5 Tips To Stop Cyber Criminals From Accessing Common Vulnerabilities
Upgrade your business security and keep your data safe.
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Cybercrime is evolving and increasing in size, ranging from security breaches to identity theft. Cybercriminals target and attack computer networks, servers, and devices through phishing, hacking, SQL injections, man-in-the-middle, DDoS, and malware attacks. They take advantage of common risks or vulnerabilities, such as default passwords or unpatched software.
A study conducted by Accenture shows that there has been a rise of 67% in cybercrime in the last five years.
As per an IBM report, the cost of data breaches is highest in the healthcare sector at $7.13 million.
Therefore, organizations need to stop these cybercriminals from accessing their data, server, or software.
By 2022, the information security spent by businesses will likely be more than $170.4 billion.
There are government and industry organizations that provide regulations, practices, and frameworks to follow to reduce the likelihood of cyberattacks.
Apart from that, here are the best five tips to stop cybercrimes:
1. Perform Regular Vulnerability Scan
It is important to conduct regular vulnerability scanning to discover and fix vulnerabilities that have a potentially high-risk level.
Also, without performing vulnerability scanning at regular intervals, you might miss out on any new vulnerabilities as you change your system or software.
So how does vulnerability scanning work?
A vulnerability scanner creates an inventory of all the systems and servers connected to a network. It also checks the operating system, installed software, open ports, and user accounts on each device. Taking the reference from the database of known vulnerabilities, it checks any potential vulnerabilities and risks.
Once vulnerabilities are identified, it generates a report classifying system weaknesses in networks, systems, and servers. Besides, it also predicts the remediation that can be effective to reduce the attack or threat.
2. Implement Physical and Technical Security
Use firewalls, antimalware, and antivirus as a barrier to protect your network against cyber attacks. These tools make it difficult for cybercriminals to break into your network and provide you time to identify any potential threat.
Another way of protecting your network from cybercrime is by implementing password security measures. Use strong and unique passwords and change them regularly. Also, use two-factor authentication and ensure that your employees have 2FA enabled.
In addition, it is important to protect your email. Around 91% of cybercrimes start with a spear-phishing email.
Thus, try utilizing anti-phishing measures, such as email and document signing certificates for electronic communication. With this, you can check the email senders, prevent email tampering, and avoid man-in-the-middle (MitM) attackers.
3. Keep Your Systems Up-to-Date
For hackers, the easiest way to get into an organization’s defenses is through security gaps that pertain due to unpatched and outdated IT software. Thus, it is crucial to keep your operating system and software up to date through IT asset management to avoid exploitation by cybercriminals.
Ensure to turn on automatic updates and scan your system for viruses and malware. Also, make sure to patch any identified flaws to prevent any cyber attack.
4. Implement Security Policies and Follow Industry Guidelines
It is good for your organization to implement protective cybersecurity policies, such as password, computer/ laptop use, remote access, and email policies. You can also check and limit the access through the policy of least privilege of your employees. This ensures that only those employees have access to certain tools and documents that actually utilize them.
In addition, you can follow certain guidelines and best practices provided by the government and industry organizations.
Some of the guidelines are:
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): It is to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union citizens. In fact, the organizations that handle or collect data on EU citizens also need to comply with GDPR.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA offers national standards to protect patient health information (PHI). The organizations and individuals that need to comply with HIPAA are called covered entities. These entities include healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates.
Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC): It promotes payment card industry standards that all the organizations that store and transmit credit card information must follow. These organizations can include merchants, vendors, or financial institutions.
5. Encrypt and Backup Your Data
Encrypt all the sensitive data such as employee information, customer data, and financial information. It helps protect your data from cybercriminals by scrambling your data. The best encryption software that you can use are: Microsoft BitLocker, IBM Guardium, AxCrypt, or Kruptos 2.
Another step to protect against a data breach is to create a backup of all your data and store it separately.
Research by Sophos shows that in 2019, half of the organizations were attacked by ransomware which is the fastest-growing cybercrime.
Thus, to avoid any ransomware demand is to back up your data. You can use cloud storage to store backup data.
With the growth in the number of cyberattacks, you must ensure to take actions that protect your data from cybercriminals. Install anti-virus software, firewall, educate your employees, control access to your system, and enforce password policies.
To further secure your business, you can take help from trusted service providers that run penetration and vulnerability testing on your current security program and provide measures to improve your security protocols.
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