In the era of computers everywhere, your business is prone to cyber threats ranging from the simple to the devastating. In this guide, we will cover some of the basics to ensure your business and its valuable assets are protected. So without further ado, let us begin…
The first tip is to keep your systems up-to-date. This can be achieved by applying the latest patches and fixes to devices across the spectrum of your business. From smartphones and laptops to critical servers and infrastructure devices, each device within your business should be as up-to-date as possible to reduce potential vulnerabilities. This also includes updating the security software running on your devices, such as antivirus and firewalls.
In addition to keeping your systems and software updated, you need be vigilant of patch day attacks. These are attacks that exploit vulnerabilities identified just as updates are released. These types of attacks are also known as zero day attacks because they often take place within a very small time-frame from when a vulnerability is publicly released. Combating these threats can be difficult, but prioritizing the latest virus definitions and scheduling business downtime to apply critical updates is good step in the right direction.
The next tip is to always utilize secure passwords, with particular emphasis on character length as longer passwords take exponentially more time to crack. This reduces the chance of your password being identified. Additionally, do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Vetted password managers such as LastPass can help store multiple passwords.
Setting secure passwords is part one, the next part is to frequently and routinely change them to ensure they remain difficult to crack. Try changing passwords monthly, or at least a couple of times per year. Again, password managers can help make remembering and managing these passwords relatively easy, many of which remind you to change your passwords regularly.
Better Safe than Sorry
Prevention is better than the cure and being cautious of unsecured networks and foreign devices is a good way to prevent cyber-attacks. This can be done by avoiding connecting your devices to public WiFi hotspots or other open networks such as those found within coffee shops and hotels. Cyber attackers can easily take advantage of these networks and comprise your device and the network itself.
If you must connect to these networks, be sure to have appropriate software on your devices to mitigate potential attacks. Software such as firewalls and VPNs can help defend your devices from cyber attackers on dubious networks.
As the saying goes, expect the best, plan for the worst. Following this advice, ensuring you have regular and up-to-date backups of critical business data is essential. Software such as Google Drive and Dropbox can make storing key documents in the cloud straightforward and free. However, more robust solutions should be considered, such as implementing a dedicated backup and/or disaster recovery solution.
To conclude, as each day passes, more and more businesses are implementing IT solutions within their organization. From simple spreadsheets to e-commerce websites, IT is at the heart of many businesses and continues to dominate modern business. As such, it is vital, at the very least, that you keep your accounts protected with secure passwords and ensure you take the appropriate precautions to mitigate exposing your business to cyber threats. Overall, while no business is hack-proof, there are several deterrents that you can employ to protect your business.