We have already dealt with aspects related to security in other articles. We talked about active and passive safety and we also discussed phishing in the company. In this one, we will talk about performing a security audit.
But, where should you start if you are a businessman concerned about your security?
We will prepare a checklist of some simple tasks that you must carry out to detect where you may have a security problem and go to a computer security professional to help you delve deeper to give you the peace of mind that your business deserves.
Keep your device inventory up to date
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The first step, in case you haven’t already done so, is to perform a complete inventory of all connected devices on your network.
The inventory should include not only hardware such as desktop computers, mobile devices, and routers but also any installed software.
Because? This list should be updated as devices and software change to understand all the elements that should be included in your network security plans.
If your company allows your employees to use their own device and connect it to the company network, you should include those devices as well, as items that may represent a vulnerability for your company so that they are not overlooked when updating security software. and implement new security solutions.
Always keep software and operating systems up to date
Installing the latest updates for your applications will significantly minimize risk for the most common threats. Today, manufacturers provide tools that allow the automatic updating of devices and software. Even if you are exposed to finding small errors when installing the update, the benefit of protection against new threats minimizes this point.
Keep user accounts up to date
On some occasions, for convenience, speed, or carelessness, we allow employees to have permission to perform certain actions that they will never perform. This is a vulnerability at certain times that must be fixed.
Grants permissions to the lowest level necessary for the user to complete the entrusted functions. Do not allow anyone in the organization to use administrative accounts (of type “admin”) for daily work; these should be used only when necessary to perform system administration operations.
Limit access to the administrative account, and ensure each employee has a separate account with unique login credentials.
In the case of allowing remote access, these must be done exclusively through a VPN.
Use multi-factor authentication to access the system as a general rule within the company, and delete the account immediately when an employee leaves the company.
Audit employee safety knowledge and train them
Although it has been explained on many occasions, we must repeat it one more time: the greatest vulnerability of any cybersecurity plan comes from people. Daily work and routine lead to carelessness and mistakes.
Therefore, the first task is to create a security awareness plan that educates employees about the consequences that poorly executed actions and carelessness can have, while instructing them about the protocols they must follow in their daily work and in the case of locating any suspicious activity.
As we all know, protocols that are too complex will end up not being used for convenience, so it is important to find a balance between the complexity of the security protocol and the convenience of daily work.
In many cases, it is sufficient to create a password policy that encourages the creation of strong passwords with minimum complexity guidelines and changes passwords at reasonable intervals.
Email is one of the biggest entry points for security threats. On the one hand, all organizations use it on a day-to-day basis and, secondly, it allows the entry of elements that allow a quick and easy infection of the computer and the system.
Phishing scams and ransomware attacks are common tactics cybercriminals use to obtain sensitive information, compromise an employee, or upload malicious assets.
It is therefore critical to ensure that all incoming and outgoing email is scanned for malicious elements such as viruses, malware, and ransomware. Small business email providers themselves have tools available to filter spam and locate and flag suspicious emails, so let’s take advantage of all the security features they offer.
If this is not the case, or if you want a new barrier against threats, antivirus software that includes scanning for other types of malware (early launch anti malware protection) will be a very useful tool to minimize these threats.
Properly manage web traffic
Another possible access point for unauthorized users comes from malicious websites.
Accessing certain social media posts presents a significant risk of delivering malware. Therefore, set restrictions to ensure that employees visit only trusted sites on an approved list.
Endpoint protection applications and firewalls
Firewalls are passive protection elements by monitoring all incoming and outgoing network traffic for any traffic outside of established security rules.
Device protection apps, such as antivirus and antimalware (early launch anti malware), can help detect malicious programs that make it through your passive systems. Set up full scans on a regular schedule for the most comprehensive protection. Remember to install these programs on any mobile device used for business as well.
data recovery plan
If the threat were able to breach all of these barriers, it would be important to have a disaster recovery plan in place in case your data is lost.
As you have read in the press, on many occasions cyber attacks are intended not so much to steal information but to interrupt the activity of a company. Do you have your important data backed up in case it gets corrupted or lost entirely? Backups should be encrypted and automatically scheduled to ensure they are not lost and the files are recent. Multiple backup methods offer an extra layer of protection, such as on-site server and cloud backup.
Restrict the use of Wi-Fi
Using a password to access your company’s Wi-Fi networks is something that we all know since they are open doors to our system.
And if you’re also offering wireless access to clients, make sure the networks are separated to prevent the public from accessing critical data stored on your company network. And it might be a good idea to turn off Wi-Fi networks after work to prevent hackers from unrestricted access to your network.
Response to security breaches
We must be prepared for infringements that may occur. The advantage is that given the possible improvisation in the case of not being prepared, having a protocol (list of actions to be carried out) will avoid forgetfulness and reduce the tension of the moment.