Safeguarding your business from cyberthreats may not be your first goal for 2024, but consider this: a cybersecurity breach can cripple your operations, erode customer trust, and inflict significant financial losses. And with cybercrime on the rise, proactive cybersecurity measures are no longer optional — they’re an essential investment for your company’s resilience and longevity.
Here are six easy-to-implement New Year’s strategies that you can use to bolster your cybersecurity posture in 2024 and beyond.
Unused and outdated software programs pose a significant security risk. These forgotten programs often have vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit.
To mitigate these risks, conduct a thorough audit of your business’s software inventory. Uninstall any applications that you no longer want or haven’t used in the past six months. Make sure to update all remaining software (e.g., operating system, applications, security software) to their latest versions. Software updates often include crucial security patches that safeguard against the latest threats. It’s best to enable automatic software updates to ensure you don’t miss a critical patch.
While robust technology and software tools are vital for effective cybersecurity, the human element remains your organization’s first line of defense. Cybersecurity awareness training empowers your employees to become active participants in safeguarding your valuable assets.
An effective training program helps your employees recognize phishing attempts, suspicious activity, and other common cyberthreats. It also encourages them to practice responsible cybersecurity habits, including using strong passwords.
Password strength highly correlates to length. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. But longer passwords are often difficult to remember. That’s why it’s recommended to use passphrases instead. A passphrase is a string of four or more random words, such as “FanDoorSingingCoat.” These phrases are easier to remember than the long, complicated combinations of characters that we’ve been taught is necessary to create strong passwords.
It’s also important that you don’t reuse the same passphrase or password across multiple accounts. If you do and your passphrase or password is compromised, all other accounts using that password are at risk. And to make it easy for your employees to manage multiple passwords, implement a password manager. A password manager stores all your passwords behind a master password. This means you and your team need to remember only one password to access all stored passwords and other login information.
While strong passwords are crucial, relying solely on them is like guarding your digital environment with a single, easily replicated key. MFA acts as a robust secondary checkpoint, requiring users to provide more than one form of verification to log into their accounts. This additional verification could be a one-time code sent generated by a mobile authenticator app, a fingerprint scan, or another secure method. By implementing MFA across all critical business accounts, you significantly bolster your security posture. Even if a cybercriminal is able to steal your password, they still won’t be able to access your account without fulfilling the additional MFA requirement.
Regularly review your employees’ access privileges and make sure they only have what’s necessary for their role. You should also ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data. This minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and helps keep your digital assets secure.
Unexpected disasters such as accidental file deletion, hardware failures, floods, or ransomware attacks can destroy irreplaceable documents and records. Data backups serve as safety nets in such situations. By consistently backing up your critical information, you ensure you have a recoverable copy, even if a disaster throws a wrench in your plans.
Invest in a secure cloud storage solution for off-site protection, and implement a robust local backup system for immediate access. A proactive approach to data preservation can save your business from irreparable damage.
By incorporating these achievable cybersecurity goals into your business practices, you’re taking proactive steps to safeguard your company’s digital assets.
Interplay stands ready as your trusted IT partner that provides guidance and expert assistance. We offer comprehensive managed IT services designed to secure your digital infrastructure, mitigate cyber risks, and ensure ongoing compliance. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help your business navigate the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape with confidence.