8 Key Cyber Security Best Practices for Keeping Your Business Safe
Is cyber security at the top of your list of business concerns?
If it’s not, it should be. Businesses and organizations are targeted every day by hackers. A data breach or successful security attack could be enough to bring down your business.
A cyber attack can damage your company’s reputation and customer trust beyond repair. That’s often why most businesses close within 6 months of a cyber attack.
How can you protect yourself and your business? It will take a lot of work and effort, but it is possible. Read on to learn the cyber security best practices that you can implement at your business.
1. Use Strong Passwords
This is one of the most basic ways to keep your data secure, yet businesses fail at it all of the time. Equifax, the billion-dollar company that suffered the worst data breach ever, was found to use a weak password for one of its databases.
The username and password were ‘Admin,’ which a hacker can expose in seconds. Don’t be like Equifax. Use strong passwords for all of your logins and change them often.
It will be hard to remember all of them. You don’t want to keep them saved in your browser, even though that’s convenient. It’s not a good idea to keep them in a text file, either.
Your best bet is to use a password platform like LastPass.
2. Educate Yourself About Cyber Threats
Knowledge is the best defense against cyber threats. Knowing what the ongoing threats are to your business will help you prepare and defend against them.
The most common ones are phishing attacks, ransomware, and malware.
Email is widely used by hackers to get into your networks. The reason why is because it works. Hackers regularly send a ton of email hoping that someone will click (or bite on the bait).
Malware is malicious software. There are many forms of malware, such as a computer virus or trojan horse.
Ransomware is a type of malware, too. This is being used to target businesses and government organizations. A hacker can take over a computer or an entire network. They’ll deny access to your files and systems unless you give them money.
3. Have a Strict Cyber Security Policy
A strong policy will address cyber security in three areas: prevention, detection, and response. You should address how you and your employees handle business technology, from emails to mobile devices.
The average time it takes to discover a security breach is 197 days. Hackers can exploit your systems for months on end and you may not even know it.
A detection policy outlines how often you will audit your systems to detect any breaches. A response policy is a critical component, too. That will give you and your team-specific steps to take to respond to an attack and minimize the damage.
4. Employee Training Is Crucial
One of the most incredible small business cybersecurity statistics is that many believe that they’re too small to be targeted. That is the biggest mistake that a business owner can make.
You have to approach cyber security from the standpoint of when you’ll face an attack, not if.
That starts by working with your employees. Employees are often the cause of security breaches because they’re not aware of the security threats.
You need to train your employees on the seriousness of these threats to your business and have them adhere to your cybersecurity policies.
5. Update Software
When software is released, it’s far from perfect. It’s often full of security holes that developers don’t discover until much later.
They’ll create a security patch and plug these vulnerabilities. This happens all the time with all types of software.
You have to use the latest versions of software to ensure that you’re using the most secure version.
6. Backup Data Regularly
Backing up your data regularly is a great way to protect your information in the event of an attack. It will minimize losses and
What needs to be backed up? Everything. Accounts payable and receivable files, documents and spreadsheets, financial information, databases, and website information.
You want to maintain backups of the information that you have on-premises and in cloud-based software. In an abundance of caution, keep your backups off-site in the event of a catastrophic event at your office.
7. Avoid Public WiFi Connections
You may have to do some work outside the office or meet with a client at a coffee shop. These public spaces are great for meetings, but they’re horrible for cyber security.
They offer free WiFi, usually over public networks that anyone gets access without a password. A hacker could access that network and compromise your data.
You can avoid public WiFi connections. An alternative is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which can create a secure connection no matter where you are.
8. When in Doubt, Don’t Click
You and your staff are bombarded with emails every single day. It’s easy to blow through your emails and click on links without thinking about the source of the email.
Everyone at your business has to think twice before they click on anything. If you’re not sure about the source of the email, don’t click on it.
Even if an email looks legitimate at first glance, never enter sensitive information like password or payment information.
Cyber Security Best Practices Will Protect Your Business
Your business is too important to ignore cyber security. The worst thing you can do is think that it won’t happen to you. One wrong click and your business could be held hostage unless you pay a hacker thousands of dollars.
You can avoid that fate by making cyber security a priority in your business. There are simple steps like these cyber security best practices that you can take that can protect you and your business.
Understanding the threats, training your staff, and having a documented policy are great first steps that you can take.
Do you want more IT tips for your small business? Check out this site often for more helpful articles.