This week, I read two in-depth security and privacy reports: one by Sophos Cybersecurity and the other by Yubico. As companies worldwide strive to protect their data and networks, cybersecurity has become an increasingly important topic. The reports provide an overview of the industry’s current state, examining key challenges and offering insight into how organizations can better secure their critical assets.
Sophos helps organizations manage cybersecurity. Cybersecurity has become too complex for most organizations to handle on their own. Think of them as your cybersecurity chaos whisperers. I have been using them since 2021.
A letter by Joe Levy, Sophos CTO, states,
In a very real, and very personal sense, it feels like the gloves have come off in 2022, and the two largest nations that pose a cybersecurity threat to the rest of the world have decided to do away with the pretense of noninvolvement in large breaches, major attacks on infrastructure, or disruption to education, global commerce, or healthcare. They might as well be flaunting it in our faces, as if to demand what are you going to do about it?”Sophos 2023 Threat Report
I have been using Yubico MFA keys for many years. I started using them when I was traveling to Europe for client events. I was able to have multi-factor authentication without relying on my smartphone.
Small and medium-sized businesses [SMB] underestimate the risk of a cybersecurity breach.”
I would include non-profits as well. Their statistics show that 1 out of 3 breaches involved a small business, and 52% of small businesses experienced at least one cyberattack last year. To top it off, 40% of SMBs still need a comprehensive and up-to-date cybersecurity incident response plan.
Cybersecurity, why do we care?
The COVID pandemic has been a breeding ground for cybercriminals, and cybersecurity experts are warning against the top three threats: ransomware, phishing, and malware. According to recent reports, there has been a 300% increase in cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic.
Cybersecurity experts advise businesses to be extra vigilant when safeguarding their data and systems from attacks, as these numbers will increase further as more people continue to work remotely. Companies should ensure they have effective security measures. Security measures include firewalls, antivirus software, password management tools, regular system updates, and multi-factor authentication. Can your staff recognize phishing emails or websites? You need to provide training so your team avoids falling victim to phishing scams or other malicious activities. If in doubt, don’t click.
Multi-Prong Approach to Cybersecurity
We need to implement a multi-prong approach to cybersecurity. Many feel passwords are adequate or good as long as the software is updated. Let’s define some of these tools and why these tools are important.
Passwords Management Tools
How often do you reuse the same password for multiple logins? How do you keep track of your passwords? Do you write them down on paper and put them in your desk drawer? Do you hide it in your calendar?
Do you share logins via email? Weak passwords or the use of stolen passwords accounted for more than 80% of data breaches in 2020. A password management tool is key to your cybersecurity strategy, as it can help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.
Password management tools simplify storing and managing user credentials, so you can quickly and easily access the accounts needed without using the same passwords across multiple sites. In addition, these tools provide advanced security features such as two-factor authentication and data encryption for added protection. Businesses can rest assured that their data is not vulnerable to malicious actors by using a password management tool.
Password management tools also save time managing user accounts by automating account creation processes and providing administrators with detailed reports on who has accessed which accounts and when. This dashboard approach makes it easier for businesses to maintain secure networks while ensuring high productivity levels.
When was the last time you thought about your computer or server firewall? A firewall protects your data from being accessed or stolen by unauthorized users and malicious software. It creates a barrier between your computer and the internet, blocking any malicious traffic that attempts to enter your network.
A firewall analyzes every incoming connection request and only allows connections from trusted sources. The firewall helps protect against malware that might sneak in through an insecure connection or exploit known vulnerabilities in the operating system. The firewall also can detect malicious code embedded in webpages or email attachments before it reaches your device, ensuring that no harmful content can get through. By employing these sophisticated techniques, a firewall can provide an extra layer of security for your data and devices.
Antivirus software is crucial to securing data and protecting against cybersecurity threats in today’s digital age. It is important for businesses, large and small, to be aware of the risks associated with inadequate data protection. Antivirus software helps protect against malicious attacks at the most fundamental level by scanning files on a computer or network system.
When a malicious file is detected, antivirus software will quarantine it before it infects your computer. Additionally, antivirus programs can see suspicious activity, such as changes in system settings or attempts to access accounts without authorization. This security is also valuable on your website. By monitoring these activities, your business has a layer of protection from outside threats that may try to breach your systems and steal precious information or other resources. Furthermore, regular scans allow companies to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats by keeping their systems up-to-date with the latest security measures.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
One of the most effective ways to protect your business’s data is through Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
MFA is an authentication process that requires multiple factors to verify an individual’s identity before granting access to secure systems or data. When set up correctly, MFA can add a layer of security by requiring users to provide more information, such as a username and password combination, plus a one-time code sent via text message. This multi-factor authentication makes it much harder for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access.
I have my phone. Why do I need an MFA security key?
What happens if your cell phone has been compromised, stolen, cloned, or lost? If your phone is compromised, this is where an MFA security key becomes a vital tool in your cybersecurity kit. You can authorize access without having to use your cell phone.
In conclusion, the reports from Sophos Cybersecurity and Yubico have highlighted the importance of data security and privacy in our increasingly digital world. As businesses, organizations, and individuals continue to rely more on technology, we must prioritize our online safety and security. We must be vigilant in protecting user data, ensuring strong authentication, and developing resilient systems against cyber-attacks. By doing so, we can protect the valuable data assets of individuals and businesses.
Does this technical jargon have you rolling your eyes and thinking, this is hopeless? You can do this!
If you need someone to review what you currently have in place for cybersecurity and give you some guidance in software that can help, reach out today.
Schedule a discovery call today!
Let’s start 2023 with cybersecurity in place and your business data secure.