Source: Forbes.com | Forbes Technology Council | October 4, 2016

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to break the bank.

Embracing simple, cheap procedures — for instance, always having strong passwords and implementing sensible data encryption – can go a long way towards protecting your company from a cybersecurity attack. The methods below, outlined by nine technology executives from Forbes Technology Council, offer other ways companies can beef up their cybersecurity efforts without spending a fortune.

1. Embrace The Basics of Information Security 

Unless you’re the government or James Bond, you don’t need the fancy and expensive security devices you see in the movies. Make sure to use strong passwords and sensible data encryption. Educate your employees not to click on suspicious links or emails. Lastly, ask your customers for guidance, as they can help you get your security practices in line with their needs. - Tim MaliyilAlertBoot

2. Post Bounties To Find Vulnerability Issues

Companies can create “bounties” — small rewards — to anyone who finds security vulnerabilities in their systems. The bounties are small, only a few hundred dollars, but potential savings are huge. There are services such as HackerOne that make it easy, and large enterprises like Apple AAPL -0.03% and Uber are embracing this cheap way to increase security. - Alexander KharlamovMadison Square Garden Company

3. Improve Security At The System Level And At The Employee Level

Security can be inexpensively improved both through your systems and through your employees. At the systems level, set up software firewalls so you can easily block IPs, monitor log files, and use automated scripts to detect and stop attacks. For employees, establish two-factor authentication for passwords, and train them on how to spot phishing emails, bad website certificates, and potential breaches. - Chris Kirby, Voices.com

4. Ingrain It Into Company Culture

First and foremost, a company needs to ingrain cybersecurity into their culture. Security is no longer an IT problem, it is a whole business problem. As soon as a company embraces this reality, they can justify allocating the funds and resources necessary to refresh their security posture and put together employee education programs in order to stay ahead of today’s biggest threats. - Marcin KleczynskiMalwarebytes

5. Require Advanced Passwords

Too many technology companies are hacked because they have limp practices around password requirements. Put simply, one of the easiest ways to protect your customers and avoid a data breach is to require more advanced passwords. At a minimum, require one lower case letter [a-z], one upper case letter [A-Z], one numeric character [0-9], and one special character. - Scott StinerUM Technologies, LLC

6. Go Back To The Basics

Cybersecurity is a new buzzword because of recent hacks, but the reality is that there is very little difference between now and years ago. Security basics haven’t changed that much. You should build security into your applications from the beginning. People are now, and have always been, the weakest links. Educate them about your standards and how they can do their jobs and adhere to them. - Nicholas ThompsonGrit

7. Use OpenVPN

Security does not always have to cost money. For instance, you can use OpenVPN from all wireless networks. OpenVPN is just as good as the paid VPN services, but it is free. Another option is just don’t use Wi-Fi to internal networks. If you have ever attended Defcon or a Blackhat type event, you quickly realize how insecure Wi-Fi networks are. Keep your email protected by using free Avast anti-virus software because the number one point of entry is through email. - Chris CiabarraRevel Systems INC

8. Open Source A Less Costly Alternative

Open source is a great option for companies seeking to augment their existing commercial cybersecurity tools without breaking the bank. Open source cybersecurity tools run the full gamut from endpoint visibility, memory forensics, and full incident response platforms. However, this less costly option is by no means free, as it still requires practical resource allocation and staffing budgets. - Jamie ButlerEndgame

9. Reinforce The Basics

Cybersecurity improvement doesn’t have to break the bank. One big step organizations can take that is both hugely impactful and is of minimal cost: reinforcing the basics. Ensure employees are engaging in best practices, such as changing passwords regularly. Also, put a breach response plan in place so issues can be addressed efficiently and effectively. These basic steps can be the first line of defense in your organization’s cybersecurity. - Neill Feather, SiteLock