COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on cybersecurity. Therefore, it remains important for companies to enhance cybersecurity to protect their systems as much as possible from malicious actors.
Cybersecurity during the COVID-19 era demands a multi-faceted approach. It is no longer the preserve of IT departments, but the responsibility of every person within your organization.
Here are tips for companies to enhance cybersecurity efforts during the pandemic.
Tip #1 for companies to enhance cybersecurity: Employee Training
Employees are the backbone of any organization. However, they also can be the weakest cybersecurity link in your organization.
One significant trend you can discover from the pandemic cyber-attacks is the role of human error in facilitating these attacks. Sometimes employees recklessly access corporate data over an unsecured network. Others set weak passwords to their work accounts. Failure to educate them to the dangers of cybersecurity can be costly.
Accordingly, we review some best practices to keep in mind when offering cybersecurity training so companies can enhance cybersecurity:
- Make it a regular practice to train employees on the changing cybersecurity concepts they should know.
- Train your employees on the importance of strong passwords, and about the tools they can use to manage passwords.
- Train your employees to recognize social engineering and phishing attacks.
- Incorporate cybersecurity training into your onboarding process.
Tip #2 for companies to enhance cybersecurity: Develop Cybersecurity Policies
A cybersecurity policy is one of the ways to protect your business from the increasing cyberattacks during COVID-19. The policy identifies the key assets and systems you need to protect, the threats to these assets, and the rules and systems for protecting these assets.
A cybersecurity policy should include:
- Strong password requirements
- Email security guidelines, including when to share an email address and spam filtering rules
- Guidelines on handling sensitive data, including who can access this data and the sharing protocols
- Rules on handling technology; for example, setting rules on which devices employees should use when accessing corporate networks
- Social media and internet access standards
- Possible steps to take in case of a cyber-incident, including a prevention and incident response plan
In addition to preparing a cybersecurity policy, you should regularly update it to ensure you incorporate the latest best practices within the industry to keep your company protected and prepared.
Tip #3 for companies to enhance cybersecurity: Set up the necessary controls
COVID-19 increased the number of people working remotely. For businesses, this meant an increase in the risk of employees using unauthorized devices and technologies, increasing the risk of cyberattacks. To mitigate these risks, businesses should:
- Shorten patching cycles for critical systems and networks necessary for remote working
- Set up multifactor authentication for accessing sensitive and critical applications
- Install special controls for facility-based applications
- Set measures to transition, support, and protect shadow IT critical to business operations
- Facilitate faster device virtualization
- Support the transition to secure remote working tools by helping employees set up the security tools they need to remain safe while working remotely.
Protecting Business Systems
COVID-19 has led to the emergence of a cyber-pandemic characterized by increasing, daily security threats to businesses. Businesses exist with the constant threat that malicious actors could target their data and systems. Fortunately, steps such as educating employees and setting the right cybersecurity practices can help companies enhance cybersecurity. They can help protect against these threats and help prepare a response in case of an attack.