Security Practices in 2022

Technology is constantly evolving, and its impact is seen in almost every aspect of day-to-day activities. Learning methods have mostly shifted online, human interactions through apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are considered the norm as opposed to a decade ago, and mostly all financial transactions and institutes are now based online and can be accessed remotely without the need to physically step into a bank.

In short, the need for improved security and practices has definitely increased. What was considered safe and secure a couple of years ago, is no longer the case.

Why is security important?

  • There is no single factor that can make your system secure. One of the best ways to protect your system is by following security protocols and guidelines.
  • Threats and Malicious activity are constantly evolving, so we have to evolve with it
  • Security starts with ideas and practices and then we use the necessary tools and elements to our advantage. 

Security’s primary aim is to protect your business from threats. Threats can vary from business to business. The most common threats have been identified by Microsoft through a “threat identifying” model program known as S.T.R.I.D.E:

Spoofing – Involves illegally accessing and then using another person’s login details, such as username and password or credit card information.
Tampering  – Actions that involve the manipulation of original data with the purpose of compromising its integrity and or function.
Repudiation – The ability for users to deny actions they have taken. Such as ordering products online and then claiming that it never happened. These can be counteracted by requesting signatures on delivery or a compulsory sign-in to create accountability when purchasing online. 
Information Disclosure – Exposure of information. In short, these are leaks that may occur due to gaps in security where individuals have access to information or sensitive data they shouldn’t have.
Denial of Service – An attack that’s primary goal is to deny access to valid users. For example, making web servers inaccessible or unusable due to heavy loads put on the server artificially.
Elevation of Privilege – Where a user gains enough access to compromise a system entirely from the inside.

What can we do to protect ourselves from these threats?

In a nutshell, security is protection from harmful activities conducted by external parties. Security can have many levels and practices. If any of these levels are compromised the entire system can be at risk.

While the list of security tools may seem endless, we’ve highlighted the some of the most important ones below:

  • Firewall – Its primary purpose is to keep threatening traffic out and sensitive information in. Firewalls work by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic through pre-established security policies.
  • Server-level Ddos protection – Many web hosts offer server-level ddos protection built-in. Some offer it as a free service while some have it as a paid feature. It’s best to check on an individual level what your web hosts offer and how to avail of this feature.
  • Hybrid or cloud based solutions – When you do this, you are most likely going to end up with unlimited bandwidth which limits the chances that you would be denied service by external parties through Ddos attempts.
  • Anti-Virus – The larger your business grows, the more likely it is for malicious threats to slip through the cracks by inadvertently opening “phishing” emails or through hidden files on USB drives.
  • Encryption – Through encryption tools, we can use mathematical algorithms and digital keys to secure data, making it so that even if information is accessible to unauthorised users, they are unable to make sense of it or use it.
  • Logging and Monitoring – Logging is a record of everything that happens in a system and environment. Monitoring is the setting up of tools to analyse the logs periodically so as to generate reports and identify issues shortly after they occur. These two work hand in hand to give you a general idea of what is happening in your system at any given time.

Improving your security

Threats and cyberattacks are rapidly evolving and getting more and more sophisticated. 

Managing a company’s cyber-security requires an architecture and mindset that can deal with these problems head on. The first step is being informed of what threats are currently out there and how to best protect your business from them.
Most security practices are interconnected, and while your business may not require all of the steps mentioned above, they should definitely be considered should you choose to expand or branch out into other industries.

Conclusions

It’s never a bad idea to start working on security protocols and practices for your business, regardless of the size of your enterprise. You are never too small to be targeted by malicious activity. By promoting a culture of conversation and awareness through your company, you can keep both your business activity and your employee information safe and secure.

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