Information security for companies: Companies and people need to be increasingly aware of information security in a world that is moving towards complex digitization.
This is a sensitive area that needs to be healed by entrepreneurs, whether the company is a Silicon Valley tech giant, university startup, or neighborhood grocery store.
Taking care of information security means ensuring that sensitive data such as banking information, customer and employee data, market research results, or product development will be protected from unwanted disclosure.
Why Should Companies Care About Information Security?
One of the points to be considered in these constant threats is that although technology and digitalization have advanced at astronomical steps, information security has not followed this evolution at the same speed. Therefore, from the virtual to the physical environment, businesses must establish information security policies to ensure the integrity and continuity of business operations.
Among the risks that companies run are:
- Malware Infection: Occurs by any software or part of software written or rewritten with malicious code. This part of the code can damage both company data and devices. Several types of malware exist, including trojans, spyware, worms, ransomware, adware, etc.
- Attack on vulnerable areas: Hackers make a living by tracking down companies’ digital security flaws. The factors that expose companies to risks are often undeniable, such as lack of updates, wrong configurations, unprotected networks, ineffective protections, and lack of employee training.
- Phishing: It is a type of electronic fraud in which the hacker impersonates a trusted person or company through an electronic communication that appears official – email, instant message, or SMS – to steal logins and access passwords, identity, bank information, etc.
- Internal fraud: Well, when employees take advantage of the possibility of access or circumvent protection systems to steal or leak information that is exclusive to the company. Another current information security problem is the one generated by corporate smartphones. After all, employees carry phones and sensitive information for the company every day outside the workplace.
- Unavailability: this is the case for attacks on system stability. They are common and can harm productivity flows and directly affect profit and, worse, the company’s image.
It is worth remembering that, currently, with the increase in the number of employees working remotely, planning is necessary to have a secure network, even with the home office.
What To Consider When Defining An Information Security Policy
Theoretically, information security is based on the CIA triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability). These pillars, Integrity, and Availability, ensure the quality and preservation of data.
- Confidentiality: access to information is limited only to legitimate entities authorized by the data owner.
- Integrity is the principle that guarantees that the information is not misrepresented and maintains the characteristics established by the owner of the data.
- Availability: This pillar deals with who has access to your business’s sensitive information. This access must be enabled and controlled by the owner of the data.
It is essential to design an information security strategy considering the above mentioned concepts. Among the actions that your company, regardless of its area of activity or size, can adopt are:
- Qualify your people: Not all employees are required to be tech-savvy. Then, provide training so that they know the company’s information handling policies and also so that they learn how to recognize malware and phishing threats.
- Have backups: Make copies of your company data in other places (physical and virtual) and make them constantly in different repositories. If possible, keep this information in an area without an internet connection to prevent possible attacks – check out the article on cloud backup as a service.
- Antivirus: It seems obvious, but many companies do not have a good antivirus or forget to keep it updated. This tool will save your installation database of secret files and block viruses like ransomware.
- Dedicated Internet: If your company needs to ensure systems stability, hire dedicated internet, which is much more stable than regular internet. And remember: cloud migration needs adequate security.
- Update software: Whenever an update for your software is available, download it. In addition to the extra functionality, bugs are fixed in these updates.
- Preserve your logins and passwords: create strong, alphanumeric, and unique character passwords and update them periodically. And if these passwords and accesses are stored somewhere, make sure it is somewhere safe.
- Set usage privilege levels: You don’t want someone who started working for you yesterday to have access to all your company data, right? Set access levels according to employee trust and responsibility.
- Have a contingency plan: Yes, be prepared in case the worst happens. Write a step-by-step guide on proceeding in cases of significant information leakage, loss of passwords, system crashes, etc. So, with clear actions, the reaction in case of any incident will be as fast as possible.
One type of information security that is growing nowadays is cloud service. According to Amazon, cloud computing security offers many of the same functionality as traditional IT security.
The difference to traditional information security services is that in the case of the cloud, the cost is based on usage, the initial investment is reduced, and it can be quickly expanded.