With a new year comes new opportunities, new challenges, and new goals. Many of us make new year’s resolutions from a personal perspective. Maybe we plan to go to the gym more, eat healthier or even use our cars less. While these are all great ideas, we firmly believe that new year’s resolutions can apply to a business’s technology too. There’s no doubt that this year you’ll have new KPI’s you want to reach, new customers you want to target, and pain points you want to solve.
As well as keeping these things in mind, why not also think about how you can up your business from an IT perspective? As the saying goes, every company is a technology company these days. Whether you’re a retailer, school, medical company, or advertising agency, digital tools are intrinsic to what you do: how you communicate with clients, collaborate and run your operations. Because technology is embedded into everything we do, it’s more crucial than ever before to ensure technology is considered in your yearly planning. With that in mind, here are four technology resolutions to commit to in 2022.
1. Implement a Password Policy
Recent Verizon research found that over 81% of breaches used stolen or weak passwords. Weak passwords are easy to remember and might be common phrases like ‘123456’ or ‘password’. Sure, these passwords mean you’ll never get locked out of your account. But they also mean that it’s more likely a hacker could get in. Moreover, if your employees use the same passwords across multiple accounts, you’re even more likely to wind up in a data breach. This is because, if a hacker gets access to just one of your employee’s passwords, they could then break into all of their accounts.
Many small and medium-sized businesses think that malicious actors won’t be interested in their company – but this simply isn’t true. In fact, the Identity Theft Resource Center found that over half (58%) of US small businesses suffered a security breach in the last year, which shows that cybercriminals are targeting organizations like yours. Unfortunately, poor password practices make your business an easy target for cybercriminals. However, the good news is that it’s easy to improve password protection.
Firstly, you should enforce robust password policies on your employees’ devices. These policies should mandate that users use a mixture of upper and lower-case letters. They should also use special characters, along with numbers, for their passwords. You can even put a policy in place that asks users to change their password every 4 – 8 weeks. This will reduce the risk of account compromise. As well as this, you should advise your employees to use a unique password for each of their accounts. We appreciate that keeping track of all these passwords can be tricky. This is why we advise installing a corporate password manager to help your employees manage all their different logins without being overwhelmed.
2. Take Advantage of Multi-Factor Authentication
Even with a good password management policy in place, there’s still the risk that a cybercriminal could get their hands on one of your employee’s logins. To defend against this risk, you should bolster your defenses with multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA works by mandating that users use two or more authentication methods to access their accounts instead of relying solely on a username or password. As more employees work from home and access corporate resources remotely, MFA is becoming critical to validating that users are who they say they are. If you’re unsure how to start rolling out MFA, consider our managed IT services. Our friendly experts are on hand to help you bolster your business’ security.
3. Patch, Patch, Patch
Do you remember the WannaCry attack of 2016? This ransomware outbreak, which brought hundreds of hospitals and organizations to a standstill, exploited a Microsoft vulnerability that the company had already released a patch for. We’ve all been guilty of clicking the ‘try later’ option when a notification pops up on our device for a software update. However, these updates are critical from a security perspective. They keep your devices safe from malware and viruses – like the WannaCry ransomware variant. Ideally, we advise installing a system that forces your company devices to update after a patch is launched automatically. This prevents your employees from clicking the ‘try later’ button and ensures your systems stay up to date.
4. Empower Your Employees With Training
Gartner research has found that a massive 90% of cyber threats start with an email, making it the number 1 attack vector. Typically, these emails come in the form of phishing attacks, whereby a malicious actor sends a fraudulent message to the victim, pretending to be a trusted source. The email will either contain a malicious attachment with malware or hold a link that tricks the user into sharing sensitive data. Even with spam filters in place, phishing emails still manage to land in employees’ inboxes daily.
Moreover, these emails are becoming more realistic and harder to distinguish from authentic communications. The fallout of a phishing attack can be huge. IBM research found that the average cost of a breach in 2021 was USD 3.86 million. To protect your company and your people, it’s vital to give your employees the knowledge they need to detect and report these attacks. This is where employee training becomes essential. There’s no one way to perform training. You can opt for eLearning courses, lunch and learn sessions, or even away days. The aim is to ensure that your employees understand what phishing emails are, the risks they present, and how to spot them.
Make 2022 Your Best Year Yet
Copperband Technologies can help your southern Kentucky or Middle Tennessee business with easy solutions for improving and securing your network. Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 931.263.8000 or reach us online.