Businesses of all scales can now reach broader markets and achieve smoother operations because of the internet. However, whether you’re thinking of incorporating cloud-based computing to your business operations or simply sending emails, cybersecurity should be part of your plan.
Theft of digital information has become one of the most commonly reported frauds, with over 43% of cyber attacks targeting small businesses and 64% of companies in the U.S. experiencing (web-based) cyber-attacks.
To help you build a solid cybersecurity strategy, here are seven tips to consider.
Stay Updated and Backed Up
Having operating systems with yesterday’s software and cybersecurity safeguards are an easy way for hackers to get into your business’s systems. That’s why it’s best to keep your I.T. operations up-to-date by installing the latest browsers, antivirus protection, spyware, and spam blockers.
Besides updating your computer systems, ideal cybersecurity solutions include archiving compliance and backing up your files. Doing these protect essential business information from unwanted occurrences that threaten its privacy, integrity, and availability.
Install a Firewall
Having a proper firewall gives you a strong first line of defense when a hacker tries to access your business’s systems. It protects your computer from malware and other cyber attack methods cyber-criminals use by automatically shutting down unknown or unauthorized processes, such as data extraction.
Implement Encryption Software
Incorporating encryption software to your computer systems allow you to take plaintexts or codes and scramble them into an unreadable format — called “ciphertext.” It helps protect a business’s internal information, personnel files, financial accounts, and other essential data. That’s because, virtually, only authorized parties can decipher the ciphertexts back to their original forms to access the information.
Limit Access to Sensitive Information
You can install special software that can detect unusual activity patterns on the computer system or one that keeps track of outbound communications to ensure no essential information is leaking out from your network. Additionally, if you run a business where your workers need remote access to your company’s computer system, ensure you add more security measures other than a username and password to gain access — like two-factor authentication.
Have a Separate Network for Payment Terminal
Having an individual network for your payment terminal decreases the likelihood of successful infiltration from hackers. That’s because cyber-criminals often hack into a worker’s computer through an infected email and steal the access data for your business’s network and the payment terminal. However, when you separate your payment terminal, which only has you and another educated co-worker with authorization, it can decrease your likelihood of getting hacked.
Data loss is often caused by human error, with over 80% of companies in the U.S. reporting high profile data loss due to employee negligence. That’s why it’s wise you educate your staff about regulatory requirements and the best practices protecting information. Moreover, it’s also wise to let them know what type of business data is confidential and the consequences of leaking these out.
Passwords and Authentications
Besides keeping your computer systems up-to-date, it’s best to require your staff to use unique passwords and change them every 90 days. Doing this keeps your information fresh and away from the prying eyes of hackers.
When operating your business online, you need to take the extra steps necessary to protect everything against hackers who could easily steal business information or spread malware and bring your I.T. systems and business to its knees. Although no system is foolproof, implementing the tips mentioned in your cybersecurity plan can deter potential hackers, ensuring optimal safety.