Scaling Cyber Security during Business Growth

By 2 February 2022Blog

Business growth is exciting and full of promises yet, your new plans could quickly be demolished due to a lack of security. The expansion of any business means higher exposure to cyber attacks, therefore, companies need to prioritize cyber security during business growth. According to Harvard Business Review, if the scale of cybercrime could be measured, it would be the third-largest economy after the U.S and China. In 2021, Data breach costs reached $ 4.24 million which is the highest in the past 17 years.  Newly founded mid-sized businesses are more prone to being victims of cyber criminals since they tend to underestimate the risks of cyberattacks.  

Why does data security matter?

Disruptions caused by cyber attacks during expansion not only damage the brand’s identity but it also impacts customer relationship which often causes lasting damage. Acknowledging that most systems are at risk is the first step towards scaling cyber security. Yet, since these attacks are becoming more frequent, the old ways of simply using passwords and authorizations seem almost ineffective in a time when business are going global and are more interconnected than ever. Planning ahead for possible attacks is a critical aspect for daily operations and processes to run smoothly. 

Here are 5 ways to reduce your organization’s vulnerability to risks:

Use strong passwords and 2FA (two-factor authentication)

As one of the basic principles of cyber security, setting up strong passwords and two-factor authentication is mandatory.  The use of easy to recall but tough to guess passwords should be primary to secure software and systems. Most websites suggest mixing letters with numbers and miscellaneous characters such as a question mark or a dollar sign. Two-factor authentication can instantly upgrade your system security, also known as multi-factor authentication. 2FA is vital to web security as it acts fast and neutralizes possible risks linked to compromised passwords. Thanks to this security measure ,intruders can no longer have easy access to a user’s data even if a password is hacked or phished since 2FA reacts rapidly and neutralises any possible risk associated with compromised passwords. How? Simply by required the user proofs of identity before allowing access to anyone particularly when using another device.

Use firewall to reduce security threats

A firewall is a system that protects your computer from outside threats. It does this by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic, and blocking any data that seems suspicious. A firewall can be installed on a single computer or on an entire network. Your network is the foundation of your IT infrastructure. If anyone has access to it, your organisation might be a risk. Firewalls protect your organisation’s network from unnecessary  and malicious network traffic. Firewalls block connections with unauthorised access, like hackers who are attempting to steal your data or malware. Firewalls even make your network extra secure by letting you choose which programs can access the internet so that you’re never at risk.

Implement the Principle of the Least Privileged( PoLP)

The principle of the least privileged is a security principle that states that users should be granted only the privileges they need to perform their duties. This principle is often applied to computer systems, where users are given access to only the resources they need to do their jobs. PoLP  helps minimize security breaches and limit the damage caused by breaches. Sounds complicated ? In practice, it simply means limiting user’s permissions to access all resources, instead every employee has access to the only resources that he needs. This principle helps reduce business risks and minimize cyber threats and errors. Restricting your employee’s access to parts of the system that are not required for his daily tasks is one of the most straightforward means to reduce your business exposure to risks particularly during business upscale.

Update your network security regularly

Network security is a very important issue for any company. There are many ways to update your network security, but the most effective way is to use a VPN. A VPN will encrypt all of your data and keep it safe from anyone who may be trying to steal it. Regardless of the features of your router, it’s essential to update your network for optimal performance but also to reduce the risk of hackers taking advantage of security vulnerabilities. 

Include Security in your business’s culture

Security is a vital part of any company, and it should be included in the company’s culture. The security team should be treated as an integral part of the organization, not just a cost center. The security team should have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that affect the company. Most employees might be reluctant to talk about their mistakes particularly when it involves a breach. It’s important for organizations to encourage their employees to talk about the possibility of being a victim of phishing or hacking by simply clicking on a link that might have been the root cause.  Conducting regular seminars by cybersecurity professionals about security and the measures that can help reduce its impact should be a priority for software houses or any other organization that relies on technology. Organizations can enhance security awareness by working with a third party and hiring specialist companies who can handle phishing simulation exercises. By hiring consultants or cyber security experts, organizations can be better equipped to tackle security threats. 

Conclusion

Cybersecurity and innovation go hand in hand yet most organisations tend to overlook its importance. According to an article by Gartner on educating employees about security awareness, most businesses think that cybersecurity can be ignored. Leaders have to rethink security and make security a priority since improving networks and systems entails growth. The damage caused by a lack of security impedes innovation and often entails losses. Cybersecurity conversations are likely to be vital to the growth of businesses in 2022. Businesses who think of security measures such as data protection and cloud security as powerful business accelerators are likely to benefit from it.