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9 Low-Cost Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks and Improve Cybersecurity

9 Low-Cost Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks and Improve Cybersecurity

By: SMITH THOMPSON

 

When it comes to protecting data and information security, there is a ton of overwhelming information out there that needs to be protected. You must have been a victim of a cyber-attack at one time. The thing is, hackers, do not discriminate. It does not matter whether you are a small business or a giant fortune 500 company. Hackers will lay traps and carry out devastating cyber breaches that will most likely take you out of business. The question remains,  what are you doing to secure your data and information?

Cyber breaches come with distressing repercussions. There have been cases where organizations pay a lot of fines or collapse due to cyber-attacks. It is estimated that  60% of organizations that become victims of cybercrime end up failing within six months after the data breach. Employees can also get laid off whenever such happens. Luckily, you have stumbled upon this article, and you will be able to learn nine methods of protecting data and information security from the many cyber vulnerabilities that exist today. All you need is information that fits your business and employees well. A well-informed team will bring forth a very secure business.

Cyber-attack is an unauthorized manipulation of your network and systems. This attack uses mischievous code to access your devices, data, or information, leak, steal or hold data hostage.

Examples of the most common cyber threats include but not limited to;

  • Stolen hardware such as mobile phones and computers.
  • Spamming, phishing, malware, spyware, spoofing, viruses, and Trojans.
  • Sniffing of passwords.
  • Defacement of websites.
  • Identity fraud, theft, and extortion.
  • Breach of system access.
  • Public and private exploitation of web browsers.
  • Direct messaging abuse.
  • Unauthorized access and intellectual property.
  • Distributed denial-of-service and denial-of-service attacks.

Here are nine ways through which you can prevent data breaches;

Use the Multi-Factor Authentication Method

Cybercriminals can easily access your systems if you rely on password login only. Passwords can be compromised through phishing scams, brut force attacks, or dictionary attacks. The multi-factor authentication method allows you to provide extra login information. Security will be intensified hence making it difficult for unauthorized personnel to get access to your systems.

In two-factor authentication, a user will be required to use both password and an extra authentication element to access his/her account. Because intruders have no access to the extra authentication element, they will not access the account. Two-factor authentication thus plays a crucial role in protecting systems and networks against unauthorized access.

Install an SSL Certificate

If you run a website, then the best and most effective cybersecurity protocol that should never miss out on your security strategy is the SSL certificate. SSL certificates secure the communication between web servers and web users. They ensure that intruders do not access the information as it moves from point to point over the internet.

If you want to safeguard sensitive user data effectively, then you should install an SSL certificate. You should choose your certificate from a trusted certificate provider such as Comodo SSL, GeoTrust SSL, or RapidSSL. In doing so, you are bound to receive maximum point-to-point encryption and several other benefits, such as improved SERP rankings.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks - Leaf

Incorporate Secure Passwords

The most vulnerable thing one can do is to use weak and similar passwords for everything. Hackers can access all your data whenever they figure out your password. Passwords act as the first line of defence that safeguards all your digital resources against malicious attackers. If you use weak passwords, then you will be making your accounts vulnerable to attacks.

Adhering to best password practices is thus an essential thing to do if you have to protect your accounts against intruder attacks. For example, you have to create long passwords that are also complex and hard to guess. Such a password will be able to withstand brute force attacks.

Additionally, You ought to have different passwords for different accounts and networks. It is also advisable to change them frequently to be highly protected against internal and external threats.

Access Limitations and Controls

It is imperative to choose who can be in physical control of your data. For example, it is easy for someone to walk into your work premises and connect an infected USB gadget to your computer, hence accessing your files or infecting them.

To curb this, you can install a perimeter security system to control who can get access to your computers. Managing admin rights is also a way of protecting data and information security from break-ins. With cybersecurity, it is vital to adhere to the principle of the least privilege. Only those who have business with a network or digital resources should be allowed to access the resource. Access controls and limitations can help a lot in curbing insider threats that are slowly becoming a norm.

Also, it is highly advisable to block access to former employees for security purposes whenever they leave your company. Blocking them permanently means they will not be able to access the systems later on.  In doing so, you will be minimizing the risk of insider cyber breaches.

Conduct Frequent System and Software Updates

Hackers can easily access your information if your systems and software are not up to date. This weakness can be curbed by investing in a patch management system to keep all software and systems up to date. I always see cybersecurity as a cat and mouse game. Hackers have sleepless nights trying to figure out security vulnerabilities while developers seal them once they discover them. Then, they will release an updated software version to address those vulnerabilities. Failing to install the update is like choosing to remain vulnerable.

Ensure that your systems have the latest software in place to secure your data. Though tedious, frequent updates are significant. Vulnerabilities will appear from time to time; hence updates will protect your software against possible risks. These updates may incur a lot of expenses, but they are worth it.

Create Security Awareness and Training Among Employees

Hackers will sometimes take advantage of ignorant employees and staff. It is one of the most common ways hackers can easily access your data. They impersonate your employees and send fraudulent emails seeking specific files or details. Staff awareness is essential because most of those links are legitimate to an inexperienced person; therefore, people easily fall into the trap.

Additionally, new staff members should be enlightened on some of the security threats and best practices. Carry out a thorough awareness of cybersecurity best practices and solutions. You can hold training at regular intervals like annually or quarterly to ensure all your employees are aware of cyber-attacks and protect themselves against threats.

Some of the elements that the security training and awareness program should entail are:

  • Teach them to use common sense whenever they want to send sensitive information to someone. They would rather confirm with the recipient via call before sending.
  • Teach them to keenly check email addresses from received mails to avoid phishing emails.
  • Tell them to check any link before clicking on it.

Back up your Data Frequently

Data backup is very important in preventing financial and data loss during site downtime. While other methods may be enough to guard you against cybersecurity threats, breaches do happen, which may corrupt or erase data. The question which you should seek to answer is; what if, after all the security measures you have in place, a data breach still occurs. It is important to note that there is no full-proof security measure, and eventually, hackers might find their way into your system. However, data backups will keep your business going, your operations will not be stalled, and just in case there is an attack, you will easily get back on track.

It is important to schedule regular data backups. You can have an automatic backup system to help you with the task. It would be best if you also minded how you store the backup files. You should ensure that they are out of reach by the hackers. Cloud storage will be the ideal source for your backup files.

Install Antivirus and use Security Firewalls

You can also prevent cyber-attacks by simply installing a firewall. Firewall systems can block attacks aimed at your network and systems before they cause any damage. Also, install antivirus software on all computers. Antivirus software will frequently scan your computer system to pull out any viruses and prevent them from spreading to your system.

Multi-Layer Security

Using one security measure can never be enough. It would help if you used several security measures to make your security walls more robust. All the above-mentioned security tips working in unison will be effective in preventing data breaches. Multiple security layers will give hackers a hard time trying to reach your network. Ensure that you implement all the above measures for maximum security.

Conclusion

Cyber-attacks are common, and your software and systems are highly vulnerable to these attacks. Attackers are relentless and sophisticated, always doing all they can to get to your system. It is important to have proper security protocols that will help protect your system and network from data breaches. Using the tips mentioned above will help you prevent data loss and system attacks. You are free to get in touch with us any time, and we will be glad to walk with you as you secure your business and prevent future attacks.

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