In the world of constant and rapidly evolving technological advances, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern for businesses all around the globe. In particular, Utah businesses, given their fast growth and technological adoption, face significant cybersecurity threats. Here are 10 cybersecurity tipsfor business success.
Implementing strong cybersecurity measures is critical for Utah businesses to protect sensitive customer data and intellectual property and maintain continuity of operations. According to Census data, 99.9% of Utah firms are small businesses with less than 500 employees. Cybercriminals increasingly target these small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because they often lack resources dedicated to cybersecurity.
Some of the top cyber risks that Utah SMBs face include phishing attacks, ransomware, security breaches from third parties, and denial of service attacks. Just one successful breach can be financially devastating. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million. Beyond financial damage, cyberattacks can harm a company’s brand reputation and customer trust.
Cybersecurity is important, without a doubt. While these are great starting points for comparing your IT security practices, it may be helpful to get professional opinions and security testing.
Ongoing training for all employees is an essential cybersecurity tip. Employees can inadvertently introduce risks through poor password hygiene, unsafe web browsing, or falling for phishing attacks. Training helps build good security habits.
Practical training covers cyberattack types (e.g., phishing, social engineering), safe usage of company resources like email and WiFi networks, and reporting suspicious activity. Training should be continuously updated to address evolving threats. If your business manages multiple endpoints, this becomes especially important for business continuity.
MFA adds a critical second layer of security on top of employee passwords. It requires users to verify through a second factor, like a one-time code sent through SMS or generated by an authentication mobile app.
Enforcing MFA protects against password guessing, brute force, and credential theft phishing attempts. It significantly lowers the risk of unauthorized access to systems and data. MFA should be implemented for all supporting services, especially email, remote access, cloud applications, and financial platforms.
Keep all software, including operating systems and applications, up to date. Regularly install security patches to address vulnerabilities. This will ensure your network software is at its strongest, and most able to deter cyber criminals.
Utah business owners should ensure they have change management procedures to test and reliably deploy critical security updates on at least a monthly basis. Automating software updates using centralized tools is recommended to ensure consistency. With a managed service provider, businesses can more readily stay on top of these updates.
Weak passwords continue to be exploited to compromise business networks. Utah companies should implement and enforce strong enterprise password policies with minimum standards like:
- 12+ characters using upper or lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
- Mandatory password changed every 90 days
- Previous passwords unable to be reused
- Accounts locked after ten failed login attempts
Using a password manager tool provides convenience for employees while still maintaining security. Single Sign-On (SSO) also reduces password fatigue. These tips, in conjunction with the MFA recommendations, make for very strong sign-on practices.
Backup capabilities are vital cybersecurity tips to rebuild systems compromised in a cyberattack quickly. Backups limit business disruption as operations recover. This can be referred to as operational resilience and can jumpstart your business continuity.
Backup tips include:
- Nightly backup of critical servers
- Storing backups offline isolated from network access
- Regularly testing restoration to ensure retrievability
- Keeping at least three copies of backup data on different mediums
Make the most of your data backups by employing a recovery plan for the instances where your data is compromised.
Finding the right backup strategy can be difficult. This article provides a comprehensive look into the different solutions for backups that will safeguard your data.
Proactive network safeguards fend off most cyberattacks attempting to infiltrate business infrastructure and assets. Utah businesses should employ edge firewalls, segmented VLANs, intrusion systems, website gateways, and other network access controls.
Web traffic filtering using allow-listing blocks access to risky sites. Encrypting data in transit protects against man-in-the-middle attacks capturing sensitive data. A well-trained staff and guarded network make for a strong safeguard against cyberattacks. Stay up to date on modern network threats with a managed service provider.
Company-owned and BYOD smartphones and tablets expand the attack surface. Device risks include malware, unsecured public WiFi usage, or lost/stolen device data theft. These extra endpoints can become a hassle to manage with an in-house team alone, so seeking help from an outside service can greatly relieve the added stress.
Mandatory device configuration policies, mobile AV, and MDM solutions provide the tools to enforce PIN or password locks, remote wipes, app allow-listing, and detect compromised devices.
Despite employing other cybersecurity tips, cyber incidents can still happen. Businesses need documented incident response plans assigned to a response team to detect, investigate, and mitigate threats promptly. With a good plan in place, even if your data suffers a breach, your business doesn’t have to miss a beat. A managed service provider can help navigate the creation of these plans, and educate staff on steps to take.
This kind of response team defines policies like severity classification, evidence gathering, notification procedures, insurance coordination, public messaging, and reporting obligations.
Partners, contractors, and online service vendors frequently have extensive access to company systems, resources, and data. Vetting all possible resources to ensure reliability and compliance is key here. When partnering with a new company, be sure to ask around about their knowledge, services, and any extreme reviews regarding their services.
Utah small and large businesses should perform due diligence assessments before onboarding third parties like MSPs or financial service companies. Conduct periodic reviews of policies/practices, audit controls, and contractual obligations around security and privacy.
While constant vulnerability scanning identifies network weaknesses, comprehensive cybersecurity assessments at least annually provide an independent audit of policies, controls, and vulnerabilities.
Certified professionals use penetration testing, interviews, and policy reviews to uncover gaps while recommending an improvement roadmap tailored to the company’s needs. These are typical of managed services and are often used to benchmark against compliance requirements. Ask a provider if they are able to perform any of these tests and see what services your company may or may not need.
While implementing these cybersecurity tips is critical for Utah businesses, managing an effective cybersecurity program requires significant time, resources, and expertise. For this reason, many small and medium-sized businesses turn to managed security service providers (MSSPs).
An MSSP is an information technology services firm that manages and monitors security devices, services, and software to protect client infrastructure and data. MSSPs leverage specialized technology, proven frameworks, and cybersecurity expertise that would be challenging and costly for an individual business to maintain independently.
There are compelling reasons for Utah companies to partner with an MSSP for some or all aspects of their cyber defense program:
- Cost Savings: Outsourcing security requirements to an MSSP is much less expensive than hiring in-house staff.
- Advanced Security: MSSPs offer technology, threat intelligence, and skills that are difficult for small IT teams to match.
- 24/7 Monitoring: MSSPs monitor networks without a lapse in time versus only business hours.
Working with an MSSP does not mean a business is handing over the keys and abdicating control or responsibility. These engagements can be customized based on budget and specific security needs.
When looking for a reliable company to partner with for security services, keep in mind what your company’s goals are. If price is something you worry about, make sure to be upfront about what you are looking for and what your expectations are. The right company will be able to work with you and find a solution that meets all of your needs.
Additionally, find reviews and testimonials that help you define the character and business practices of the companies you are looking up. These can go a long way in finding a company’s regular practices, and the quality of work they produce.
Given the cybersecurity tips outlined here, it can feel overwhelming to balance all of these yourself. With Upfront Computer Solutions, you can rest assured your data is taken care of in a reliable, compliant fashion. From insurance to engineers to non-profits and other businesses, your network is safe with our services. See how we can elevate your IT security. Contact us today for a free consultation.