Let’s start this with an incident with Mr. John Owen Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). One fine morning in 2015, Mr. Brennan discovered that his personal email account has been hacked and a Tweet containing sensitive personal information of more than 20 CIA Personnel is openly available on the internet. The information was published on Wikileaks as well. What’s more interesting is, the hacker who did all this social engineering to do something of this scale, claimed himself to be only a high school student!
Now, as an entrepreneur, you may wonder if the personal email of the CIA chief is not safe, what are the stakes that your would be? Well, information security is not something you should play a gamble with. Sad as it may sound, cybersecurity is still something most of us take casually even in this digital era. However, maintaining minimum safety on this could provide you with maximum benefits.
So, let’s look at some very common security layers every entrepreneur or decision maker should understand and cybersecurity layers an entrepreneur should focus on to strengthen the entire cybersecurity of an organization. These practices are easy to deploy but have a huge impact on overall cybersecurity.
Let’s take a glance at the top seven cybersecurity layers at first, followed by detailed discussions.
The first layer of all the cybersecurity layers an entrepreneur should focus on should definitely be the passwords. The thing with passwords is simple, update them regularly, keep them confidential and never ever share them with even the person you trust the most!
When it comes to passwords, using a different combination of uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols creates the strongest one. Also, a password should never be cross-used, different accounts must have different passwords. Passwords containing name, organization name, email etc should also be avoided. All in all, regular awareness programs on choosing and updating strong passwords should be taken among employees to bolster the layer of cybersecurity.
After passwords, the most important layer to implement and focus on should be the two-factor authentication or the 2FA service.
Even the strongest of passwords are crackable. So it’s always great to have an extra layer of protection, here in the form of 2FA. This process ensures an account is not accessible with only a single password but requires multiple authentications before the user is let through. In this method after the password is given, another authentication is needed. This second authentication might be via an email, text message to an employee’s registered number, small authenticator device or application like Google Authenticator. So, even with a compromised password, the intruder can do no harm unless the second authentication method is compromised also, which is highly unlikely. In addition, advanced authentication methods like facial recognition, fingerprint, ultrasonic sound etc are also improving rapidly over time.
In this digital world data is the most precious thing for any individual or organization. Ensuring the safeguard of data results in the prevention of critical data loss. And baking up sensitive data in multiple places, if possible both on physical drive and cloud is among the top cybersecurity layers an entrepreneur should focus on.
With data security comes the topic of access management. There will be different types of employees in an organization with different responsibilities. Surely, all do not require the same level of access to company data. Failing to manage this access level may result in unwanted data leaks from unwanted sources.
Staying over-focused on digital security often catches many business owners off guard with their physical properties security. However, it’s a very important layer of cybersecurity to consider the protection of physical properties as well.
An old hard drive or flash drive might not be properly dumped and data might leak from there, an official laptop with a weak or no password might be stolen from a coffee shop or snatched from the road. Even when inside the office, it only takes a moment for an intruder to do harm to an unprotected, unattended pc.
To ensure this cybersecurity layer, employee training is essential, they should be made aware of all possible scenarios and losses. They should be extremely wary of using official devices, especially off-premises. Before dumping any old hard drives or flash drives, they should be completely wiped off. Also, the drives which are currently in use should be encrypted so that even if it’s on the wrong hand, no harm can be done.
The wireless internet your company uses to do all the business could also be a cybersecurity threat if left unchecked. As the wifi signal isn’t limited to the office premises, a wireless network with weak security could easily be breached and a hacker can connect to it from far away. A wireless network is an ideal channel to send and receive data. Once the wireless security is breached, it often is child’s play for a hacker to steal sensitive official information and harm the organization.
If there is only one cybersecurity layer an entrepreneur decides to focus on, it should better be Email security. Email accounts should be protected at all costs. Because if the email account is compromised, then it’s not a very difficult task to take control of all the associated profiles linked to a certain email address. Because the hacker can simply request a reset password link and set a new password via the compromised email.
To stay safe, employee awareness is a must. They should be trained to identify and refrain from clicking suspicious links which may contain phishing links or viruses. Also, a modern cybersecurity product with Email security could prove vital on this topic.
Every business has different kinds of expenses and operating costs. To ensure a cybersecurity environment, there could be no better investment than investing in a modern cybersecurity solution. Most antivirus software can help keep email accounts and other sensitive information safe. But modern cyber security software brings more features like blacklists and whitelists, employee monitoring, mobile security, internet security etc. For that, REVE Antivirus could be an excellent choice.
We live in such an era where any business can be hacked, data can be stolen. And without maintaining the proper security layers, it’s not a question of how but when. These are our pics for the top 7 cybersecurity layers an entrepreneur should focus on to bolster company cybersecurity. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.