It seems like there’s a new story about a cybersecurity breach on the news all the time. We tend to believe that hackers and cyber criminals primarily target big organizations, financial institutions, and wealthy celebrities, but this isn’t necessarily the case. As long as you conduct business online – who doesn’t – you are at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals.
Today, it’s nearly impossible to run a business without some sort of online presence. The Covid-19 pandemic only increased the trend of remote work, and the need to have your crucial company information and work accessible from anywhere. For that reason, more and more businesses are using cloud computing applications, which also bring with them the risk of fraud and security breaches. Knowing how to improve your company’s cybersecurity is more critical than ever.
Here are some tips to get you started on improving your company’s cyber security.
1. Update software on a regular basis
Maintain the most recent versions of fixes and additions for every interface, operating system, and application. Patches to correct security issues are released on a regular basis, and failing to apply them leaves you vulnerable. It is recommended that you download and install these program updates as soon as the vendor makes them available.
2. Use strong passwords
Weak passwords are one of the most prevalent reasons for a breach in cybersecurity. Most people opt to only have one or two different passwords that they frequently reuse across several accounts and platform..
The best practice to improve your business cybersecurity is to make sure everyone has strong passwords, and that they update their passwords on a regular basis. Make it a rule to update passwords every three months and teach your staff how to create strong passwords.
3. Multi-factor authentication
Besides strong passwords, consider requiring additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication, to gain access to your business’s network and accounts.
Two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor (MFA) authentication means that at least one additional form of self-verification is required to access software or make a transaction. Using a passcode sent via text message or answering a question are both examples of multi-factor authentication.
4. Have up to date malware protection
In order to fix structural flaws based on usage data, add new capabilities to fight advancements in malware, and generally increase antiviral efficiency, antivirus software must be regularly updated.
First and foremost, your business should be equipped with antivirus software. You can do some research on your own or seek the advice of a professional, as long as you choose one and keep it up to date. Set up automatic software updates and you won’t have to check to make sure you have the newest version of your antivirus software. If you don’t keep your antivirus software updated on a regular basis, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to a cyberattack.
If it seems difficult to keep track of all the updates, you can get the help of a cybersecurity managed services provider. They will handle all matters related to your cybersecurity while you focus on other aspects of your business.
5. Data backup
Data backups and file backups will help your business recover important information if it gets lost. Any important information should be copied and put in a safe place right away, whether you keep it on a backup drive or in the cloud.
The best practice to back up your data is to do it once a week. You should make sure to use the same security measures when you back up your data, such as multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, to prevent it from potentially being hacked. It’s an insurance policy you cannot afford to overlook. If your main computer gets infected, your important business data will be available on a separate storage device or platform.
6. Employees training on cybersecurity
Implement cyber security training as a best practice of your business. Your team must be informed about cybersecurity risks, such as suspicious or unwanted emails requesting employees to open an attachment, click a link, or enter account information.
You should also train your team to spot a wider variety of cybersecurity red flags. These include excessive spelling errors, poor-quality logos, mismatched sender details, fake email addresses and fake domain names.
7. Conduct a hacking simulation
Once you train your employees to spot cybersecurity red flags and how to respond to them, conduct a hacking simulation within your organization. It will help you become more informed about your organization’s network security status, and you will also discover the areas where improvement is needed.
8. Provide all the necessary IT infrastructure
Suppose your cybersecurity staff does not have the necessary IT infrastructure to maintain your business’ cybersecurity, no matter how much training you provide and how many simulation exercises you conduct, you cannot prevent hackers from attacking your network security.
If it is not possible for your company to provide ample support to an in-house cybersecurity team, you can hire the services of IT solutions providers. There are many benefits of using a cybersecurity managed services provider; they are cost-effective, available around the clock, and you have access to a group of professionals with advanced skills.
9. Use a secure Wi-Fi connection
Hackers can easily gain access to wifi-enabled devices and steal sensitive data. Set up two distinct Wi-Fi networks for your business, one public and the other private. Guests should be able to use the public Wi-Fi network, but only employees should access your private Wi-Fi network.
As part of your security operations, remind your employees not to access your company’s key information from any public Wi-Fi networks or even from their home if the network is not secure.
10. Store important personal verification information separately
For further protection, keep your business and personal information password protected in a separate file.
For example, you keep all of your team members’ personal information in one file, but you save their CVV codes (Card Verification Value) in a separate file that is password protected, and only you and HR personnel have access to this file. With such measures, you prevent potential cyberattacks and also minimize their impact.
11. Review policies and processes regularly
The IT sector is constantly evolving, and new software and programs are launched every day. You should regularly review your policies and procedures to evaluate what it working for you and where you can make changed, and update them accordingly. Ask yourself what security flaws do you have in your systems and be proactive about closing those gaps.
Cybersecurity should be as important as physical security measures. Any business that lacks cyber security or has some weak points in its cyber security management is vulnerable to serious security breaches. Save yourself a great deal of trouble in the future and start thinking about it now.