5 Ways To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Dear Entrepreneur,

Technology advances continually, so also cybercrime continues to evolve, with new threats emerging every year. Hackers are getting more intelligent and sophisticated and are continually developing new methods to exploit businesses online. This menace does not only affect large businesses, it also affects small businesses. There is a prevalent misconception by small business owners that your company is too small to be a target. Unfortunately, this is untrue. With the increasing automation of attacks, small businesses have become more vulnerable and may face targeting by attackers numbering in the hundreds or even thousands at once. Some of these security threats could be phishing attacks, ransomware, malware attacks, and so on. In this article, we will discuss five ways to protect your business from cyber threats.

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IMPLEMENT MULTI FACTOR AUTHENTICATION AND STRONG PASSWORDS: Multi-factor authentication (MFA) involves using extra security or additional forms of identification before a user can get access to your business system or network. When users log into an account, MFA adds an additional layer of security to the authentication process. Having multi-factor authentication will require the user to provide an additional form of identification, such as a fingerprint, Face ID scans, a token, special code or notification codes on trusted devices. In addition, it is important to use strong passwords for your business accounts and separate passwords for each department. A strong password should be long, complex, unpredictable and unique.  This means using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

ORGANIZE SECURITY TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES: Anotherway to protect your business from cyber threats is to educate your employees on the potential dangers of cyber-attacks. Many cyber-attacks are initiated through social engineering tactics that involve tricking employees into divulging sensitive information. By testing and training your staff to recognize phishing attempts and report them, these solutions enable you to safeguard your workforce. It is important to educate staff members on fundamental security procedures and regulations, such as the need for secure passwords, and set acceptable Internet usage rules that spell out the consequences of breaking the company’s cybersecurity rules and provide guidelines on how you manage and protect customer information and other important data. A cybersecurity culture that permeates your entire organization is one approach to increase the return on your investment in employee training. Make sure you and your management team uphold sound cybersecurity procedures since culture building must start at the top.

INSTALL ANTIVIRUS APPLICATIONS AND REGULAR UPDATES: Businesses that have robust technology defenses in place can stave off malware attacks. To help avoid infection, install security software on the computers and other devices used for business. Ensure the software has anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam filters. For example, Norton Security provides real-time protection against existing and emerging malware, including ransomware and viruses. Make sure to set up automatic updates for your operating system and security applications. Installing updates is essential to keeping your business systems secure as important security improvements for current viruses and assaults may be included in updates. Important security holes are fixed through updates, thus it is crucial to follow update prompts always. Cybercriminals often use known exploits or flaws in your software to gain access to your system. Plugging those exploits and vulnerabilities can reduce the likelihood that you will become a cybercrime target.

REGULAR DATA BACKUP: Having a reliable backup plan is also a method of protecting your business from cyber threat. It will enable you recover lost or deleted data and minimize the impact of any cyber-attack. Make it a routine to back up your files to a cloud storage such as Google Drive or an external hard drive. In the event that your office is broken into or vandalized, having separate storage for portable devices offsite will give your company a backup plan. This will not only make your data secure but also easily retrievable.

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CONDUCT REGULAR SECURITY AUDITS: It is important to hire anIT staff or a cybersecurity professional to conduct regular security audits of your business’s systems, networks, and applications. This security audit will identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses that if left unchecked, could lead to a security breach. It will also help you to determine the effectiveness of your cybersecurity measures and identify any gaps that need quick attention. In addition, the audit may recommend repairing databases, boosting security, or replacing laptops, which are some of the costs, associated with responding to a cyberattack.

Parting Thoughts

Cyber-attacks can pose serious threats to businesses. Cyber-attack will cost you as a business owner a lot, apart from monetary costs, there could also be reputational damages, and legal punishment amongst others. It is therefore the responsibility of every business owner to ensure they can keep their businesses safe from cyber-attacks. Hackers will continue to look for loopholes and weaknesses that they can use to attack various organization. Ensure that you stay conscious even of your actions online. Apart from the few tips mentioned above, always cross check before you click on any link either from a trusted client or from a new client. It is also worthy to note that not every staff member should have access to the company files as this could also be in itself a threat to the organization.

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