Businesses from Roanoke to Lynchburg and beyond face a constant barrage of cyberthreats that they need to stay ahead of to protect their digital assets. Today, cybersecurity has evolved far beyond what basic antivirus software and firewalls can handle.

Combined with the fact that companies are under increasing pressure to innovate, it’s more important than ever to implement security by design. It’s something that needs to take center stage and you must shift your perception from cybersecurity services being a necessary evil to something that brings value to the entire organization.

Implementing the following tips boost customer trust and reduce the chances of a data breach.

Encrypt all your data

Your cybersecurity strategy should consist of two key elements: protecting access to sensitive data and making sure that data is rendered useless to anyone who manages to get their hands on it. Encryption provides the latter. All potentially sensitive data needs to be encrypted no matter how tough your IT security controls are.

Encryption is especially important when sending data through an internet connection where it might be vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks or wireless network eavesdropping.

Secure individual computers and mobile devices

While network firewalls and intrusion detection protect your business from external threats, they can’t safeguard a laptop from a hacked coffee shop Wi-Fi or an infected USB drive. That’s because every endpoint — be it a laptop computer, smartphone, or workstation — adds to the attack surface.

If a malicious insider or a hacker manages to compromise a vulnerable endpoint, then your network security measures won’t be able to do a thing about it. Administrators should keep close tabs on endpoint security using a centralized management dashboard that provides full visibility into every device employees use for work.

Monitor your supply chains

Even the most robust internal cybersecurity infrastructure isn’t enough to protect your business. Today, most companies work with a large portfolio of third-party service providers, vendors, and suppliers. Furthermore, as compliance regulations dictate, it’s your responsibility to ensure your data is safe, no matter who you hand it over to.

To make your organization less vulnerable to a data breach, you’ll need to manage your external attack surface carefully. That means extensively vetting your suppliers and technology partners, limiting the use of external software platforms, and having complete visibility into your supply chains.

Invest in employee training

Human error is the underlying cause of the clear majority of cyberattacks, even if vulnerable technology does tend to get the blame. The problem is, although digital security and privacy are some of the biggest concerns in the modern world, many people have developed poor security habits like reusing passwords and failing to lock their smartphones.

Furthermore, many attackers use social engineering tactics to dupe unsuspecting victims into surrendering private information or downloading malicious software. To ensure employees are familiar with various scams and poor security habits, businesses need to strive to build a culture of accountability and awareness where people are no longer the weakest link.

Restrict access rights

When it comes to confidential data, the best rule to follow is the principle of least privilege, which means people, programs, and processes should have the bare minimum access rights that are needed for them to perform their roles. This makes the organization far less vulnerable to insider threats, whether malicious or unintentional.

It also greatly reduces the threat surface by limiting the number of potential vectors a hacker can use to launch an attack. You can also improve security by making all account actions traceable and using multifactor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of defense beyond relying on passwords alone.

Tech Squared provides managed security services to reduce the burden on your in-house IT and maximize the protection of your digital assets. Call us today to find out how it works.