How to Combat Cyber Threats in your Business
Emmanuel is a Small Business Consultant, Start-Up Advisor and Consultant…
Cyber threats in your business must not be overlooked because they can steal your data and destroy the credibility of your business. Although online businesses may have benefits, there’s also a greater chance of hoaxes and cyber threats. Therefore, safeguarding your business against cyber-attacks is crucial because, if not prevented, it may require reestablishing your business. In extreme scenarios, these attacks can force you out of business permanently because you might be unable to make up lost revenue and customer loyalty as clients want to feel safe during transactions. The good news is that you can always take preventative actions to combat cyber threats in your business, thus safeguarding your company before it’s too late.
Preventive Measures to Combat Cyber Threats in your Business
1. Install devices and network security software
Verify that your operating system and security applications are scheduled to update automatically. Updates might include vital security upgrades for recent malware and threats. Most updates allow you to schedule them at the most convenient time, typically after office hours. It’s imperative to consistently follow update prompts since they frequently fix serious security issues. Also, install security software to help prevent bugs on your business’s PCs and mobile devices. The software should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam filters to avoid compromise on your business gadgets. Moreover, setting up a firewall between your devices and the internet prevents your connection from viruses. Always maintain a robust firewall by regularly updating to the newest patches.
2. Use passphrases and authenticators
If possible, take extra precautions to make your security difficult to access. Instead of using passwords, use passphrases to secure networks and devices that host sensitive company data. Passphrases are phrases or collections of words that are used as passwords. Humans find them easy to memorise, but computers find them challenging to decipher. A secure passphrase must be at least 14 characters long and include a mix of capital and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters. For each of your accounts, use a different passphrase. In addition to using passphrases to prevent cyber threats in your business and protect your company data, multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be used to ensure that only legitimate staff are granted access. Before anyone can access their account, two or more forms of identification must be shown. Additional security for your accounts is provided by two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
3. Enable network encryption
The data that will be sent into and out of your company system needs to be encrypted after you’ve configured your authenticators. Before sending your data over the internet, encryption transforms it into a hidden code. Make sure your network encryption is enabled and that all data received and/or stored online is encrypted. This lowers the danger of theft, destruction, or tampering by limiting data access to parties that possess the encryption key. When utilizing a public network, you can enable network encryption by adjusting the settings on your router or by setting up a virtual private network (VPN) program on your computer.
4. Backup your data
Data backup is one of the cheapest ways to guarantee that your information can be retrieved in the event of a cyber-incident or computer issue. Additionally, it is a less demanding technique to prevent future attacks. Although firewalls, antivirus software, and other security measures may malfunction, keeping a backup provides you the advantage over attackers. To ensure the protection of your data, use a range of backup techniques, like routine incremental backups to a mobile device or cloud storage. Include weekly, quarterly, and yearly server backups as well. It should be regularly checked to see if this data is functioning properly and can be recovered. Store several copies of your backup offline, if possible.
5. Develop cyber security and data sharing policies
Your staff and device operators are responsible for your company’s security. Businesses should have clear cyber security and data sharing policies that inform staff on what is appropriate while using computers and visiting websites. Your personnel should receive internet safety instructions that inform them of the dangers they can encounter and their responsibilities for keeping your company safe. It is essential to teach them how to recognise, avoid, and handle cyber-attacks as well as use strong passwords and passphrases.
Keep track of all the computing hardware and applications that your company uses. All the hardware and software that your company employs must be documented. Any software and hardware that are no longer in use should be disconnected from the network, and sensitive data should be deleted. Older, inactive hardware and software won’t likely be updated, and they could be exploited as a “backdoor” by thieves to attack companies. In similar vein, you ought to deny access to former workers and people who have switched roles and no longer need it.
6. Build a safe online transacting environment
It’s crucial that you protect clients’ information because your company’s reputation will suffer if you misplace or compromise their information, and you might face legal repercussions. Ensure your company invests in a safe online transacting environment that protects stored customer data. Find out what your payment gateway provider can do to stop online fraud if you accept payments online. Consider purchasing cyber insurance to safeguard your company. Dealing with a cyber-attack may cost far more than simply replacing computers, enhancing security or repairing databases. Your company may benefit from the cost savings provided by cyber liability insurance coverage for attack recovery.