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How to Reduce Your Cyber-Attack Risk and Protect Your Business Part 2

Follow these tactical actions to reduce your organisations’ cyber-attack risk.

Having introduced you to some smart strategic actions you can take to reduce cyber-attack risk in our previous article, ‘How to Reduce Your Cyber-Attack Risk and Protect Your Business Part 1’, it’s time to take a look at some tactical measures you can take.

Where strategy outlines the broad actions that are needed, tactics are all about handling the details. When it comes to preparing your organisation to identify threats, prevent intrusions, and defend against data breaches, the following list is a good place to start.

 

Cyber-Attack Risk Mitigation – Tactical Actions

 

  1. Enforce Strong Passwords

If your organisation does not already require login passwords for software, file systems, etc. then now would be a good time to start ensuring strong passwords are used. Many widely used hacking techniques use automation software to try thousands of combinations of passwords in order to guess the correct one and gain access to systems. Strong passwords make it much more difficult to guess and thus give you an added measure of protection.

 

  1. Patch Management

Hackers are constantly trying to find bugs and loopholes in software that would allow them to insert malicious software and code and gain unauthorised access. Software companies continually develop the code of their software in order to fix bugs, close loopholes, and improve their software, they then release updates or patches for their clients to install. By making sure your software is always up to date, you reduce the likelihood that hackers will find a bug and get into your systems.

 

  1. Encrypt Your Data

Using encryption to secure your data when you move it around is also a smart move. This will make it far more difficult for hackers and unauthorised persons from accessing your data and the data of your clients. Exposing your client data can land you in hot water and severely damage your organisation’s reputation, fixing it may take years. Using encryption can reduce the risk and installing encryption software will only take a few hours.

 

  1. Data Minimisation

The more data you have the more exposure you have to data breaches. Therefore, a great way to reduce your risk is simply to minimise your data. Here are a few ways to do this.

  • If you do not need certain data, then don’t collect it in the first place. This will reduce your risk of data breaches and the costs of storing it.
  • Once data is no longer needed and is not listed on your retention schedules you can delete it.
  • Grant access to data only to those employees who need to use it. The few employees who have access to data the lower the risk and the easier it is to locate a breach.

Iron Mountain offers a wide range of data and records management solutions which can help reduce your exposure to data breaches and theft. Client data, both paper and electronic, is stored in high-security access controlled facilities. While remote access to your data is fast and simple, it is also secure, as it makes use of encryption, access control, and verifiable chain-of-custody reports and audit trail reports.

Using a trusted Records Management Partner who is serious about security is a good way to reduce your exposure to cyber-attacks.

 

  1. Data Backups

Another vital method of reducing your risk of cyber-theft and sabotage is to keep backups. Offsite backups or cloud backups offer even more protection than backups at your place of business. One scenario where backups could save your company is one in which a hacker aims to commit an act of both theft and sabotage. Imagine for a moment, that a competitor hires a hacker to not only steal data from your company but also corrupt or delete it entirely from your system. If you were the target or such an attack and had no backups, would your business survive?

Iron Mountain offers a wide range of data backup solutions that can be customised to individual needs and go a long way to reducing the effects of a data breach.

 

For more data breach and cyber-attack mitigation tips read, ‘Cyber-Attack Risk Mitigation – Part 3’.

 

Image Credit: Copyright: honzik7 / 123RF Stock Photo

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