Cybersecurity has become more significant than ever before. In this article, we will share simple yet vital tips and tricks for securing your online business. So let’s get started!
It doesn’t matter if you have a small or a big business; protecting your company’s data has become more imperative than ever before. Cyberattacks are on the rise, and if you don’t want to jeopardize your company’s data, you must know how to protect it.
A big part of any company is its wealth of data; it stores legal documents, customer information, records, and other information. All such details are constantly at risk of being hacked or destroyed, which is why appropriate actions must be taken.
In this article, we discuss a few important tips to keep in mind if you wish to better protect your company’s data.
1. Set Up Strong Passwords
This might seem a no-brainer, but many employees do not know. Ask your employees to create strong passwords because it is one of the best ways to ensure no data breaches. While strong passwords do not certainly guarantee that your data won’t be jeopardized, it is still a great step towards making it difficult for hackers to breach the system.
Ask your employees to set passwords that are not obvious. Do not use simple words that are easy to crack. Instead, use words with 12 characters, if not longer. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase characters, symbols, and numbers.
Moreover, it is also imperative to change the passwords frequently. On top of that, the employees should also ensure not to share the passwords with anyone outside the company or write them down somewhere for someone to see. Remember, a recent study shows that 42% of people use their names in passwords.
2. Impose Social Media Policy
While social media platforms have transformed our communication, they can also be treacherous and pose major privacy concerns. That is why you should ask your employees to use their social media wisely.
Besides social media platforms and the company’s social media pages, you can monitor the employees’ work emails on platforms like Microsoft Outlook to see that no sensitive data is being shared. If possible, ask your employees not to use social media platforms, especially on company networks, unless needed for the job itself.
3. Make Sure To Trust Your Employees
Let’s admit it: cybersecurity is a big concern nowadays, and you need professional people to secure your business and information properly. That is why employ a cybersecurity specialist who can lend their knowledge to the company and protect it in the best ways possible. On top of that, you also need employees with whom you can ensure that your information is protected.
That is even more important for companies that exclusively deal with sensitive data and large amounts of customer information. To ensure that the employees you are hiring can be completely trusted, it is recommended to conduct background checks. SignalHire is a great example of a tool that allows you to learn about the people you are hiring.
Security isn’t only about the internet or cybersecurity. Physical security is also a big factor for companies, which is why you must secure the building and ensure that the employees you work with are trustworthy.
4. Install AntiVirus Software
Antivirus software has become indispensable for any device. As a company that deals with important data all the time, you must have antivirus software installed on all the devices of the company. These software run in the background and fight threats like viruses, malware, and bots. Once a threat is identified, immediate action is taken to eliminate it.
Usually, every OS has its version of an antivirus, which you must always keep updated. But, it is also suggested that you install a third-party antivirus software tool to add another layer of protection. And this shouldn’t be restricted to just the devices at the offices. Make sure that the work-from-home employees are also following these safety measures.
5. Create Frequent Backups
While protecting your company with tools and security measures is important, it is also essential that you back up your information so that you don’t lose the entirety of it in case of any mishap. Documents, financial information, spreadsheets, communications, human resource files, and other valuable information must all be backed up.
It is best to set automated backups since they will happen automatically, without you needing to remember them every time. Store the backups in a location you trust and know is secure, and most importantly, check the backups frequently to ensure that they are happening properly.
6. Have a Cybersecurity Plan Ready
Cyber-attacks are not announced, which means they can happen at any moment without any of the employees in your company having a clue. Thus, ensure that your employees are aware of such situations and know what needs to be done. For that, you must acquaint them with a cyber security plan beforehand.
This will let them know the company’s vulnerabilities and what can be done to reduce such vulnerabilities. If your company has an IT team, it is best to discuss it with them. But, even beyond the IT department, every employee must be able to exercise some basic security measures themselves.
7. Dispose of Company Devices Properly
Companies require countless devices to carry out business processes. But, when it comes to disposing of them, oftentimes, companies need to correct the mistake of not erasing the data on them appropriately. Whoever comes across that device next might end up accessing the information, which is a major security risk. If you think that just deleting the files is enough, you couldn’t be more wrong.
You must erase the hard drive so that no trace of data remains there. Formatting also only sometimes works. Therefore, we recommend you choose a tool that will allow you to make all the information completely unrecoverable. Make sure to destroy your drive, too, as an added protection physically.
8. Make Security The Priority For Everyone
There is often a misconception that security is simply a company problem rather than an individual workplace issue. However, cyber attacks often happen due to employees becoming careless. That is why companies need to hold meetings and make the employees understand that data security is a collective concern in which every employee must take part.
Their priority should become keeping the workplace safe, and workers must be educated in identifying security threats. Security is more than just technology or strategy; it is also the collective effort of all the employees to make sure that no data is getting leaked or shared where it shouldn’t be.
9. Install Firewall Program
Just like companies must have antivirus software at all costs, they should also have firewall systems. This software monitors all outgoing and incoming traffic, per rules set beforehand. The main purpose of a firewall is to create barriers between trusted and untrusted networks. Firewalls can be software and hardware-based, and we suggest both for the utmost protection of company data.
After installation, you can choose whatever rules you wish, and the software will filter undesirable data accordingly. This will allow you to customize what level of protection you want for your company.
10. Alarm System Installation
As already mentioned, security isn’t restricted to only the digital world, but it should also be implemented in the workspace to mitigate physical risks. A great way to do that is by installing alarm systems. This will let the company know if someone who’s not supposed to us entering the building.
Apart from alarm systems, security cameras, and motion sensors, along with a few other technologies, must also be put up to comprehensively combat security threats.
11. Consider Mobile Devices Too
Mobile devices aren’t any less than computers nowadays, which is why professionals store a lot of vulnerable data on their smartphones to access them on the go. However, no matter how convenient this is, it is also quite risky. It would help if you asked your employees to take appropriate measures to protect the data on their devices.
One great way to do that is by keeping a strong password that can’t be easily cracked. Furthermore, ask your employees to also frequently update the OS and other features on their phones, updated, leaving no opportunities for cyber-attacks to happen.
Fighting cyber-attacks isn’t easy, but it isn’t entirely impossible either. Businesses must remain cautious of the security flaws in their network and take measures to identify and reduce vulnerabilities in the network. Apart from the basic security measures like setting up strong passwords or installing antivirus software, more serious measures should also be taken, especially if the company has loads of data to deal with.
In this article, we have discussed several security tips that every company, big or small, must follow to shield itself against the rising threats of cybercriminals. And, if your company can afford it, we strongly recommend building an IT security team, especially if a huge portion of your company has to deal with vulnerable customer information.