Protecting digital business assets is crucial in today’s interconnected world. As companies rely more on technology to conduct business, store data, and communicate, they also become more vulnerable to cyber threats. Implementing a multi-layered security strategy across people, processes, and technology is key to securing critical assets.
1. Educate Employees
Start with educating employees. Much of cyber risk comes down to human error or behavior. Train staff on cybersecurity best practices, like strong password hygiene, identifying phishing attempts, and avoiding risky online behaviors. Establish security policies clearly outlining proper protocol for accessing company systems or data. Monitor compliance and refresh training regularly.
2. Principle of Least Privilege
Control access with principle of least privilege. Give users minimal access to only the data or systems necessary to fulfill their jobs. Segment networks, implement role-based access controls, and control administrative privileges. Disable inactive accounts promptly and implement checks before providing network/system credentials.
Utilize strong authentication methods. Enforce multi-factor authentication, especially for remote access or administrative logins. Deploy biometrics where applicable. Disable basic password authentication in favor of one-time pins or certificates for VPN access. Automate de-provisioning upon employee termination.
Secure endpoints and keep systems updated. Install endpoint detection and antivirus software on all devices. Patch operating systems, software, firmware, and applications promptly. Standardize hardware/software where possible to simplify patching. Automate updates, audits, and configuration monitoring to ensure IT hygiene.
4. Back Up Critical Data
Back up critical data regularly. Maintain regular backups of servers, databases, files and store backups encrypted both onsite and offsite in case of malware attacks like ransomware. Test restoration to ensure recoverability.
5. Control Third-Party Risk
Control third-party risks in the supply chain. Vet suppliers/vendors for sound security controls governing access, data handling, and incident response. Review agreements around security expectations and liabilities. Restrict third-party access through network segmentation and least privilege. Invest in insurance to protect your assets. Protecting your small business from liabilities is critical in business, as all it takes is one mistake and you could have a client filing a very expensive lawsuit against the company. And if this happens, it could be enough to put you out of business.
Have Incident Response Plans in Place
Plan for incidence responses in the event of hacks and similar events. Establish and test procedures around containment, eradication, and recovery activities in the aftermath of an attack. Train crisis management teams on decision protocols and public relations. Report criminal incidents to the authorities. Improve defenses during recovery by reevaluating controls so you can prevent the same thing from happening again.
These controls form a robust security posture for protecting digital infrastructure and sensitive business data. Since techniques evolve rapidly, engage experts to design and implement appropriate controls, then verify effectiveness through audits and testing. Get buy-in across the organization and iterate on policies to ensure measures are practical and sustainable while still managing risk. With vigilance, planning, and care around operational security, companies can thrive in the digital world and keep their digital business assets safe and secure.