Today’s small business owners need effective strategies for dealing with potential cyberthreats. Breaches of electronic security costs money, erodes trust, and can even completely destroy your business if allowed to go too far. Fortunately, strategies exist that offer business owners tools for circumventing and minimizing potential damage caused by cyber security hacks. Following are five ways that you can help safeguard your enterprise from those who wish to do it harm via cyber attacks.
Educate Your Employees
Ensuring that each employee understands the risks that cyberthreats pose to businesses and is informed of preventative measures cuts down on security issues significantly. Cyber security should be among the subjects discussed at employee meetings, and it should be stressed that simple procedures such as choosing difficult-to-guess passwords and changing them often go a long way toward keeping systems safe from outside forces. Those handling sensitive documents and other information should implement multifactor authentication as an extra layer of protection in the event that the password system somehow fails.
All cyberthreats don’t involve hacking, however. Social media interaction, for instance, may inadvertently provide competitors with too much information about your business. Educate your employees on effective online posting without giving away essential trade secrets. You should also enact official company security policies that provide employees with guidance in avoiding unwittingly creating security breaches with clearly spelled out consequences in the event that they violate your stated policies.
Use Antivirus and Anti Spyware Software Religiously
Ensure that all of the computers used in your business have strong antivirus and anti spyware software running at all times. Configuring the software to automatically apply all patches and updates substantially cuts down on human error. Make certain that you use the most recent versions of your chosen software.
Use Secure Networks
Network security is an essential component of protecting your business from cyber criminals and other online threats. You can prevent your WiFi network from being broadcast to others within signal range simply by configuring your router to keep that information private. You should also treat your WiFi password with the same level of care that you use to secure your most sensitive information. Make it extremely difficult for anyone to guess, change it often, don’t share it with anyone, and if it’s written down somewhere, keep access to that place under lock and key.
Back Up Your Data on a Regular Basis
Backing up your data on all of your business computers on a weekly basis helps ensure that critical information doesn’t inadvertently become lost. Do this even if you’re storing data on the cloud, particularly those files containing financial data and human resources documents. Choose another cloud-based service for backup and, if you decide to implement a hard copy backup system, be sure to store the materials in a secure, offsite location.
Limit Physical Access
Make sure that your workplace environment isn’t vulnerable to unauthorized users gaining access to computers. Laptops in particular provide easy targets, so make certain they’re locked up when not in use — even when employees are on lunch or taking a break. Only give administrative privileges to trusted key personnel, and implement a policy restricting access to employee workspaces. Do not allow employees to take their work laptops home with them.
Please feel free to contact C.D.'s IT Consulting LLC in Indianapolis at your earliest convenience (317) 522-1362 ext 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more advice and strategies concerning electronic security and other aspects of keeping your small business healthy and safe.