Information Security Best Practices: How to Protect Your Business
An effective information security setup will help to safeguard your business against potential cyber attacks, but what does that mean?
In this post, GenX will explore 7 essential information security best practices for your organization.
Establish a Clear Security Policy
Start by documenting your security policy in clear terms. This outlines your business’s strategy for staying safe from danger and handling situations that may arise.
Your policy should cover:
- The steps your organization is taking to stay secure and which threats they protect against
- How you will continue to improve security through updates to software and hardware
- Which team members are required to maintain the security policy and ensure that staff adhere to it
- Who will take charge to contain and find a resolution for information security issues
- Which team members hold admin rights
- What employees can and can’t use their equipment for (e.g., no shopping outside of lunch breaks)
- How remote workers should access and use certain applications to keep sensitive data secure
These are just some of the critical areas to cover in your information security policy. Keep it accessible to all staff and make them aware of any updates.
Help Employees Understand How They Can Improve Security
A survey revealed that more than 40% of C-suite executives and 47% of small business owners consider human error one of the biggest threats to their organizations.
However, this research also showed that many business owners fail to train employees on their information security processes.
While some workers may already be aware of common risks and the basics of online safety, others might be less savvy. That’s why it’s crucial to implement regular training on your security do’s and don’ts.
These sessions may cover:
- How to recognize suspicious emails
- The dangers of downloading infected attachments
- How to install new software safely and what permissions are required
- Any new software updates that can help to boost security
Ensure that employees know to ask for advice when in doubt and to report any activity they may think is suspicious.
Implement a Firewall You Can Depend On
A firewall serves as an essential blockade between your data and external users looking for unauthorized access.
They monitor incoming traffic to identify potential dangers and unexpected activity, and block Trojan attacks that can cause data breaches you may not discover until it’s too late.
Firewalls won’t keep your business entirely safe by themselves, but they’re a critical addition to your information security setup.
Back up Data to Avoid Loss
Cloud storage enables you to back up company data constantly and minimize disruption that could be caused by various disasters, including those related to security.
- Cybersecurity incidents
- Structural damage
- Hardware failures
- Human error
- Device loss
Backing data up prevents you from losing precious work if a cyber attack brings your systems down or your on-site storage is damaged.
A reliable backup system stores your files in the cloud for you to access anywhere, at any time. You can retrieve valuable data and resume work on tasks via your laptop or even a smartphone later — but only if you have the right logins and an internet connection.
Block Spam to Keep Your Email Inbox Safe
Anti-malware software can protect your employees from infecting their computers if they click on links in emails or download attachments. And effective email filtering technology also identifies spam and keeps it out of your inbox.
Not only does this save you the time and effort of cleaning up your own inbox, but it cuts the risk of being scammed by phishing emails. These are designed to look like legitimate messages from trusted organizations and institutions (such as banks), to trick users into providing personal or financial details. More than 90% of cyberattacks begin with phishing.
Initiate Careful Password Management
Ineffective passwords can put your business in unnecessary danger. Hackers leverage sophisticated tools to launch brute force attacks: they gain entry into networks by trying thousands of login options until their program finds the right one.
Or they may be able to guess a password based on their knowledge of a user’s personal life, such as their child’s birthday. And they could access multiple accounts associated with that password if you use the same one again and again.
Here are some simple tips for more secure passwords:
- Never use personal details (such as a birthday or address)
- Aim for passwords 10 characters long or more
- Use special characters (“$” or “!”) to make passwords more complex
- Replace some letters with numbers to break up text
- Use a unique password for each account
- Change passwords frequently
- Avoid common phrases or terms that a program may guess
Work With a Professional Information Security Team
One of the most effective steps in improving your information security is entrusting it to a team of IT experts.
Outsourcing your business’s security allows you to relax and focus on running your business while the professionals keep your organization safe. You can also relieve strain on your in-house technicians and give them the time to attend to their core duties.
Another benefit of working with information security specialists is that they have the experience and training to create the right setup for your requirements. They can identify your needs and put together a tailored plan.
If you handle it yourself, you’ll probably invest precious time into researching your options but may still miss out on the comprehensive protection you need. But a specialist will provide you with the most powerful solutions to defend against cyberattacks and maintain your overall business security.
Start Working with GenX to Reinforce Your Security
GenX’s CareForce Managed Security Service is an ideal solution for your business. Our team is here to help you with proactive monitoring, maintenance, updates, and fast responses.
Our service includes:
- Website tracking and filtering
- Email spam blocking
- Firewall with customized configuration and rules for bespoke protection
- Intrusion prevention
- Data loss prevention
- And more!