Find out how you can take action and protect your business from a variety of cyberattacks.
These tips help businesses in any industry and of any size protect their proprietary data, confidential customer information and financial transactions.
Your company's data is at risk from cyberattacks. These 13 tips offer ways to protect your company from those attacks.
Safeguarding your company's digital sphere requires taking a multipronged approach.
From being cautious with email attachments to ensuring that your company keeps all computers, tablets and mobile devices up to date, protecting your company's digital world is an ongoing effort.
The time you spend taking action to defend your business against cyberattacks is well worth the effort since cybercrimes are expected to cost more than $6 trillion worldwide by 2021.
Conduct a Security Assessment
Establish a baseline of your current security situation. Your company should do this at least once per year.
The baseline provides you with the ability to compare how your information is safeguarded after you implement more stringent security practices.
The assessment should identify all possible vulnerabilities for your company's cybersecurity.
Take Caution With Email
The easiest way for cyber criminals to gain access to your data or money is through email.
Set up spam email filters. Encourage staff to avoid opening suspicious attachments. Check for spoof email addresses.
Use Strong Passwords
Require your employees to regularly change their passwords. Rather than easy-to-guess words, phrases should be used. A variety of upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers should be in the phrase.
These are more difficult for hackers to break compared to birthdays, pet names or other commonly used and insecure passwords.
Keep Software and Operating Systems Up to Date
Set up automatic updates for operating systems such as Windows and iOS. Make sure that extensions and browsers are up to date.
Take the time to check or automate updates for vulnerable applications such as Java and programs like Adobe. Set up your server to run routine vulnerability scans.
Enable Your Firewall
Your company should have a firewall for intrusion protection and detection. The firewall should create a log of threats and actions.
A managed IT service could set this up for you if you do not have an IT staff to do it.
Use the best possible level of encryption available for your activities. Emails should be encrypted, especially if they contain personally identifiable information about employees or customers.
Encryption should also be used for any e-commerce that takes place on your website. If your staff uses mobile devices, require encryption.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Implement multi-factor authentication for logins, especially on mobile devices. Require multi-factor authentication for posts on your company's social media accounts.
Use multi-factor authentication for all financial activities associated with your business.
Perform Regular Data Backups
Holding data for ransom is a leading trick of cyber criminals. When you have a current backup of your data, the ransomware intrusion will have less of an effect on your company.
Keep a current copy of your data in the cloud. Keep another copy on an external hard drive. Regularly test all of your backup systems.
Research the Dark Web
The internet is more than funny cat videos and snarky memes. The dark web is where stolen data is put up for sale. Keep track of data breaches, and then research the dark web.
If you find your data out there, take additional protective actions. If a data breach has affected any company you do business with, assume that your data is on the dark web.
Use a Secure Internet Gateway
A secure internet gateway acts as a safe on-ramp to the internet. It offers instant and ongoing protection against malware, ransomware and phishing schemes.
The gateway also identifies infected devices and stops you from sending or receiving information from them. The gateway can also prevent callbacks of extricated information. This type of a system provides security at the DNS point of online activities.
Set Up Advanced Endpoint Security
Advanced endpoint security provides an additional chance to prevent hacking, malware and phishing. It is often built into anti-virus programs, but it is also available separately.
Advanced endpoint security can roll back a malware attack and put a stop to script-based threats and threats without files.
Train Your Employees
Everyone in your business should receive regular training about your cybersecurity procedures, policies and practices.
When you make a change, keep your staff updated. Be sure to inform managers and leadership members, too.
Do not assume that your staff knows about current threats and innovative scams dreamed up by hackers. Include information about the newest cyber threats in your routine staff meetings, newsletters and discussions.
Consider Cyber Insurance
Life insurance provides you with peace of mind, and so can cyber insurance. Cyber insurance offers financial protection in case all of the above efforts fail you. If your business does experience a cybersecurity event, the insurance provides financial protection if hackers get into your business banking accounts as well as coverage for the recovery of your company's information. Cyber insurance may also alleviate some of the cost of the downtime that your organization goes through in the aftermath of a cyberattack.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The time you spend preventing cyberattacks is much less than what it would take to deal with the aftermath of such an attack. Protecting your company from cyberattacks requires cooperation, planning and staying informed. In addition to using these 13 tips, keep your entire staff up to date on your cybersecurity efforts. Security incidents cost an average of eight hours of lost productivity, which few companies can afford. Providing regular reminders ensures that cybersecurity is a top priority for your employees, managers and executive board.