Keeping your Company’s Data Secure with Layers

person with laptop, drawings of computer, mobile phone, gears and cloud background depicting network security

Written by Chuck Rutenberg

July 23, 2020

computer, mobile phone, person with laptop, background of clouds to depict layered IT network security

Keeping your company’s data secure is of paramount importance today. The average cyberattack costs a small business anywhere from $120,000 to over $1 million in damages, and these numbers only increase as companies increase in size.

An important part of the procedure for keeping information safe from unwanted visitors is using layered security, which builds systematic checks and balances into your network. Today we’ll examine one of the key components of this system – your employees.

What is Layered Security?

Before we get too far, lets take a moment to understand just what layered security is and how it protects your company. Also known as defense in depth, layered security is a concept borrowed from a military strategy which uses multiple systems to prevent a defensive network from being overwhelmed.

To imagine this in simple terms, think of a concentric castle. That castle might have a wall, which protects a moat, which blocks a fortified interior barrier. If a cyberattacker manages to push past your set of network obstacles, they should immediately encounter another layer of defense that keeps them from accessing sensitive material.

A modern security setup uses technology, processes, and training to keep data safe from intruders. Let’s look at how your employee education can prevent a data breach from threatening your company.

Ensure Your Employees Know How To Keep Data Secure

At the end of the day, employees represent one of the greatest security risks out of all three combined layers. This is because people are fallible, mistakes are made and cyberattackers have spent decades perfecting their scams to gain access to the systems you need kept secure.

However, with proper education, employees can become a security asset and can be the most important link when identifying a new threat. Here are some of the best practices that employees should know to foil a data breach.

Strong Passwords

One of first things you and your employees should settle on is a commitment to strong passwords. All too often, employees use weak, easy to remember passwords and then duplicate them for multiple systems. If this is the case, a cyberthief may find easy access to your company’s most important information, all because one employee couldn’t take the time to enter a secure password.

Employees should understand the importance of creating a password that includes at least ten characters and a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers. A policy of changing passwords at regular intervals ensures that cybercriminals don’t have long term access if they do get in.

Don’t Follow Suspicious Links

Next, your employees need to be aware of one of the most common methods of cyber intrusion, phishing scams, and how to avoid being caught by them. Phishing is a simple ploy in which hackers offer links disguised on websites or in emails that have viruses or key logging software embedded in them. Once an employee clicks one of these links the software installs itself, compromising network.

If your employees know to watch out for these attempts, they can not only avoid giving cyberattackers access, they can also be proactive about protecting network integrity. Team members should report these links to the IT team so they can block emails from being sent to other team members. One attentive employee can help protect the entire system.

Ensure Virus Software Is Updated

Everyone at your company should be vigilant about keeping their antivirus tools up to date. Antivirus software is only effective if it is prepared to block the newest attacks, and cybercriminals are always innovating new ways to bypass the software they already know about.

Keeping your employees educated about the importance of this process is even more vital in today’s landscape of remote work. Your IT team can monitor in office workspaces, but if employees are connecting to the company network from their own devices at home that control goes away. Keeping virus software updated isn’t hard, it just takes a healthy appreciation for its importance from the entire team.

Keeping your Company’s Data Secure Starts With Employees

Keeping your company’s data secure by using a process to make certain every team member in your organization understands their part. If everyone dedicates an appropriate amount of attention to the issue, then the other layers of security can do their job in stopping a debilitating data breach. Download our guide to learn the additional layers you can use to protect your company’s IT network.

download how to embed cybersecurity into your organization

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