Online protection is now a matter of priority for a lot of firms. And can you blame them? The amount of damage and loss that is attributable to cyber threats appears to be escalating with each passing day. Firms are discovering also that they need to be up to date in knowledge and skills that relate to ways to tighten cyber security.
A case in point would be the not too distant cyber attacks to Sony Pictures’ Corporation in the USA as well as other more recent attacks to public employee’s databases. And the threats just keep growing every day. For some the fear of cyber threats is now the beginning of wisdom. The worst part of an already bad situation is that it does not just stop at online protection.
For any internet user who wishes to stay anonymous online, they could also be exposed to the same threats as those who need to make use of the web for important research, or even eCommerce. In fact, cyber threats are simply everywhere and cannot be limited to one form of activity online or the other.
This is why today the question among internet users continues to be: how can one develop ways to tighten cyber security?
Why would anyone want to enhance cyber security?
I know that it can be quite stressful when it comes to fighting a never ending threat which come from a near and ever present danger like cyber attacks, hacking, and other forms of online insecurities. The losses and damages that a firm and even an individual suffers when valuable data gets compromised or stolen can never be really quantified.
The figures of some of these estimates which are being displayed in the media are simply what they are – estimates. No one can give an accurate figure of the cost of some of these losses that people, corporations, and even nations suffer to the activities of cyber criminals. And there lies the need to want to enhance cyber security.
An individual would naturally want to know how to reduce, if not eliminate, any known risks and threats to their comfort. So also for a business entity. This is why any internet user should want to learn ways to tighten cyber security.
Some ways to tighten cyber security
Any IT professional would tell you that when it comes to online protection against cyber threats, even though you are sure that the larger picture of what needs to be done has been catered for, there are always those tiny little bits of details which might have been omitted during the design and implementation of ways to tighten cyber security within an organization. But this does not stop us from still trying. Below, I am going to list out some other areas that need to be considered and implemented along with the other ways to tighten cyber security.
- Browsers on devices taken home should be locked down – about 9 out of 10 companies have filters for websites on their company’s network. A smaller number possess website filtering software which limits the use of a computer when a tablet or laptop is taken home and connected to a network that is private. Always remember that this is your equipment even if the policy might not go down well with employees.
- Be in complete control of the way equipment of the organization gets used, especially when they are taken home – a company should be in complete control over the Web surfing abilities of its users within and without the company premises when property of the company are being made use of. Filters for the Web may not be hot with your staff; however a lot of websites which have been compromised appear okay initially. The only method to offer protection to your network and guard against cyber threats is to enforce a very strict policy on browsing the internet without any exceptions. If any staff wants to get some latest details they just have to do it from their own device.
- Take note of and record where any sources that are open are utilized – an appropriate process for vetting and request for any new software applications or products to be installed must be in place apart from just a white list. Components which are open source must also be tracked. A lot of pieces of software are fully or at worst partially based on a code that is open source. Of you do not know the source and location of those components; you are never going to be able to make an assessment of your risk if later you discover a vulnerability.
- Be careful and take control of the things that staff can download – do not permit staff to have their own software installed. This policy can be carried out through placing limitations to admin rights on servers, desktops, and laptops. There are a lot of commercial products in the market which can accomplish this effectively and still permit the device to operate effectively in an environment of work. Do not be overwhelmed by the size of the company of the number of staffs. The effort that is expended in the management of devices that the company owns and has connected is not as big as a recovery of a breach or the effect of an infection to the network.
- Take a closer look at erecting into your processes another failsafe – redundancy appears to be something that the military is famous for especially when it has to do with things that cannot be reversed but need to be put into motion. To activate the launch of a missile, two officers are needed. If one of them is not too certain, the launch codes do not get inserted by that officer. In this vein, you should make a consideration to included two-factor authorization that need to be made to an important system. Another staff should also authorize and have the install button clicked.
- When problems are suspected there should be a clear plan for escalation – once, a major retail outlet had warnings that their point of sale had problems. However, there was a coincidence between the alerts’ timing and the shopping period which was critical. The employees who were responsible did not have the authorization to have the system taken offline and investigated, neither were they able to find any staff that had the authorization. As a result, a disaster occurred. The problem could have been taken care of assuming a staff had acted at the first sign of trouble. Ensure that your employees know the person who has the power to make the hard decisions at the first sign of a problem or give them the authorization to do it by them.
- Your own staffs are a threat that is ever present –the link which is the weakest in any security apparatus is the user at the end. And this is a fact when it comes to cyber security. There is always going to be staffs who feel they know much better or a policy on ways to tighten cyber security does not refer to them. As long as security policies can be complied with automatically by even professionals, everyone should be made to abide by them.
In essence, cyber threats can arise even for internet users who wish to stay anonymous online. This is why if a network administrator or IT director of a company wants to enhance cyber security and online protection of his organisation; they simply must be conversant with some of the above ways to tighten cyber security. By so doing, data and other valuable information available to users of devices within their establishment would be secured and company property would be protected.