November 10, 2022

8 Cyber Security Best Practices for Businesses

In today’s digital world, businesses must take steps to protect themselves against cyber attacks. With each year, attacks grow in numbers and sophistication, and 2023 is likely to be no different. In fact, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, Cybercrime is likely to cost the world $8 trillion USD in 2023,

With those shocking statistics in mind, what cybersecurity policies should your company have in place to prevent attacks moving forward?

In this blog, we'll share strategies and tips on how to implement cybersecurity in any business. Plus, we'll also tell you how working with 1Fort to secure best-in-class cyber insurance can help alleviate some of the stress of protecting your company.

How important is cybersecurity to your business?

In today's digitized world, the importance of cyber insurance and cyber security cannot be overstated.

For many businesses, cybersecurity can be something of an afterthought. This is mainly because owners are not as aware of the risks as their enterprise brand counterparts are. Or they may believe that their business is not big enough to be a target.

However, all businesses are at risk of a cyberattack. In fact, hackers often target smaller businesses because they're more likely to have weak security systems. With that in mind, cybersecurity should be a top priority for all businesses, but what are the best practices you should definitely have in place no matter your company size?

8 Cybersecurity practices you need to know about

  1. Establish a strong cyber security policy
  2. Train employees in cyber security
  3. Implement multi-factor authentication
  4. Use encryption
  5. Backup data regularly
  6. Ensure end-point security
  7. Patch software and systems regularly
  8. Invest in cyber insurance

1. Establishing a strong policy

Globally 30,000 businesses suffer cyberattacks daily. So, as online criminality becomes more prevalent, effective incident response strategies also become more important, too.

Incident response plans (IRPs)should start from the senior leadership team and trickle down to employees so that everyone in the company knows what to do in the event of a breach.

Good strategies should include procedures for everything, from notifying any affected customers to reviewing the attack and subsequent response so that process improvements can be made.

2. Train employees

Another piece of cybersecurity best practice is ensuring each employee understands the importance of recognizing potential threats.

Whether you conduct in-house training or rely on third parties to deliver effective cybersecurity courses, there are some core subjects and issues that the coaching needs to cover including:

  • How to spot phishing emails
  • Protecting passwords
  • Operating safe remote working practices
  • Internet usage best practices
  • Social awareness

In addition, it's also important that you know what to look for in a robust cyber insurance policy. We'll talk more about appropriate coverage later. But, as a business owner, you should be aware of what your policy covers you against, as this can also factor in your ability to create an effective IR.

3. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and dual authorization

It may seem like a minuscule defense, and some can bemoan the additional time required to complete multiple verification steps, but TFA is an important element of cyber threat mitigation.

But it's not just when logging into data-sensitive spreadsheets or password-protected platforms that TFA can be useful. It's also prudent to include dual authorization when completing tasks such as invoice payments.

Whether you implement policies that call on colleagues to review check payments or commit to calling payees directly before confirming transactions, these strategies can all help minimize cyber threats.

4. Take encryption seriously

Encryption is a key tool in cybersecurity, as it helps to protect data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

By transforming data into a coded format that can only be decrypted by individuals with the appropriate key, encryption protects your data and prevents it from being read should it fall into the hands of bad actors.

But, just like cyber insurance for your small business, there are many different encryption algorithms out there. So, it's important to do your research and get the correct product for you.

5. Back up data

A common theme with ransomware attacks or data breaches is businesses can pay huge sums to hackers in order to retrieve the information they've lost.

To ensure you don't need to settle huge ransoms or have to deal with the pain of losing rows of sensitive information, it's imperative to ensure that any important data is backed up on the cloud. This is especially pertinent in sectors such as healthcare where patient details are so highly-priced by bad actors.

6. Importance of end-point security

In the wake of the pandemic, more businesses have adopted a hybridized work strategy which has meant hardware like laptops, smartphones, and tablets have widened the company network. And some are predicting that work-from-home models will continue to grow in 2023.

While aiding the morale of employees, this shift has caused security issues. With hybrid workforces on the rise, it's never been more important for businesses to manage their network endpoints effectively.

MDR, or Managed Detection and Response technology, is a perfect way for companies to stay in control of their security, even with a home-based or hybrid workforce. These services operate 24/7, seeking out and containing threats as they appear.

7. Manage patches

Patch management should be an important area of any cybersecurity best practice. Crucial for risk mitigation, companies can complete regular vulnerability reviews, which check software for the latest updates and "patch" any potential holes in cybersecurity before they become a problem.

8. Get cyber insurance

The final element to ensuring you or your client is in alignment with cybersecurity best practices is to have adequate and well-managed cyber insurance.

1Fort offers an industry-leading product that helps businesses easily implement best-in-class security to get cyber insurance coverage, ensuring your brand is protected from attacks.

Talk to our team to find out more about cyber insurance with 1Fort and how it can help deliver peace of mind for you or your client's business.