The pandemic has changed the way businesses work, and the new normal is nothing like anything that happened before. The entire business operations have seen a shift, and cybersecurity becomes critical as employees are working from home. Most businesses have decided to stick to the initiative for the long haul, and security concerns would also stay around with this new model. They have become all the more critical for companies that run in the B2B domain. These organizations handle the confidential data of other businesses, so they need to go the extra mile with data security during the crisis.
The security challenges that businesses face right now are unique, considering that the situation is unpredictable and no one knows what lies ahead. Moreover, the concerns are only getting bigger because hackers and cyber attackers are coming up with sophisticated means to exploit the situation. But businesses need not give up hope because the right moves and measures can still keep the safe even during the pandemic. If you are worried about cybersecurity for your B2B brand, here are some strategies you can embrace to be one step ahead of attacks.
Understand the current risks
While B2B security risks have always been a tad greater than those of consumer-facing businesses, things are even more complicated in the COVID era. There is a marked increase in cyberattacks through the pandemic. Hackers are at large because businesses are focused on survival, and privacy considerations have taken a backseat. Moreover, several companies are still working remotely, although their preparation from the safety perspective isn’t good enough. So it becomes vital to understand the current risks for your organization and also foresee the future ones because things are not expected to be on track pretty soon.
Realign the incident response protocols
Knowing the current risk is a good start, but it wouldn’t take you anywhere without updated incident response protocols that match the current situation. The environments and mindsets have changed, so you cannot expect the original response plans and protocols to work. Even small incidents can easily escalate into major issues as people work from home without a physical cybersecurity team supervising them. Start by reviewing the capabilities of your response team and onboard more resources if there is a need. You may consider collaborating with a managed security service provider as a reliable and cost-effective alternative.
Pay attention to remote access and endpoint security
Remote work is the new reality of the pandemic era. Even if your business may have reopened now, there are chances that you may have to get back to WFH at any time. It makes sense to be prepared with remote access and endpoint security so that you can cut the risks you faced with the initial remote switch. Security teams should be proactive about performing basic connectivity performance and endpoint hygiene checks on corporate machines. You need to be extra conscious if you have a BYOD implementation in place. Confirm that every single device in the B2B ecosystem has proper anti-malware capabilities.
Educate people to generate awareness against cyberattacks
When people work remotely, they are more susceptible to cyberattacks. The risk gets higher when they use the same devices for personal and official use. There are chances that stress would force them into making mistakes that lead to security incidents. Proper education is a must to generate awareness against cyberattacks. Train them about social media security so that there is no risk to the business data even when the employee uses snapchat for mac or browses Facebook while working on official documents. Other aspects of cybersecurity education include creating awareness about phishing attacks, remote threats, and malicious links.
Prioritize visibility with security monitoring capabilities
As work cultures change in the COVID world, visibility is a concern for security teams. It gets harder to monitor people consistently when social distancing is a norm on office floors, let alone doing it when your team works from home. For a business, it becomes vital to prioritize visibility, which is done by having the right monitoring tools in place. Checking the internal monitoring capabilities and log management rules is equally important. If you rely on managed security services providers, ensure that they are adapting their monitoring and logs for the operating landscape in the new normal.
Go the extra mile with data protection
B2B data has always been important and it covers more than what appears on the surface. You need to make conscious efforts to protect the internal data as well as the data of your clients. Things are getting complex in the current situation because employees are accessing it from multiple locations, and you cannot trust anyone enough. Setting up rules to limit the authorization of users is a good approach. Ideally, employees should be able to access only those files which are critical to their work. Data encryption is a smart strategy you can rely on to protect access to your data. Even if it gets into the wrong hands, the hacker wouldn’t be able to exploit the encrypted files.
Protect employee information and privacy
When things are uncertain, businesses need to pay as much attention to employees as they do to customers. The mindset boosts loyalty and strengthens the core of your business with dedicated employees. Your cybersecurity initiative, therefore, should extend to employee information and privacy as well. Organizations are collecting employee information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic right now. For example, they may want to record employee illness episodes and visits to a risk area. It is vital to store this information safely and ensure that it is not disclosed unless required by law.
Securing your B2B business in the COVID era seems like a lot of work, but all the effort is worthwhile. It determines the operational viability of the company and keeps it on track with compliance. Further, you cannot risk a security incident because it can have an impact on the reputation of the company, which is the last thing you would want to happen amid an ongoing crisis.
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