The bigger a company, the larger its operations. The larger its operations, the larger its workforce.
The larger the workforce, the far the company’s data will travel.
It is no rocket science, yet many major companies including those that enjoy a spot on the Fortune 500 list make grave mistakes of underestimating the need for strict cybersecurity.
It can be overwhelming to keep an eye on every path that your data takes in its journey of day-to-day business, but it is necessary for you to do so.
The massive collection of confidential information on working people’s mobile phone, (like reports and documents of their companies and their company’s clients) without ample cyber protection and strong passwords is a ticking time bomb for their employers and employer’s clients. Here are a few common yet grave mistakes that companies make in terms of cybersecurity.
1. How safe are your third-party service providers?
Big multinational corporations have a lot of verticals and departments to handle.
It is only sane to delegate and outsource certain work to other agencies and consultancies.
What is not sane is to not realise that the more agencies you handover your data to, the more risk your data is exposed to.
Often companies forget to assess the fact that whatever data they share with their agencies in good faith, get shared further among that agency’s employees.
And who knows how trained those employees are in terms of cybersecurity or how secure that agency’s servers and systems are?
Recently, a bigshot company like General Electric suffered a data breach because its third-party service provider, Cannon, on whom it relies for managing its employees’ documents, faced a cyberattack.
It is imperative that every company and business, no matter how small or big, takes into account the cybersecurity position of every single business whom it deals or shares data with.
Remember, you are as strong as your weakest link. And hackers always go for the weakest links first.
2. How trained are your employees in cybersecurity?
With every new employee, you also hire a new risk point for your data.
Wouldn’t you provide your staff with a work email? And wouldn’t that staff be using that email on their phones and office computers where a lot of your company’s confidential data will be stored?
It will just take one convincing email for a hacker to get their hands on all that attractive data.
Most of the cyberattacks and data breaches happen through phishing.
And the main reason why it is an extensive technique is that companies fail to provide this critical training to their staff.
There are so many instances where even big public companies, like those in nuclear energy, space research and power, have fallen prey to a hacker’s phishing attack.
That being said, it is not enough to provide basic cybersecurity training to your staff when they join your workforce, but it is also important that you put their training to test time and again.
3. Do you have a Chief Information Security Officer?
It is no news that there is a heavy dearth of cybersecurity professionals in the corporate world, but that shouldn’t be your excuse for not having a proper cybersecurity team in place.
The larger your business, the more hands you need on deck to strengthen your security and help out in times of a crisis.
Most companies have still not realised the dire need of having an official Chief Information Security Officer with a team of cybersecurity experts, that can deal with vulnerability analysis, incident response, forensic investigation, network defence, policy framing and other data protection needs.
Thinking that you will only hire cybersecurity professionals when you need them, is a foolish company policy and could land you in serious trouble.
The world is moving fast and it’s moving virtual, which means risks and threats, especially on big companies are going to increase manifold.
The only way to stay ahead of the hacking wave is by preparing in advance from this moment onward.
If you are not able to find and hire an adequate person for this critical top level position, you can always start small and train freshers to make their way up the ladder by placing them under the guidance of another top level manager
Any tiny effort that you apply for creating a strong cybersecurity team in your business is a wise effort that will pay you back one day in ways you cannot imagine.
4. Do you have an incident response plan?
What happens when you encounter a cyberattack? Many big companies hire some cybersecurity professionals but forget to create a strong and effective incident response plan.
Having a proper contingency plan of action in place could be the difference between reversible and irreversible damage for you.
Every big corporation should have a well designed chalked out protocol on how to deal with a cyberattack and data breach which must include immediate damage control and investigation, not to mention that you might also need professional ransomware negotiators in the unfortunate case that you get hit by a ransomware.
Recently, the Heritage company struggled to keep itself afloat after being unable to recover from a ransomware attack for months.
All such things can only be avoided by preparing in advance. Also, make sure you test your incident response action plan once you have created it.
5. How strong is your password policy?
Apart from training your staff against social engineering cyberattacks, you also need to make sure that the keys that protect your data are not frail and flimsy.
Most of the times, hackers can get in the company computers or your employee work accounts by cracking the password remotely or physically.
It is also interesting to think about all the places your employees go to their office laptop to work, especially when they are working from home.
You never know who is in the vicinity of that laptop.
It could be a potential hacker or a business competitor who knows your employee just well enough to guess that their password is ‘Amit@123’.
If you are one of those companies who let its staff choose their passwords as per their convenience, you need to reconsider things immediately.
Ask yourself, should you let thousands of untrained people roam around with cheap keys to your data?
Now that you know what are the most common mistakes made by businesses everywhere, it is time you introspect and check if you are also making any of these.
Let us know in the comments below, what are the other errors that companies make in ensuring their cybersecurity, after you are done with self evaluation.
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