In 2023, the risks posed by cybercriminals are a direct threat to the continued smooth functioning of any business regardless of its size or sector of industry. There are estimated to be around 2,200 cyber attacks every day and these can be extremely damaging to businesses if they are successful. Cyber attacks come with a financial cost in terms of repairing damaged IT infrastructure, the loss of productivity that comes from infected and unsafe computer equipment, and a loss of business reputation, which can have a direct impact on profitability. In short, every business needs to improve its IT security to minimize the risks of a successful cyber attack. In this article, three different ways in which a business can improve its IT security will be explored.
Application programming interfaces are commonly used in business to allow multiple applications to communicate together and function effectively. For example, a business website may use additional software systems to run and update the pages and these can communicate with each other via APIs. It is important to consider incorporating an api gateway into this digital infrastructure, as it can be used as a single point of access to various systems. The API gateway benefits from additional layers of security in the form of authorizing and authenticating systems that are used to ensure all traffic through the access point is legitimate. This security feature can protect multiple systems and applications and should be considered a vital part of the architecture of such IT systems.
It is recognized that all staff in an organization need to have a thorough understanding of the forms that cyberattacks can take. Put simply, there is little point in spending considerable sums on the latest IT security if staff continue to use weak passwords or cannot spot a malicious email that contains malware in its attachments or links. Ideally, staff should receive IT security training as part of the onboarding process to ensure that there is a base level of knowledge in all new starters. In addition, IT security training modules should form part of the annual mandatory training packages that are rolled out each year. This will keep knowledge of cybercrime and the methods used by cybercriminals in the minds of the workforce. As new and more sophisticated threats emerge, these should be added to the training packages.
As a final example of improving IT security, all firms should ensure that software and hardware systems benefit from the latest updates and firmware rollouts. Many software updates will contain improved security features that have been put in place by the developers to counter the latest security threats. As such, systems that do not have the latest updates are likely to be more vulnerable to successful cyber attacks. Businesses should also keep a list of all the IT hardware and software that they possess. During the end of their lifespan, it is likely that updates will no longer be produced for them as newer products will have superseded them. When this occurs, it is important to remove the old software and hardware so that it does not represent an easy point of access for hackers to gain entry to IT systems.