If a hacker were to try and steal your company’s sensitive data, would they be successful? Would they easily be able to access that information?

 

If the answer is yes, or you don’t know, it’s time you took a close look at the cybersecurity measures you have in place for your business — if you have them. If you don’t have such measures established, now is the perfect time to do so.

 

While the world of online business offers many wonderful benefits, it also comes with the threat of scams and security risks. A single attack could cost you thousands of dollars, jeopardize the sensitive information of your company, employees, and customers, and do serious damage to your reputation.

 

Cybersecurity Measures Your Business Needs Now

Fortunately, there are many tools and tactics you can use to protect your business from cyber thieves. The following are some simple steps that will prevent the unthinkable from happening while helping you maintain the confidence and trust of your customers.

 

Protect Sensitive Information

First, protect your information where it lives. By encrypting data that is stored or sent, and only giving appropriate staff access to it, you reduce the risk of theft, loss, or corruption.

 

Data Backups

Backing up your company’s data is one of the most important preventative measures you can take to protect your business. If any or all of your data is lost due to an attack, with regular data backups, it can be restored quickly and easily. Backs should include everything from your financial data to your customer’s information.

 

The good news? Data backups are surprisingly easy to put in place and affordable. Having more than one backup method ensures the safety of your valuable information.

 

The most important first step is determining what type of backups would best suit your individual business. Once you’ve decided on the method, ensure any portable devices used for the process are stored offsite and aren’t connected to any systems or computers used by the business. This ensures the data stored there can’t be contaminated. Also, it’s a good practice to periodically check your backup sources to make sure they are working properly and that you could retrieve your data at any time.

 

Computer and Device Security

Hackers and cyber thieves are not the only threats your business faces. Malware and viruses that can infect any device used for your business can also have devastating consequences. To eliminate the risk, make sure reputable security software is installed on all devices used. For best endpoint detection and response, ensure that it includes anti-spyware (software that mines devices for sensitive data for thieves), anti-spam filters, and anti-virus features. Also, keep it regularly updated.

 

Firewall security should also be established to protect any internal networks used, including portable devices.

 

Speaking of the computers and devices used by your business, keeping a log of all computer equipment and software used, and by which employees, will help prevent attacks and keep the risks fresher in the minds of your staff. Make certain your employees are knowledgeable about the use of portable hard drives, sticks, or any other removable data storage devices to prevent them from accidentally transferring malware from a home device to a device within your business. Also, make sure they are educated about online safety practices.

 

Passwords

One of the best security measures that can be used for safety is the responsible use of passwords. It’s also one of the most widely disregarded measures because people don’t like to learn new passwords and prefer them to be something easy to remember.

 

Creating strong passwords is crucial online. If it’s easy for you to remember, it’s even easier for a hacker to decode it. Passwords should be strong, changed at least every 90 days, never reused, and not used for every device or computer you have simultaneously.

 

Most importantly, remember that hackers would prefer access to your system at an administrative level. If you can disable such accounts without a negative impact to your business, or use a standard user account for day to day use, you reduce the damage a potential hacker will be able to inflict.

 

Security Policies

Establish security policies within your company so everyone understands what can be shared, for example on social media venues, and what can’t. Set rules for access to emails, data, and internet usage within your company. Review and update these policies often and make sure your employees have the latest information at all times.

 

Protect Your Clients

With the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) in effect as of May 28, 2018, it’s more important than ever that you protect the personal data of all of your clients and that you understand GDPR thoroughly. Ensure that their data, including any payment gateways, are properly secured, know and understand any and all privacy laws like GDPR that pertain to any of your clients, and make sure any business website has a well-written privacy policy in place that outlines what data is stored, how it is stored, and what it’s used for.

 

Protect Your Company

The cost of a cyber attack could be disastrous for a small business. Cyber insurance to protect your business might be an expense but will cost far less than restoring databases, strengthening security measures, and the replacement of equipment. While cyber insurance coverage can’t prevent a cyber attack, it can protect you and your business financially from the costs that could result from such.

 

Stay Informed

Keeping yourself informed about the latest scams and risks is one of the best ways to protect your business in this age of cyber threat. Signing up for alerts from agencies like the National Vulnerability Database will ensure you get up-to-date information on threats and solutions so you can best protect your business.

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