Cybercrime is on the rise with new exploits released every day along with new companies that simply aren’t prepared to defend against and deal with issues like data breaches and network-wide malware infections. Whether you’re a business person looking to improve company security, or just a curious party, you might be wondering how the largest companies are able to maintain such high-value digital assets without being brought down by an onslaught of cyber-attacks.
1. Analyzing Server Logs
Often times, instances of hacking or data theft are only discovered in retrospect after something odd is noticed during the analysis of a server log. Larger corporations have in-house IT specialists that run routine reports regarding network access and file usage. This data can be analyzed to determine whether someone has illicitly accessed the system to retrieve data.
Of course, discovering previous attacks and uncovering previous vulnerabilities is the first step in preventing future issues of the same nature. If you’re interested in this area of cybercrime prevention, you might want to consider earning a master’s in applied statistics online, which will help you get better at a variety of crucial skills related to big data analysis. Alternately, if you’re the owner or manager of a large company, it may be wise to bring an applied statistics specialist on board.
2. Installing a Comprehensive Antivirus Software
While every large company might not take all of the steps on this list, this is one precaution that you can be sure is practiced in every business, big or small. However, while you might be satisfied with a free version of your favorite antivirus on your personal computer, large companies that demand frequent updates and top-notch support will usually go with the more expensive enterprise editions.
Another common practice of larger companies is to opt for a fully managed antivirus management service, rather than having a manager or supervisor administer the antivirus tools themselves.
3. Enforcing User Access and Permissions
Large corporations that have many employees who connect to a local network need the ability to keep track of who is logging in/out and what they’re doing on company machines. That way, if a virus enters the network through one of your employee’s devices, you’ll be able to identify the source of the infection.
Furthermore, keeping track of employee activity on the network can help you solve cases of computer abuse and illegitimate online activity in the workplace. Employee monitoring software can help you in this regard. Alternatively, you can use project management interfaces to assign login permissions to each employee to keep track of file sharing.
4. Running Routine Scans
Simply installing anti-virus software is a great first step, but to make sure you’re getting the most out of these tools, it’s important to run scans on a routine basis.
5. In-House IT Teams
One of the primary differences between large companies and small business is that the former typically will have an in-house team of IT professionals who are ready to address any cybersecurity concerns as they arise. Conversely, smaller companies are more susceptible to running into the loss of finances or data due to hacking or malware because it is often noticed after it’s too late.
Of course, hiring such a team is prohibitively expensive for most small to medium size enterprises (SMEs), but it may be feasible to hire a single remote employee who is responsible for checking up on your network security on a scheduled basis. That way, you won’t be bogged down by the task and you can be sure someone is on top of it all times.
6. Using Apple Computers
While Macs aren’t completely invincible in terms of malware and hacking vulnerabilities, they’re typically much less prone to viruses than Windows and Linux machines. This advantage was more pronounced 5-10 years ago, but in recent years there have been numerous cases of trojan horses infecting Macs.
Still, the risk for malware infection is certainly lowered by going with Macs instead of PCs, primarily because hackers tend to target windows since it is the most popular operating system. While Macs are usually more expensive than PCs in terms of price per specification, there are many enterprise upgrade options available that, combined with enhanced malware resistance, make Macs an option worthy of consideration for larger companies.
7. Practicing Redundancy to Protect Against Ransomware
Ransomware is a kind of malware that makes it appear as though all of the files within an operating system are gone, but they’re really being hidden by the attacker. The malware will send a notification to the computer, usually in the form of a warning or alert, that prompts the user to pay a designated amount to remove the virus and restore the lost data.
This might sound like a gimmicky form of extortion that is unlikely to work, but there have actually been cases of major companies being victimized by ransomware and paying large sums of money to get back crucial business data. The easiest solution to this problem is to simply make sure all of your data is being backed up on an extremely frequent basis. If you conduct a high volume of transactions or collect a large amount of data throughout the day, it might be best to run a scheduled back up every 1 to 5 minutes.
Cybersecurity Should Be a Top Priority
Regardless of the size of your company, it’s always imperative to make sure your computers are protected against malware and hacking attacks. Even if you’re just the owner or manager of a small business or local brick-and-mortar shop with a website, you can take a page out of the books of larger companies and utilize some of the tips above to reduce the chances of being victimized by a cyber-attack.
Aside from trying some of the aforementioned tactics, you may want to also take an online course in cybersecurity to brush up on your knowledge of the subject.