Microsoft.
Get knowledgeable about how these attacks work. The more you know, the more you can do to prevent them. IT is no longer an alien department, it is relevant to each and every one of us that owns or uses a computer or electronic device. Take responsibility and avoid pleading ignorance.
ITC Secure Networking is an expert in helping businesses bring their security up to speed, working professionally alongside CEOs and employees alike to help them better understand the dangers and solutions. We provide everything from managed security services to network monitoring and optimisation, as well as experienced consultancy services. If you would like to find out more about how we can help, please get in touch.