As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This philosophy is doubly true for cybersecurity, which has become more important than ever since the dawn of the pandemic. Worries about data leaks and data loss have grown exponentially over the last year, especially with so many businesses hosting remote workforces. Cybersecurity breaches can be devastating to even the most rock solid organizations.

Breaches not only expose private data and information which can affect public perception and trust in your brand, but they can also result in massive financial penalties being imposed on your business. Attacks can also open you up to civil lawsuits, a loss in once loyal customers, lost sales and opportunities due to your business being seen as untrustworthy, and higher insurance premiums. With so much at stake, it’s imperative that businesses of all sizes and sectors take cybersecurity seriously, preventing breaches and attacks wherever possible.

Why prevention is always better than recovery

When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is always the superior option. Not only does it prevent attacks and breaches in the first place, but it’s the much, much cheaper option. When compared to the financial implications associated with a cybersecurity attack, prevention comes at a fraction of the cost of a cleanup or data recovery process. Once preventative measures have been put into place, you’ll only need to continue paying for the costs of upkeep and maintenance, but when your business data is leaked or exploited, you’ll continue to feel it for years to come.

Not only do breaches incur initial financial penalties like fines, potential lawsuits and lost sales, but data recovery can lead to significant disruptions in business continuity which will hurt your business even more. Once your brand experiences a breach it was ill-prepared for, the blows to your brand reputation and customer loyalty will be difficult to overcome. After all, why should future customers trust your company to keep their data private if you couldn’t do it with past clients? Rather than sit around and watch as everything you’ve carefully built comes crashing down around you, act proactively to ensure that these things never happen.

Adopt a zero trust attitude towards security

A recent trend in the cybersecurity world has seen many businesses adopt a zero trust policy, requiring that each and every employee from C-suite to entry-level be continuously authenticated, validated and authorized before being allowed access to workplace data and cloud-based apps. This can be as simple as multi factor authentication and identity management or as complex as endpoint management. The important part is that users are required to be authenticated on a regular basis, rather than being validated one time.

Threats are constant and changes can take place in the blink of an eye, making the zero trust approach the way to go – especially with your workforce working from home and relying on the security of their own devices. When these steps are taken, businesses can be 100% that each user in accessing their network is exactly who they say they are, greatly reducing the risk of unauthorized access to valuable tools and sensitive data.

Act now and avoid regret later

The best time to improve your company’s cybersecurity policy is now. Look at the policies currently in effect and think about how effective they really are. Are all standards laid out in your cybersecurity policy being adhered to? The only way to really know is to conduct a user compliance audit and to ask the employees expected to follow them. If your policies are lacking certain aspects or if they simply aren’t being followed, add and enforce them today.

Assess risks and make sure that any critical vulnerabilities in your systems are patched immediately. Things like minimum password strengths, multi factor authentication, data sharing standards, work from home policies, and trusted device policies should be heavily featured in your business’s cybersecurity strategy. Remember that any policy you adopt, application you implement or strategy you put into action today will be far less costly than recovering from a data breach tomorrow.

The time to act is now. Being prepared for a security breach or data leak can save your company from public humiliation and far reaching financial penalties that your business may never be able to recover from. If you’re unsure about where to start, go straight to the source and get advice from industry experts. ion8 has recently added a seasoned Chief Information Security Officer to our experienced team, with experience in many aspects of cybersecurity from penetration testing and projects involving tens of thousands of users all around the world. For more information on how ion8 can help keep your data safe and away from prying eyes, get in touch with us today.