No company, big or small, is immune to the devastating effects that cybercrime and data theft may have on its day-to-day operations. Without adequate protections and safeguards, firms risk suffering irritating, if not catastrophic, losses as a result of cyber attacks.
While breaches in data security can have a devastating effect on an organization, they can be readily prevented if the proper precautions are taken. Investing in the appropriate strategies is crucial if you want to keep your organization running smoothly. Here are seven simple things you can do right now to ensure the security of your company’s data.
Every business, regardless of its size, requires an IT security plan that is not only some thoughts about what should be done, but one that is crystal clear and all-encompassing. Not only should it include steps to take before anything goes wrong, but it should also include steps to take if something does go wrong. By having a well-thought-out strategy for how to react in the event of an emergency, you can prevent yourself from making rash choices in the heat of the moment that could make the situation much more dire.
It would be a waste of time to put in the effort to write it up only to let it gather dust in a drawer, so ensure that it is kept up to date and is easily accessible.
Prevent data loss by keeping your computers and network free of viruses. Malware, or malicious software, is software designed to do damage to your computer system or data without your knowledge or permission.
The following measures are critical for preventing malware infection:
- Turn on your router’s firewall; that’s the first line of defence, but it won’t be adequate on its own.
- PC safety: Modern security programs are effective without slowing down your computer or network. Seek security that will prevent you from being a victim of hacking, identity theft, and suspicious websites all at once.
- Maintain a clutter-free inbox: Antispam software shields workers against potentially dangerous and time-wasting spam emails. Take the appropriate safeguards to halt their progress.
Always be prepared for an attack on your wireless network from cybercriminals since they can and will happen at any time. The average individual could find an encryption key difficult to understand, but it wouldn’t be hard for hackers to crack.
Use the greatest encryption level that your router has, and make sure that the broadcasting feature is turned off if you want to ensure the safety of your business. Cybercriminals have no chance of success when confronted with targets that they cannot view directly.
Even the most fundamental security measures, such as having a strong password, can be beneficial to the protection of your data. It can be difficult to keep track of multiple passwords, but a more complex password will result in a more secure system.
If a password is at least eight characters long and contains special characters and an exclamation mark, it provides an increased level of protection against unauthorized access. If you change your passwords frequently and make them out of a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols rather than words, you will increase the level of security they provide.
Your employees will be relieved of the strain of remembering and possibly writing down complicated passwords when they use password managers. Make sure you educate your employees and set some standards for them to follow.
Be aware of the security concerns connected with employees bringing and using their own devices, which is more typical in small to medium sized firms.
Make a strategy for the office to safeguard against any legal ramifications and the high expense of mobile systems. Having a well-defined strategy in place that addresses data deletion, location monitoring, and Internet monitoring head-on can be helpful.
Businesses should also consider how to accommodate workers who telecommute or utilize personal technology in their jobs. While these methods have the potential to boost productivity and cut costs, they also present new security risks if they aren’t controlled appropriately.
With the purpose of exploiting security holes in older software, hackers frequently perform scans of networks and websites to determine the software version being used. This can be avoided by always using the most up-to-date versions of operating systems, browsers, and other applications on your device. To further protect against attacks, set any patches and updates to automatically update in the background.
Protecting against internal dangers is crucial for successful cyber security, therefore be especially careful when recruiting new staff. Investigate their history to learn more about who they are as a person. Changes in the personality of current workers are another red flag that should be taken seriously.
A key aspect in lowering the risk of a security breach is having the necessary processes in place to dispose of data that is no longer required.
To prevent sensitive firm information from being accessed by unauthorized parties in the future, it is important to fully erase data from all devices and storage media before recycling or reusing them.
Keep in mind that reinstalling the operating system, formatting the hard disc, or erasing individual files and folders does not guarantee that the data has been completely removed. Data is still easily accessible with freely available tools in most circumstances. Be sure the technology your IT disposal partner is employing completely destroys your data by overwriting it many times.
Whether laptops, phones, external hard drives, or flash memory are being redistributed within the company or thrown at the end of their lifecycle, businesses should adopt a data destruction policy that describes the methodology for each use case.
If your company lacks the manpower or knowledge to handle the constant stream of security updates, you may want to investigate using a cloud service.
Data storage, software updates, and security measures can all be handled by a reliable cloud service provider. While this strategy is probably not a good fit for large corporations, it can be useful for SMBs that want to take precautions.
It’s crucial that all employees are familiar with the company’s security procedures. It’s important to ensure that all employees are following business policy, thus it’s best to accomplish this either during the onboarding process or through semi-annual refresher training.
Learn to recognize dubious emails and teach your staff to do the same. You can avoid being duped by checking for telltale signals like misspelt words, urgent calls for action, and demands for payment. If something doesn’t seem right, tell your employees not to trust it.
A data breach can occur if an employee, a volunteer, or both leave critical papers or devices unattended for an extended period of time. This might be in the compartment of a train car, the trunk of your automobile, or even in your own home. Protecting the privacy of one’s data should be one of one’s highest concerns; therefore, one should be vigilant and store sensitive information in a secure location while it is not being used.
Due to the risk of having sensitive information stolen, you should never connect to the internet via a public Wi-Fi network or any other type of unprotected connection. Make sure the Wi-Fi connection that you are using is always secure. The last thing you want is for your work computer to get hacked because you haven’t checked before starting your work.
Check that all of your employees are following the same procedure. If you want to prevent unauthorised use of your computer, one quick and easy step you can take is to lock your screen before you leave your desk.
It is essential to exercise strict control over the individuals who are permitted to enter your facilities and make use of your information technology infrastructure; you cannot let strangers in unsupervised. It needs to be accessible to a smaller number of people. Everyone who is there should be immediately identifiable. Make certain that unauthorised users from the outside cannot access your private network. Whenever an employee leaves your company or is absent for an extended period of time, it is possible that you may need to suspend their access to your computer systems. Part of this should include finding out the answer to questions like ‘Who makes ID badges?’ and getting badges for all your employees.
Take the same precautions with your mobile devices that you would with workplace machinery. Keep an eye on your immediate environment as well. It’s simple for people around you on a train, for instance, to see what you’re doing on your phone.
Following these tips should help you to keep your business secure and safe from cyber threats. Do you use any of these tips? We’d like to hear about how successful they have been below.