In 2021, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report revealed a total of 5,258 data breaches that occurred throughout the year. Many big businesses were victims of these highly publicized data breaches, but most of these cyberattacks occurred within small, vulnerable businesses that failed to take adequate security measures. A data breach can have a disastrous impact on any company, whether small, mid-sized, or large.
The Global Overview from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute concluded that the global average cost of a data breach is an astonishing $4.24 million, with each individual record containing confidential information equating to about $161 per record.
Failing to prepare for a cyberattack can irreparably damage your business’s reputation, decrease revenue, and lead to costly lawsuits. Data breaches can decimate your margin as you spend funds on mitigating the effects of a cyberattack while suffering from a loss of customers and sales. Perhaps worst of all, the actions of a single cybercriminal can compromise the delicate trust that you’ve built with clients.
Any vulnerable system can give hackers and malware a door into your operations — even through your audiovisual setup. Don’t leave data privacy to chance. Protect your company by using updated software, encouraging employees to take security measures throughout their workday, and establishing a thorough security plan.
Best Practices for Data Security
Not every business owner has technological expertise, and thus cannot be expected to have an in-depth understanding of data security. For these concerns, experts are required. To prevent vulnerabilities in your AV system, protect your business by working with professional audiovisual integrators who can facilitate best practices to ensure that your audiovisual devices are secure.
While evaluating the needs of your unique system and security requirements, AV integrators may suggest that your organization implements the following practices.
1. Use Antivirus Software
From the moment that audiovisual equipment is integrated within the workspace, security measures must be in place. It is in your company’s best interest to begin by selecting antivirus software that will meet your needs.
Antivirus software is a computer program that prevents malware from infiltrating your devices, including components in your AV setup. Typically, antivirus software protects against malicious links, phishing, and email scanning while providing password protection.
To be extra cautious, ensure that the antivirus software you’re using is equipped with digital data shredding and encryption capabilities to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access. If you’re not sure which antivirus software is right for your company’s AV system, ask your audiovisual integrators for recommendations. In addition, update your antivirus software regularly for maximum protection.
2. Educate Your Staff
As the need for security measures increases and technology evolves rapidly, your employees may not have an understanding of the most recent security protocols. Furthermore, not everyone is tech-savvy, so it’s likely that some of your employees have not received training or education regarding the basics of online safety. If you have not included cybersecurity education within your employee training modules, now is the time to begin.
Your employee education program should include information regarding malware awareness, digital communication, services usage, and the security threats that are inherent with the use of technology. Following the completion of the course, they should know how they can identify threats and report them.
3. Update Passwords Regularly
Updating your passwords is one of the most significant and straightforward security measures that your organization can implement. If the passwords within your network are outdated, your entire company is vulnerable to the threat of a password security attack.
While there are several actions you can take to ensure that your passwords are adequately protected, the first step should be informing individuals about how they can create secure passwords. To keep your network safe, encourage employees to avoid choosing passwords that use personal information. Ideally, passwords should include a mix of uppercase, lowercase, and special characters and be at least ten characters, if not longer.
For optimal security, passwords should be updated every one to two months. Employees should not use the same passwords for all of their accounts because if a data breach were to occur, cybercriminals would have access to every account with the same password. For added protection against this possibility, enact a two-step authentication process.
4. Avoid Unsecured Networks
As remote and freelance work grows in popularity, it is vital to inform your employees about the risks of using a public wi-fi network. To prevent private information from spreading, also train your employees about the importance of using encrypted sites and refraining from using mobile applications that require sensitive information. One quick tip is to check a site’s URL; the web address for encrypted websites will begin with “HTTPS.”
When working with a team of audiovisual integrators to put the proper security measures in place, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). The purpose of a VPN is to encrypt traffic between the device in use and the internet. Creating a VPN for your company will allow employees to use it to work securely and remotely.
5. Use Physical Security Measures
Although protection through digital means is a crucial element of protecting your network, you will also need to implement physical security throughout your audiovisual system. Professional audiovisual integrators can discern which tools will work most effectively for the layout of your organization and may suggest physical security measures in the form of sound masking technology, camera covers, drapes or shades, and locks for equipment racks.
These additional security measures reduce threats from people eavesdropping on confidential conversations. For instance, camera covers reduce the opportunity for cybercriminals to successfully infiltrate your video systems. At the same time, sound masking technology within conference rooms renders speech unintelligible to those outside of the room, keeping your sensitive conversations on a need-to-know basis.
6. Follow Your Security Plan
Once you have ensured that the proper security measures are in place, create a security plan and update it regularly. Conduct research about how other companies are handling data breaches, along with ways that these data breaches could have been prevented. For example, many organizations are transferring critical data to the cloud because it is considered more secure. In addition, take measures to work with a response team that can quickly mitigate any cyberattacks that occur.
It is in your organization’s best interest to incorporate cybersecurity compliance within your overall security strategy. To do this, you must understand how your security system functions and its weaknesses. Then develop a security plan for your network and ensure that staff actions align with this plan. Having a clearly outlined plan in place will make it much easier to follow cybersecurity standards, policies, and laws within your business.
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