Cybercrime is a real threat. According to the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), 47% of American adults have had their personal information exposed by cyber criminals and 1 in 3 homes with computers are infected with malicious software.
For businesses, the threat of a cyber attack is even greater. Cyber criminals tend to hack those with more money, which make businesses an obvious target.
Whether you own a small business or a large one, protection against cyber threats is a must. Without it, you run a serious risk of exposing your business and its customers to theft.
So here are seven ways you can improve cyber security at your business:
1. Use strong passwords
First, it’s important to have all company employees use strong passwords. This means creating passwords that are long and use a variety of characters (letters, numbers, and symbols).
Avoid predictable passwords like “123456” or “password” since these are easy for hackers to guess, and don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. If you have trouble remembering multiple passwords, use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password.
Also, be sure to have passwords changed periodically. That way, they are less likely to be cracked.
2. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)
On top of having strong passwords, it’s important to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA), sometimes known as two-factor authentication or 2FA.
MFA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring users to provide an additional piece of identifying information. For example, it may require you to enter a one-time code sent to your phone, provide a fingerprint or eye scan, or respond to a voice recognition prompt.
These days, MFA is offered by most online accounts, so opt in whenever possible.
3. Secure your devices and network
Next, secure your company devices and network. Among other things, this means keeping up with software and operating system updates and patches, using a web application firewall (WAF), installing anti-spyware and anti-malware software, using a virtual private network (VPN), turning on spam folders, and using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software.
The more layers of security you implement, the better.
4. Perform regular data backups
Another way to improve your company’s cybersecurity is to regularly backup its data. This is in case it gets lost or corrupted. You never know when a cyberattack could leave your business unable to function. Storing data backups in the cloud ensures it can quickly get back up and running again.
It also doesn’t hurt to store multiple backup copies. The more layers of redundancy you implement, the less likely it is that you’ll ever lose data.
Back up your data daily, weekly, or monthly. The best time of day for this is during the night since that’s when it will be least disruptive. You can also automate data backups so you don’t have to worry about initiating them manually.
5. Encrypt data
End-to-end encryption is an easy way to ensure data sent over the internet doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. It basically scrambles the data, and only the intended recipient with the right encryption key can unscramble it.
Use encryption to safeguard messages and other files you share online.
6. Educate your employees
None of the above tips do any good if you don’t train your employees on them. So conduct regular trainings that go over your security policies and the latest hacking trends.
For example, you can train staff on how to prevent phishing attacks, viruses, and ransomware. Teach best cybersecurity practices, and your business will be much better off.
7. Invest in cyber insurance
Lastly, invest in cyber insurance for when all else fails. Cyber insurance will protect your business against any financial losses incurred from a cyberattack.
Why run the risk of a cyber attack ruining your business when you can displace the risk and gain peace of mind?
Maintaining good cybersecurity is an ongoing process, but it’s well worth the effort.
If you can adopt all of the cybersecurity practices listed above, your business will be in much better shape.