Security has been top of mind for organizations of all sizes and verticals. As 2023 draws near, securing your most important data will only become more essential.

Cyberattacks are steadily on the rise, with data from Check Point showing that cyberattacks in 3Q22 rose sharply, increasing 28 percent when compared to the same period in 2021. With increased attack sophistication, stricter and more costly data protection laws, and growing digitalization, how channel partners secure customer and supplier data will be critical to success. This article discusses some of the biggest threats to your data security and explores how to keep systems safe in 2023.

Protect Your Digital Supply Chain

Data at rest tends to be relatively secure if your security protocols are current and implemented correctly. However, data in motion is significantly more at risk because access is opened to more users, across different systems, with different standards and security protocols. As your channel business grows, security in your digital supply chain becomes increasingly tricky as you must vet the security practices of new vendors and customers.

The first countermeasure to protect your digital supply chain is practicing good data hygiene with the data you transfer. Send only the necessary data for whatever project you are working on. Similarly, only store the data you genuinely need and are allowed to by the requirements of GDPR and other data standards. When you send data, ensure you always use enterprise-grade encryption standards.

Remote Workers and Increased Risk

The benefits of having a remote workforce are well-documented. Aside from increased employee happiness and even increased productivity that comes with remote work, there are also meaningful benefits to employee mobility and lower realty costs. However, remote work means employees work in locations over which you have less security oversight. Whether it is their home networks, working from a local cafe, or on the road at customer locations, the variety and type of connections remote employees use has greater variety. These provide opportunities for would-be hackers to gain access to your systems and wreak havoc with your data. Remote work also offers the potential for a lack of physical security, such as leaving laptops unattended.

The best countermeasure to these issues is proactive education and employee training. Ensure your employees know how to verify a network is safe and reliable. Help them understand the common tactics hackers use to gain access to company systems and how to avoid making it easy. Additionally, educate employees on the need for physical security and how leaving an unlocked laptop unattended, even for just a few minutes, can represent a massive security risk.

IoT Has Great Promise, But Not Without Risk

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a massive change driver — increasing efficiency, improving productivity, and offering significant gains in convenience and ease-of-use for many products. But the security standards for IoT devices are not as rigid as other consumer technology products, and cyberattacks on IoT devices are quickly increasing. These vectors can present themselves surprisingly in things like smart light bulbs and dash cams — common technologies used for offices and traveling workers. To help prevent issues when leveraging IoT devices, it is important to buy from trusted vendors and ensure that the networks used follow the same security standards for laptops and other employee connectivity.

It seems like a security breach occurs at a major corporation every week. Additionally, data shows that when the economy is not doing well, cybersecurity risk increases. With a possible recession looming, the chances of attacks will increase. But with increased vigilance, correct data practices, and employee training, your channel can help minimize exposure and stay protected from even the most sophisticated attacks.

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