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Security is a continual hot topic among most if not all IT leaders in small, medium and large businesses. Every day, new threats are emerging.
They include vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things devices and ransomware in crucial systems.
The existing threats are also evolving, such as malware that targets mobile devices, phishing scams over emails and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
Small and medium-sized businesses often cite lack of expertise, budget and time as the major reasons for failing to ensure proper security.
If your business is to be safe from cyber-attacks, you must undertake the necessary process to initiate protective measures.
The following are some of the ways you can secure your business with the right resources:
#1: Install anti-malware software
One of the most crucial mistakes people often make is thinking they are immune to having their security compromised by phishing emails.
This is having the wrong attitude. According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 30 percent of employees opened phishing emails. This percentage was up from 23 percent in 2014.
When an employee opens a phishing email, malware automatically gets installed on their computer. To be on the safe side, it’s prudent to install anti-malware software in all devices across the network.
#2: Document all cybersecurity policies
Often, small businesses tend to have informal procedures pertaining to cybersecurity. While this might be the case, it’s important to refrain from leaving cybersecurity just to intuitional knowledge and word-of-mouth.
It’s helpful to consult your government to get assistance on how to document your cybersecurity policies.
A good place to start is with a helpful resource guide put together by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) detailing the different ways to implement these types of policies.
#3: Consider using a firewall
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s important to have a barrier between your data and cybercriminals. Having a firewall acts as the first line of defense against cyber-attacks.
On top of the standard external firewall, most companies are now installing internal firewalls to complement the standard external ones. By doing that, you’ll be able to offer an extra layer of protection.
For the employees that work from home, you should consider offering firewall software as well as support to home networks. That will go miles in ensuring compliance.
#4: Consider using multi-factor authentication
It’s simple to set up a multi-factor authentication system to access your network.
This offers an additional layer of cybersecurity protection.
Of great importance to note is that cyber attackers might have the password. Nonetheless, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be able to access your secondary component.
For instance, you might put in measures to ensure that there’s a second verification needed. That means that something like a PIN can be sent to the phone of an employee in case of anything abnormal.
#5: Always enforce safe password practices
According to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, 63 percent of data breaches took place because of weak, stolen or lost passwords.
Therefore, while employees might find changing passwords regularly to be a hassle, it’s highly important for advanced password protection.
For optimized business security, employees must be required to utilize passwords with lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols and numbers.
All passwords need to be changed after every 60 days.
#6: Have plans for mobile devices
According to the Tech Pro Research BYOD Report, 59 percent of businesses presently allow BYOD.
Therefore, it’s very important to have a comprehensive and documented BYOD policy, which focuses on security precautions.
It must be a requirement that your employees create automatic security updates. Every device must need a password to access the company’s network.
Because of the rising popularity of wearables such as smartwatches, it’s important to include such devices in your security policy.
#7: Educate your employees
Has a computer in your network becomes compromised? Whether the intrusion came from a link in a Facebook app or an internal fantasy football email, your whole operation is certainly at risk.
You’re not the only one who should be vigilant when it comes to protecting valuable information in your company. Your employees must also be on the lookout.
Therefore, it’s your duty to train them effectively on how to avoid being victims of cyber-attacks.
#8: Backup all data regularly
Regardless of taking the necessary precautions, it’s possible for your data to be breached still.
Businesses must backup all their data, such as accounts payable/receivable files, human resources files, financial files, databases, electronic spreadsheets, word processing documents, etc.
Moreover, every business must back up everything in the cloud.
Make sure that physical backups are stored in a different location in case of flood or fire. You should also make sure that your backup is functioning correctly at all times by changing it frequently.
By doing this, you’ll make sure that you have the latest information within your backup.
#9: Consider hiring outside security resources
Enlisting an outside cybersecurity expert can drastically improve the odds of deflecting an attack.
While it might sound counterintuitive, small businesses can limit their risk to criminals by signing on with Internet-based data security vendors.
This is especially true as the quality of cloud-based business services continues to evolve.
Cybersecurity experts can be handy at helping to offload burdens that a small business doesn’t want to deal with.
Why your CCTV system needs the right cybersecurity
Recently, high profile cyber-attacks have utilized surveillance cameras as an entry point to the company’s IP networks.
All remote camera and surveillance access is usually transmitted through networks.
What does that mean? It means that without proper security, your surveillance network can be under a major threat. For instance, recording systems can be infected with malware and/or viruses.
Here’s how you can protect your system with the right cybersecurity:
- Secure your camera passwords.
- Always isolate your cameras.
- Ensure that the network is always on lockdown.
- Strictly purchase cameras only from firms with a high reputation for security.
- Consider having firewalls.
Security is certainly a fast-moving target. Cybercriminals are quickly becoming more complex in their operations.
To make sure that your business is secure with the right cybersecurity, it’s very important to prioritize security measures.
To be safe, your business’ security depends on remaining ahead of the latest technology and security trends.
Main Editor in Hooks.Guide, Embedded Software Engineer.