In the modern world of business, security is an increasingly important aspect. Decades ago, security would have been limited to ensuring that premises were protected from the risks of intrusion, damage, and theft by installing security measures such as burglar alarms and perimeter fencing. In 2022, the major security risks to businesses come from the world of IT infrastructures and cyber security. It is universally recognized that cybercrime is on the increase across the world, and the effects of a cyber attack are becoming more costly. No business, regardless of its size or function, is completely immune or fully protected against this modern form of crime. As a result of this fact, all businesses should take a range of steps that serve to minimize the chance of succumbing to a successful cyber attack. This article explains five key ways in which a business can improve the security of its IT infrastructure and business systems.
1. Educate staff on effective IT security
One of the most important ways to reduce the risk of cyber attacks or unauthorized access to systems is to educate the wider staff base in effective IT security methods. There are a wide range of benefits to having a workforce that is well-educated in IT security. The most important outcome is that they will be increasingly aware of how to spot malicious emails or acts of phishing, which will lead to a greater level of IT security being adopted across all parts of the organization. In addition, such training will improve basic IT skills and broaden the understanding of IT security issues which can improve the knowledge and skill levels of wide groups of staff. In short, an employee base that is highly knowledgeable on cyber security is one of the most effective ways to identify acts of cybercrime and remain vigilant across the organization.
2. Build a security culture
Alongside building a workforce that is educated on matters relating to cybercrime is the need to allow a security culture to permeate through all levels of the organization. IT security should not be limited to the remit of the IT team; it should be a form of holographic knowledge that is embedded in all departments. Creating a sustainable culture of IT security is something that takes time. Part of its cultivation is by including all levels of staff in meetings and discussions on the topic. In addition, regular staff newsletters should be created that have a section on current cyber security knowledge and developments. Such staff publications allow the latest tips and advice on IT security to be widely circulated and understood. Executive teams should embrace the culture of security awareness and should be ambassadors for this to demonstrate its importance at corporate level.
3. Hire a team of IT security professionals
While knowledge and awareness of IT security is important across an organization, it is also imperative for any medium or large-sized company to have its own dedicated team of IT security professionals. These staff should be highly trained and knowledgeable in a wealth of IT security topics and practices so that the organization can be as protected as possible from the malicious acts of hackers. If you can’t hire your own team, outsource this. Today’s IT security experts will have current knowledge on cloud computing and the protection of such systems against data loss and unauthorized access to cloud-based systems. This knowledge should be complemented with a wide range of industry-specific information and practice that allows the organization to modernize its IT systems and infrastructure while being protected from current and emerging cyber threats.
4. Discourage public access Wi-Fi
In recent years, remote and hybrid models of work have been on the increase, partly due to the restrictions that were necessary to counter the threat to public health that the Covid-19 pandemic posed. As a result of remote working arrangements, some employees will have occasionally used public Wi-Fi while undertaking working tasks. This practice can be especially dangerous for companies that allow their employees to access key IT systems from remote settings or access cloud-based systems. Unsecured Wi-Fi access points such as in hotels and shopping centers are exceptionally easy to be compromised, and details from other computers or smart devices that access such internet systems can be read by malicious users, and passwords can easily be stolen.
5. Keep up to date with updates
As a final point, it can be easy to overlook the value of keeping systems and applications updated with the latest system updates. The value of such updates cannot be overstated. Often, they contain new security features along with stability improvements and upgrades that allow them to function more effectively. By ensuring that the latest updates are installed on all software applications, an organization ensures that they have the latest security patches so that emerging threats that have been recognized can be protected against. Put simply, an application or operating system that does not have the latest updates installed is more at risk of successful malicious intrusions.