7 Cybersecurity Tools To Fortify Your Business
Data security has always been an important issue for businesses, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s grown even more essential thanks to a host of new threats and challenges that have been exposed with the increase of remote working.
Unsecured networks, unprotected home-working devices, and other new vulnerabilities from remote working mean that businesses should invest in security measures as a priority. It can take time and effort but boosting your security systems is absolutely worthwhile to prevent costly data breaches.
The following are some of the most important tools your business should consider in order to prevent threats to data security both new and old.
1) Next-Gen Firewalls
A firewall is perhaps the most basic security measure in use by businesses – monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic to highlight potential threats and block suspicious activity. Firewalls are easy to install and don’t cause much impact on day-to-day workloads, making them an ideal foundation for data security.
Next-Gen Firewalls (NGFs) take this a step further by using data analytics and algorithms to assess network traffic more intelligently and more effectively identify and neutralise potential threats. It’s been estimated that NGFs can cut risk exposure by up to 50% compared to standard firewalls , making them a worthy investment for increased business data security.
2) Cloud Security
Cloud technology is one of the significant developments of recent years, and along with the various other benefits it offers, it can also confer a number of benefits for security.
Cloud service providers (CSPs) can afford to invest in much more powerful hardware and security measures than most organisations. As such, transferring business data from local storage to the cloud can offer smaller businesses access to enterprise-grade protection without having to make huge investments into the required infrastructure.
Cloud solutions therefore offer businesses the opportunity to provide powerful security for their business data quickly and easily, and often at a reduced cost compared to deploying similar security measures locally.
3) Email Gateway Security
While technology has advanced in many ways across the years, one issue remains prevalent in terms of data security: Email.
Emails remain a widespread method for cybercriminals to deliver malware, ransomware and phishing scams to businesses, which means your organisation needs robust measures in place to prevent malicious emails from threatening the security of your data.
The most common answer to this issue is a Secure Email Gateway (SEG). SEGs are available both locally and via the cloud, and can monitor your business’ email platforms to detect and prevent access to harmful embedded code, malicious URLs, suspected phishing, and a variety of other email-borne threats.
4) Employee Training
While ransomware, malware, and hackers can all pose significant threats to your business, often the most dangerous vulnerability your data can face is human error. Because of this, one of the most powerful security tools available to your business is employee security training.
This should apply to your whole organisation, from office workers to board members. Regular training should be provided on security best practices, how to spot phishing scams or malicious links, and other important security topics.
You should also provide regular updates on new developments in terms of security protocols and current threats. The more informed everyone in your business is, the less prone they’ll be to security risks, and the more secure your business data will be.
5) Data Backups
Unfortunately, no matter how much you invest into data security, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to protect against every single threat. Because of this, your security measures should also include methods of mitigating the impact of data breaches. In particular, you should make sure to implement an effective data backup strategy.
Data backups allow you to restore data lost or damaged during a cyberattack or other disaster, allowing you to more easily return to normal operations in the aftermath of such an event. A strong data backup strategy follows the 3-2-1 method: at least three backups, stored in at least two different formats, with at least one backup stored offsite.
Cloud backups are also becoming increasingly popular as a solution, as they provide a secure, off-site backup that is accessible whenever needed.
6) Two-Factor Authentication
Phishing remains one of the biggest security risks to your business data, so it makes sense to implement measures to stop cybercriminals from accessing data even if they obtain access passwords. A growing solution to this is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
2FA operates by requiring additional verification when a password is entered, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to a trusted device. By adding this extra layer of security, your business can prevent access to sensitive systems, networks and data even in cases where passwords are compromised.
7) Penetration Testing
Even once you’ve implemented a broad range of security tools, your business should still proactively investigate how its security can be improved further. This is where penetration testing comes in.
A penetration test is essentially a controlled hack carried out by a trusted professional tester. The tester looks for security flaws and vulnerabilities using the same methods an actual hacker would use, helping to identify weak points you may have overlooked so that you can address them proactively.
Penetration tests can be especially helpful after you’ve carried out any major updates to your systems, networks, or IT infrastructure. Carrying out post-update penetration tests means you can make sure that no bugs or vulnerabilities have crept in by mistake when configuring the update.
Data is essential to your business, so it’s absolutely vital that you make it as secure as possible. The tools above serve as a simple checklist of solutions that can go a long way in securing sensitive data and IT systems, but by no means work to 100% guarantee you won’t experience some level of cyberattack.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) recommendation is for businesses to implement the Essential Eight Maturity Model – Eight specific mitigation strategies designed to fortify your cybersecurity posture. Much of what we have discussed above forms a strong foundation that the Essential Eight and can be built upon.
We can’t stress enough that investing in data security measures is highly important, and if in doubt, seek professional advice.