Cybersecurity for Big Business – How Companies Can Strengthen Their Defenses

Big businesses are the powerhouses that keep our economy going strong, but with an overabundance of customers comes a larger stockpile of personal data that can be stolen by hackers. Even with a system of checks and balances, America is the biggest target of cybercrime, so it is up to these companies to provide the necessary protection that their clients and customers deserve.

The fact is that any piece of personal information, from an email address to a social security number, can be used for identity fraud or be sold on the black market to the highest bidder. Your security must be extra tight because a major data breach could result in a lack of customer trust and millions of dollars in damages and system updates. Put the proper protocols in place now, and you won’t be sorry later.

Employee Training

When you have a large business with hundreds to thousands of employees, it is more difficult to have face-to-face conversations about proper cybersecurity measures. In order to have the widest reach, consider having regular safety meetings either in-person or through a webinar where you have your IT team explain common threats and how to avoid them. At the end of each training, require employees to sign a disclosure that acknowledges that they have been informed of the threats and that they will take the right steps to avoid them. Direct managers can then follow up with employees to ensure the necessary steps have been taken.

To ensure that you are training on the most relevant topics, you will want to have at least one cybersecurity expert on your payroll. Currently, there is a shortage of security experts across most industries, but it is a need that every company must fulfill. When you learn that a data breach can cost a company upwards of $8 million in addition to the reduction of income due to lost customers, you can see why having someone who focuses strictly on cybersecurity is worth the cost.

Before starting the training, your security experts should make a checklist of important points so nothing is left out. While an in-person seminar may do the trick, many companies are also using video training sessions that add a bit of humor to the instruction. Videos sent via email will not only be a bit more engaging for the employee, but they can also be traced by the IT team, so management can verify that the training has been reviewed.

Employee and IT Requirements

The instructions that you provide during these training sessions will make or break your company when a hacker comes sniffing around. Employees should be trained on how to make proper passwords that use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. A protocol must be put in place that requires the users to update these passwords at least once every couple of months, and the system should not allow them to reuse an old password.

Passwords are truly the first order of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. Every password should be detailed, and there should be a different password for each application that is used. If an employee leaves the organization, their credentials must be discontinued. Since having many different passwords can be troublesome for an organization, consider the use of a password organizer that keeps all credentials on file and protected. To use this, the user only needs to remember one primary password to access the organizer.

As for the IT team, they must have a thorough understanding of the resources necessary to protect the organization. This means ensuring that all data is backed up onto secure servers that are housed separately from the mainframe. It also means having a strong firewall and updated antivirus software that will prevent hacker access via malware attacks and phishing scams. All data should be encrypted on the worker’s machines so it cannot be read even if it is stolen.

Security During Business Travel

Large businesses typically require plenty of travel by sales agents and upper management. Keep in mind that there are many risks to beware of when employees are outside of the office. Management must enforce strict rules for security. For instance, the devices must all have a password and be locked when not in use. It is also advised that they turn off their Bluetooth connection whenever possible because it provides an open doorway to hackers.

Employees must also be made aware of the many types of attacks that hackers use to try and steal your data, including man-in-the-middle attacks. When using mobile devices in airports, restaurants, and coffee shops, we are tempted to use the free Wi-Fi to conduct business, but hackers can set up fake networks that trick the user into connecting to their computer instead, where they can steal the data. To prevent this issue, the employees must be instructed to ask the business owner for the correct Wi-Fi or avoid using it altogether.

To ensure absolute security, employers should require that all work is completed on company devices. That way, the IT team can install the proper security measures, and all usage can be monitored. A strong recommendation is to put the devices on a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which disguises the location of the phone or tablet so hackers cannot easily latch onto their system. If a device is ever lost or stolen, it should be immediately taken offline.

A big benefit of larger businesses is that they often have the funds to get the best security. However, the tactics must be put into action to make a difference. Try these solutions today and keep your business out of the purview of hackers.

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