IT Security

Top Ten IT Security Concerns You Need to Know in 2024

Here are Tech Ahoy’s top ten IT security concerns for business leaders in 2024. Read on to learn how to safeguard your organisation against growing cyber threats, compliance issues, and third-party assurance pitfalls!

What is IT security?

In 2024, all business owners and managers are (or should be!) aware that IT security is critical to successful business operations, especially for growing businesses in data-driven markets. However, it’s not always clear what IT security actually means. This is particularly true for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders, who often find themselves wearing multiple hats, with competing priorities and limited bandwidth.

‘IT security’, ‘infosec, ‘cybersecurity’, ‘information hygiene’, ‘GDPR’, ‘TPA’, ‘ISO’ – the list of terms and acronyms grows, as does the list of tasks we need to stay on top of to ensure that our (and our clients’) data and systems stay safe, secure and running smoothly.

Why does it matter to me?

IT security doesn’t just mean keeping our data safe from the ever-present risk of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. It is also crucial for businesses to be vigilant and proactive to ensure business continuity in case of tech failure, to meet increasingly complex legislative obligations, and to win and keep business by meeting ever-growing client expectations and requirements.

To help you navigate this tricky topic, here are Tech Ahoy’s top ten IT security concerns that you need to be aware of as a business leader, along with actionable steps to mitigate these risks.

  1. Mobile Device Security – With the rise of remote work, securing mobile devices (and this doesn’t just mean your iPhone) is more critical than ever. Deploy and enforce mobile device management (MDM) policies to ensure that devices accessing company data are encrypted, regularly updated, and can be remotely wiped if lost or stolen. This approach helps protect sensitive information on employees’ devices.
  2. Passwords and Authentication – Weak passwords are a significant security vulnerability. Enforcing strong password policies and encouraging the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) can significantly enhance security. MFA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a second form of verification, such as a text message or authentication app, making it harder for cybercriminals to gain access.
  3. Network Security – Unsecured networks can be a gateway for cybercriminals and firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs) are critical to securing your business’s network infrastructure. Regular network audits and segmentation can further enhance security, ensuring that any breach in one part of the network does not compromise the entire system.
  4. Cloud Security – As more businesses move to the cloud, securing cloud environments becomes paramount. Companies should choose reputable cloud service providers and understand their shared responsibility model. Implementing strong access controls, data encryption, and regular security assessments are essential for maintaining cloud security and protecting sensitive information stored in the cloud.
  5. Software Vulnerabilities – Cybercriminals often exploit software vulnerabilities to gain access to systems. Businesses must ensure all software, including operating systems and applications, are regularly updated and patched. Automated patch management systems can help streamline this process, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited.
  6. Phishing Attacks are among the most prevalent cyber threats, targeting businesses of all sizes. These attacks often involve fraudulent emails that deceive employees into revealing sensitive information. To combat phishing, it is critical that businesses conduct regular awareness training, implement email filtering solutions, and encourage a culture of scepticism towards unsolicited communications.
  7. Ransomware can bring business operations to a standstill by encrypting critical data and demanding a ransom for its release. To defend against ransomware, it’s crucial to maintain regular data backups, use advanced threat detection systems, and ensure all software is up-to-date with the latest security patches. This multi-layered approach can help businesses quickly recover from ransomware attacks without paying a ransom.
  8. Data Protection and GDPR Compliance – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets strict guidelines for handling personal data and non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and damage to reputation. Businesses must ensure they collect, process, and store data securely. Regular audits, comprehensive employee training, and robust data encryption are essential practices to safeguard personal information and ensure compliance with GDPR.
  9. Third-Party Risks – Third-party vendors can introduce security risks. Conducting thorough due diligence before engaging with third parties and ensuring they comply with security standards is essential. Implementing third-party risk management programs and requiring regular security assessments from vendors can mitigate these risks, ensuring that third-party partners do not become a weak link in the security chain.
  10. Insider Threats – whether malicious or accidental, pose significant risks to businesses. Implementing access controls based on the principle of least privilege, where employees only have access to information necessary for their role, is crucial. Regular monitoring and auditing of user activities can help detect and prevent insider threats, protecting the business from internal risks.

By addressing these critical IT security concerns, businesses can better protect their assets, ensure compliance, and build a robust defence against the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. However, navigating the complexities of IT security can be daunting for businesses of all sizes.

How do we manage it?

At Tech Ahoy, we understand the unique challenges faced by UK businesses and offer tailored solutions to ensure your IT infrastructure is secure and compliant. Our team of experts provides comprehensive services for Apple and Windows fleets using Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, from data protection and network security to cloud management and compliance assessments.

With Tech Ahoy at the helm of your IT, you can rest assured that your systems and data are in safe hands and focus on what matters to you – your business success and growth. Protect your business and gain peace of mind by partnering with Tech Ahoy. Contact us today for a free no-pressure consultation and discover how we can help your business thrive!