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The digital age has provided a wealth of technological advances and revolutionised the business world, but it has also created new ways for criminals to commit crimes. It’s for this reason that it’s essential to adopt cybersecurity best practices.
Both large organisations and small firms are regularly targeted by cybercriminals, with the latter experiencing close to 10,000 attacks daily. With this in mind, businesses need to educate themselves on cybersecurity best practices and implement a variety of methods to prevent cyber attacks. In this post, we’ll highlight a few cybersecurity best practices for business owners.
Use a Firewall
A firewall is essentially the first line of defence against cyber attacks. It establishes a protective barrier between your business’s data and cybercriminals attempting to access it. While an external firewall is standard procedure, many of today’s businesses also install internal firewalls for additional security. If employees have access to company data on their own laptops — if they work at home, for example — you also need to ensure they have a firewall installed.
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need anti-malware software because none of your employees would open phishing emails. However, according to the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 32% of breaches involved phishing. Clicking a link in a phishing email allows the malware to install on a computer. Therefore it’s vital to have anti-malware software on all company devices as well as your network. Although your employees may be well-versed in the dangers of phishing emails, all it takes is one lapse in judgment or a particularly crafty email to undermine your network’s security.
Educate Your Employees
Educating your employees on your company’s cybersecurity best practices security policies is vital for protecting your data and preventing internal threats. As technology evolves and cybercriminals become savvier, it’s vital to update employees and inform them about new protocols. For employees to be accountable for breaches, they should sign a document stating that they are aware of the security policies and understand action could be taken if they fail to follow them.
Do you need the guidance of a skilled and experienced IT professional? Our experts can provide you and your employees with all the information you need to ensure you’re adopting cybersecurity best practice.
Safe Password Practices
Regularly changing employee passwords may be something of a pain, but a high percentage of security breaches occur because of weak, stolen or lost passwords. Although most businesses have a policy regarding passwords, that doesn’t necessarily mean they enforce it. In the digital age, the importance of password-protecting employee devices accessing your network cannot be stressed enough. As a general rule of thumb, for a password to be considered “strong” it should include upper and lowercase letters, numbers and also symbols. And for added security, all passwords should be changed every 60 to 90 days.
Regularly Back up Your Data
When it comes to cybersecurity best practice, your main focus will be to prevent as many attacks as you possibly can. Unfortunately, there’s always the possibility of being breached regardless of the precautions you have in place. Therefore it’s crucial to back up your data regularly - this includes word documents, spreadsheets, HR files, financial documents, databases and anything else on your network you can’t afford to lose. You also need to back-up all the data stored on the cloud and having a back up off-site will protect you against issues such as floods or fires at the office.
Seek the Help of a Professional
A successful cyber attack has the potential to do your business severe and irreversible damage while costing you a lot of money in the process — so it’s safe to say it’s something you’ll want to do your utmost to avoid. Here at ITRM, we offer a vast range of managed IT services that help businesses to maintain and enhance their technological capabilities. If you’re concerned about your company’s cybersecurity and think you could do with an upgrade, our IT security service ensures your customer and stakeholder data is safe and prevents the hassle and embarrassment of a leak or breach.
Want to know more about applying cybersecurity best practices to your business’s network? Get in touch today to discuss your IT needs or to find out more about our services.