Cybersecurity is becoming more and more important every day as data breach incidents are increasing globally. They can take away money or important information like passwords and bank account numbers. Companies have to spend money to protect themselves from these threats, like buying technology and insurance, hiring cyber security experts and creating better strategies. 

As technology continually evolves, so do hackers and other cyber criminals’ methods to attack and exploit vulnerabilities in business networks. The Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report notes that the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. This number is expected to get higher and higher, especially if companies underestimate how crucial cybersecurity is for the growth of their business. 

Why businesses need to pay more attention to cybersecurity

Businesses must prioritise their cybersecurity infrastructure because the consequences of a security breach can be catastrophic. A single attack can lead to stolen intellectual property, financial losses and reputational damage, all of which may take years to recover from. In fact, some companies are unable to recover at all, leading to bankruptcy.

Recent studies have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in cybersecurity attacks, with hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in remote work environments. According to a study by Keeper Security, more than half of remote workers in the US have not received any cybersecurity training or guidelines from their employers. This leaves them and their organisations susceptible to potentially devastating attacks. The most worrying part of this survey is that remote workers are more likely to use their own devices and hence more likely to be vulnerable to an attack. 

Businesses that invest in cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and employee training can mitigate the risks of an attack. Moreover, implementing cybersecurity best practices can actually lead to cost savings in the long run. For example, companies can avoid costly downtime and productivity losses by preventing an attack from occurring in the first place. It is always best to be proactive and try to prevent the attack than be reactive and try to respond to the attack.

How to strengthen your cybersecurity

Businesses face a number of cyber threats including:

  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks
  • Code injection

This means that they need to be prepared to recognise, avoid and handle different situations. How can they do that? Some ways are:

  1. Regularly updating systems
  2. Fostering a cyber threats aware work culture
  3. Assessing third parties
  4. Screening employees
  5. Using effective software
  6. Getting rid of old devices

1. Regularly updating systems

Keeping software up-to-date is crucial when it comes to cybersecurity. Regular updates help patch known security vulnerabilities, ensuring that your systems are less susceptible to cyber-attacks. To maintain their integrity, make sure to update your operating systems, applications, and security software regularly. This includes using the latest versions of antivirus and anti-malware software, as well as any relevant security patches provided by software vendors.

There are several key steps businesses can take to make updates as seamless as possible:

  • Automate the update process by enabling automatic updates within your software settings.
  • Understand what regularly means for each system/software. Some of them will need updates more often while others may not.
  • Schedule updates outside of regular working hours to minimise disruptions to daily operations.
  • Keep an inventory of all devices and software and ensure all employees are aware of the importance of keeping systems up-to-date.
  • Monitor for new security threats and apply updates accordingly to mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

2. Fostering a cyber threats aware work culture

Creating a culture of cybersecurity within an organisation means recognising that everyone is responsible for protecting digital assets. All employees, from leadership to entry-level staff, should be well-informed about the risks and best practices of online security.

To build a culture of cybersecurity, consider the following:

  • Develop and implement regular cybersecurity training for all employees to keep everyone informed about the latest cyber threats and prevention methods.
  • Encourage open communication regarding cybersecurity and create channels for employees to report potential issues or suspicious activity. Allow employees to submit improvement suggestions through these channels as well.
  • Establish clear guidelines and procedures for responding to cyber attacks, including employee roles and responsibilities in the event of a breach.
  • Regularly assess your cybersecurity measures and make necessary adjustments to stay ahead of potential threats.

3. Assessing third parties

Vendors, partners and third-party suppliers can introduce vulnerabilities into your IT environment if their security standards are not up to par. It is essential to evaluate and monitor the cybersecurity practices of these external partners regularly.

Understanding the security measures employed by your vendors and third-party suppliers can help reduce the risk of a data breach. Consider taking the following steps for partners who possess critical information:

  • Perform vendor risk assessments to gauge whether their cybersecurity protocols meet your organisation’s standards.
  • Implement necessary contractual clauses that outline your cybersecurity expectations and requirements for vendors and third-party suppliers.
  • Regularly evaluate vendor and third-party cybersecurity practices and ask for evidence of compliance with relevant frameworks and regulations.
  • Communicate your cybersecurity expectations to vendors and provide guidelines or resources to help them meet your requirements.

4. Training employees

In the context of cybersecurity, human error can be just as dangerous as cyber threats, if not more. Often, breaches and hacks can stem from an insider accidentally divulging sensitive information, falling prey to phishing scams or inadvertently downloading malware. Criminals work hard to make emails look as authentic as possible, making it easier for employees to fall victim to such attacks. It is, therefore, necessary to provide mandatory training and offer continuous cybersecurity education.

To strengthen employee screening processes:

  • Implement comprehensive training programs where employees can learn the latest cyberattack techniques.
  • Make cybersecurity a prominent aspect of onboarding, including signing confidentiality agreements and emphasising the importance of online security.
  • Encourage employees to report any suspicious or potentially harmful activity without fear of reprisal.
  • Conduct regular security assessments and cybersecurity-focused evaluations for employees working with sensitive data.

5. Using effective software

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) and antivirus software are powerful tools for safeguarding sensitive data transmitted over the Internet. By encrypting data and routing internet traffic through a secure, remote server, a VPN can create a secure “tunnel” for your data, ensuring that it remains private and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A strong anti virus software can detect very sophisticated attacks and even identify trojan signatures.

Businesses should utilise VPNs and antivirus in every employee device to boost their cybersecurity efforts and protect sensitive data. It is essential to choose a reliable VPN/antivirus provider and ensure that all employees use the services when connecting to company networks, browsing online and opening important files. Having greater protection is necessary, especially when accessing business resources remotely or using public Wi-Fi.

6. Getting rid of old devices

One of the key steps in ensuring that your business is protected against cyber threats is retiring all unused services and devices. When old and outdated devices and services are allowed to remain in operation, they can represent a significant vulnerability point that can be exploited by malicious actors. Outdated or unsupported software can expose your entire IT infrastructure to known security risks that can be easily avoided by getting rid of old devices and removing relevant data from them.

By keeping only the essential services and devices, you reduce the number of attack vectors that cybercriminals can exploit. Not only does this make your systems more difficult to hack, but it also reduces your business’s attack surface – the number of potential entry points for cyber attacks.

Retiring old hardware and software is essential for keeping your network and data secure. Newer devices and services offer better security features and are designed with security in mind. By upgrading to more modern technology, you can better protect your business from cyber threats such as malware, viruses, and ransomware.

Additionally, regularly reviewing and removing unused services and devices means that you have a better understanding of what is present on your network. This makes it easier to detect unauthorised access attempts, identify potential security risks, and quickly respond to any security incidents.

To reduce the risk posed by unused services and devices:

  • Perform an audit of your organisation’s services, applications, and devices, identifying those that are no longer needed.
  • Deactivate or uninstall unnecessary services and applications, and properly dispose of or repurpose unused devices.
  • Implement policies to govern the life cycle of services, applications, and devices, including proper onboarding, maintenance and decommissioning procedures.


Since companies move everything online and criminals become smarter, businesses must prioritise cybersecurity more and more. Developing new strategies and reviewing the current systems and controls are essential steps to protecting a company against cyber threats.

At Polonious we are ISO 27001 certified which highlights our commitment to keeping data secure and providing our customers with a safe place to store their information. During investigations, audits, risk management procedures, our clients rely on us to help them make the whole process confidential and productive. Polonious allows customers to access only information that is relevant to them whenever and wherever they need it. Assets and files can be managed from one place, making it easier to complete cybersecurity processes. Do you want to know more? Reach out and we are happy to show you how our system works.