Is it time to overhaul your cybersecurity practices?

With spring in the air, is it time to clean-up your data security practices?
18 April 2018

Is it time to clean-up your security practices? Source: Shutterstock

C ybercrime damages are expected to cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021, according to the 2017 Cybercrime report. Regardless of industry, company size, yearly revenue or location, your business is a target for cybercriminals.

With this worrying information in mind, when was the last time you evaluated your cybersecurity protocols and policies? It may be time to commence in a little spring cleaning to update, organize, and to heighten your cybersecurity practices.

1.Perform an audit of your data

One of the most crucial steps to ensuring high security is to perform an audit of your data. This will allow you to understand where your most valuable data is stored, and thus where to prioritize resources to protect this data.

A good audit of your data on a quarterly basis will ensure that you are staying on top of any changes which may impact your data’s location- and thus your application of resources.

Upon finishing your audit, you should then consider whether your policies and protocols need adjusting to ensure ultimate protection of your valuable data.

2. Are your policies easy for your employees to understand?

When writing up your policies on your businesses data, it is important that they are written in a way that all employees can understand. If your team struggle to comprehend the policies, then they won’t be able to follow them; which poses a huge risk to your data.

Ensuring all employees understand the security policy is vital to the protection of your data. Source: Shutterstock

Once you’ve written up your policy, you should run it by a few employees from different departments. This will give you an indication as to whether your policy can be universally understood. With human error playing a large part in many data attacks, ensuring everyone understands how to mitigate against attacks or how to deal with them is vital.

3. Are your policies compliant with your industry’s standards?

Cybersecurity regulations vary across different sectors and can change frequently. In fact, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into play next month which will affect any company that collects data on citizens in European Union (EU) countries.

The new regulation requires businesses to put systems and processes in place to ensure they are protecting their consumer data fully. Those who don’t could be subject to costly fines.

Therefore, adding a compliance check to your security spring clean will help ensure your own policies are up to date.

4. Boost your login protection

Boosting your data security requires strong efforts of login protection. So if you have one password for all accounts, and this password sounds something like “Dog123”, it’s time to take action!

Having multi-factor identification, multiple passwords, codes, and security questions will ensure an added layer of security. You might want to consider using a password manager such as 1password or LastPass to help you keep track of the multiple passwords.

5. Communicate your policies

After making any revisions to your policies, you should be sure to communicate these to all employees to ensure that everyone is up-to-date. A good idea to make sure that everyone understands the information is to present it in a variety of formats. For example, this could be via e-mail, a conference-call, an in-person training session, or a webinar. This will ensure that your employees can choose a learning format that suits them best.