According to Forbes, small and medium-sized businesses are becoming increasingly popular targets for cyberattacks. Hackers no longer exclusively target big corporations or governmental organizations. It’s becoming essential to increase your security regardless of your business size. Here are 10 ways to improve cyber security that you can implement immediately.
1. Use Complex Passwords
A reliable password strategy begins with frequent password changes. Incorporating combinations of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters will help to boost the security of your passwords. Most importantly, don’t share passwords under any circumstance. It only takes a few minutes to establish login criteria for another person and is well worth the time spent if it prevents a cyber attack.
2. Create Organizational Awareness
How do you achieve security awareness? Have a cybersecurity code of conduct available for your staff and train them on it to ensure everyone is aware of cybercrime’s threat. Most cybercrime occurs due to human error. Even well-meaning employees can click on a harmful link in a phishing email or download corrupted files that unknowingly install a ransomware virus.
3. Stick to Company-Issued Devices
One of the most frequent effects of using personal devices is data theft. When storing work data on your personal device, you risk losing both your personal information and the data from your business. Additionally, personal devices lead to a lack of communication between employees, IT, and the company. The unapproved download of software can lead to unanticipated malware problems. Choose company-issued devices over personal devices as often as possible to connect within your business. Doing so makes it easier to create a cohesive defense, reducing the probability of breaches.
4. Commit To Updates
It’s long been one of the cyber security best practices to update your network and the devices on it regularly. However, many users will skip the update because they feel like they don’t have the time. It’s essential to commit to updates company-wide. Continue to utilize your system updates to do the work on your behalf, update firmware, and confirm everyone on your team does so. Remember that these updates often have critical bug fixes that can bar exploits previously used by hackers who infiltrate networks.
5. Create Backups
Backups help circumvent hacker strategies, especially ransomware attacks where your data is held hostage until you financially compensate the hacker. If you already have an up-to-date backup, you have preemptively disarmed their strategy. Many options exist for creating backups. Hard drives are cost-effective and effortless. They live separately from the cloud and come with backup features.
6. Give Access Only As Needed
Cybersecurity business strategies often overlook the advantages of a more hierarchical security approach. When only select staff are allowed to access sensitive data, safety as a whole is enhanced. If certain employees do not need access to certain areas of your network, restrict their access.
7. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Because people often use an email address for their usernames, and they tend to choose easy-to-remember passwords across multiple sites, guessing usernames and passwords can be relatively easy for hackers. Multi-factor authentication often uses password verification via a third-party app or SMS message to verify your identity, making it statistically twice as challenging for hackers to access sensitive information.
8. Implement Antivirus Software
Equip your team with antivirus or malware software that can monitor, analyze and alert to low-level cyber attacks. Relying on the protection that comes with your operating system alone is often too weak for businesses.
9. Protect your physical property
Securing physical property should not be overlooked. When operating devices such as tablets, computers, and smartphones, it is imperative to practice safety measures. Even with the proper cloud security and online protection, your physical property can be stolen or manipulated, and hackers can access data.
10. Share Files Securely
Email attachments are fast and convenient when getting files from one colleague to another, but they are also easy targets for hackers. An encrypted company cloud drive or intranet is an increasingly secure way to move files around your network, protecting against outside, unauthorized access.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Go It Alone
You have enough obstacles in the day-to-day operations of your business. Worrying about getting hacked should not be one of them. Experienced IT professionals can ease the burden of maintaining your cybersecurity. To find out how we can help your organization with our proven expertise in IT and cybersecurity, contact eMPiGO.