Brand safety is a hot issue in 2021, with companies with previously unimpeachable network security capabilities, like Equifax and Colonial Oil, falling victim to cyber-attack and falling hard. In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to brand image, and there are many ways your brand image can be irreparably damaged by cyber-threat. As a result, every business should be prioritizing brand safety in day-to-day employee and customer interactions. Still, network security risks are shifting some of the responsibilities associated with brand safety under the IT umbrella. So let’s explore a few ways global enterprises are keeping their business data secure.
- Only save what’s necessary.
Data is valuable, but too much data can overwhelm analysts and create a risk of theft. For example, companies that store too much customer data are targets for cyber-criminals, who can use it to attack customers directly or even sell it on the dark web for a tidy profit. By culling your data periodically, you limit what attackers can steal if they access your network and data.
- Keep an information inventory.
Always have a record of what information is stored, who has access to it, and how they are using it. By tracking normal browsing behavior, network security solutions can recognize aberrant behavior and act to mitigate any potential risk automatically. Discrete manufacturing PI Systems bring disparate data sources together and monitor the production line with real-time visualizations and are a great example of how technology can put data and control back in the hands of operations teams.
When the Colonial Oil pipeline was attacked earlier in 2021, they quickly shut down and paid the requested ransom. But the ransom decryption key sent by the attackers was so slow, Colonial Oil was forced to restore their entire system from their back-ups, which they luckily maintained meticulously. If they had not backed up their data, Colonial Oil might have gone under, and at the very least, would have needed weeks to come back online, as opposed to the days it took to restore from their backup files.
- Stay up to date with your cybersecurity.
We are in the midst of a cyber-security renaissance in 2021, with cyber-criminals being supplied and supported by unlimited bank accounts and even nation-state governments! Therefore, it’s important to stay up-to-date on all new cybersecurity trends and techniques or risk falling victim to them. Consider deploying a professional next-generation firewall appliance or an endpoint monitoring solution to automate your network security capabilities and take the pressure off your limited cyber-security team.
- Create a data fortress
Once you’ve ensured you have an accurate and comprehensive inventory of all your data, where it’s stored, and who is authorized to access it, it’s time to build cyber-walls around it to ensure it’s protected where it’s stored. Restrict access to critical information to only those employees who have a clearly designated business need, and deploy multi-factor authentication to control and track any unusual access or activity carefully.
- Don’t ignore updates.
Updates are more important than most people know and go farther than adding features and functions or a new look for the user interface. Updates are released for all software periodically, to include “patches” or fixes for any network security gaps within the software. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize any updates to your software released by the manufacturer or risk leaving your network exposed to cyber attackers tracking these updates carefully to exploit them.
- Consider the cloud
Cloud is used to connect users across distances and enables quicker and easier remote work or employee connection from remote areas or branch offices, but deploying the right cloud solution will also protect your employees from cyber-attack. Choose a cloud solution that easily integrates with your network security software and utilize all protections available to protect employees, customers, and your business from those with malicious intent.
With millions of cyber-attacks daily from all corners of the globe, slacking on network security and data protection is the fastest way to show your customers that you aren’t concerned with brand safety or even customer safety. The more powerful your network security and data protection capabilities, the more trust customers and clients will put in you and your business. Prioritize data security today, or suffer the genuine, very far-reaching consequences!