The Importance of Corporate Cyber Security

Posted: 23rd June 2015 10:12

As with any personal user, businesses with an online presence face very real and potentially disastrous dangers. Cyber criminals are increasingly more intelligent and resourceful, and so possess a range of ways to compromise your security to steal valuable and private information.

Nowhere is this more important to avoid than in the corporate realm, where it is not merely your personal own data at stake, but also that of customers, stakeholders, contractors and staff. There are virtually countless different measures you can adopt to tackle this threat, but here’s a good start.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Everyone in the office hates it, but it’s a tried-and-tested method for a good reason – strict password policies work. These days there’s no real excuse for allowing weak passwords in the office. Such passwords make the work of cyber criminals far too easy, especially when passwords are widely repeated, virtually allowing them an access-all-areas pass. Ensure each employee uses a strong password and changes it every 4-6 months, and enlist the help of a password manager for all portals accessed by multiple people

Another thing to consider is that no one can steal something you don’t have. In e-commerce for example, companies can explore alternative payment methods to avoid having to handle too much of customers’ sensitive data. PayPal will go some way towards this, but a step further can be taken with paysafecard , with whom consumers use cash to buy a card to use for online purchases, eliminating the need to credit card details altogether. Adopting these sorts of payment acceptance methods can really help reduce the volume and value of data that online retailers actually have available to steal in the first place.

Cyber Armour

It should go without saying that certain basic technical steps must be taken to combat cyber-attacks. However, installing anti-virus software and hoping for the best is nowhere near enough anymore, nor should it ever have been. When you consider that hackers utilise automated systems and often require only one chink in the armour to breach your entire system, it becomes obvious that a single faceted solution is insufficient.

Employing a multi-faceted approach needn’t be as daunting as it sounds however. Start with simple measures such as using a dedicated firewall and malware software, updating all plugins and programs (especially java,
adobe and flash) and using the latest operating systems. If you are still using an old operating system, companies such as 1E could help with all your migration issues.'

A Weak Link

Even if your core set of computers are more secure than Fort Knox, it could all be in vain if you allow employees or guests to access your wireless network. While it may sometimes be easier to allow your workforce to bring in their own devices to work on, it’s well worth bearing in mind that their computers, phones or tablets may not be up to an acceptable level of security. One route to go down could be a blanket prohibition in the use of personal devices, allowing only the use of company machines to eliminate this sort of risk entirely. Where this is impractical, however, it’s vital to ensure anybody using the network applies the same rigour expected on the company computers.

A Holistic Approach

The technological aspect of cyber security is patently vital, but neglects the human aspect at your peril. After all, it is humans beings who hack systems, compromise security and steal information – computers are mere vehicles for achieving these malicious goals. Furthermore, PWC reports that over 34% of companies surveyed in 2014 identified current employees as the likely source of their security incidents.

Therefore it’s paramount that the entire workforce of your company not only understands the risks, but also understands and enacts their role in preventing security breaches. Formulating a clear and accessible security policy for the entire company, based on solid research of the sorts of threats you are most exposed to, will go a long way to achieving this.