9 Important Cybersecurity Tips for Businesses

9 Important Cybersecurity Tips for Businesses

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How secure is your business network?

With the average cost of a cybersecurity breach now over $200,000 your security isn’t something you can ignore. When it comes to protecting your business, there are certain things you need to know.

Read on for 9 of our best cybersecurity tips.

1. Educate Employees

Training your employees is the quickest way to protect your business from cyberattacks. You might picture a hacker is a far off country, going to huge lengths to break into your business’ network. Generally, this isn’t the case.

In most cases, it’s a simple phishing email that will compromise you. Make sure employees know the basic safety measures and what to do if something isn’t right. This will help prevent these attacks from succeeding.

2. Track Personal Devices

If you’ve got employees that need access to company data on the go, they may use their personal devices. If your employees are using their mobiles, laptops, tablets, etc, put a policy in place.

Your network administration should install monitoring software and set automatic security updates. Make sure they’re changing their login details often, too.

You don’t have to invade personal privacy, but you can protect your business. Employees should be aware that they can put your network at risk by using personal devices.

3. Use Firewalls

A firewall is a group of programs that stop outsiders from getting access to a private network. Make sure that every device on your network has a personal firewall installed and active.

Even if employees are working from home it’s important that they are also protected by a firewall if you want to avoid cyber attacks. Firewalls aren’t just for personal devices. Make sure your whole network is protected by an enterprise firewall as well.

4. Secure Your Wi-Fi Networks

If your business network uses Wi-Fi, it’s important that you keep it hidden, encrypted, and secure. Hide your network, by setting your routers to not display the network name (or Service Set Identifier – SSID).

Then, protect your network with a strong password or passphrase. For extra security, you can also whitelist only pre-approved devices. This will stop attackers from getting onto your Wi-Fi.

5. Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication gives an extra step of security. For accounts you want to keep extra secure, you don’t have to rely only on a username and password. This extra step usually involves entering a code that’s sent to a mobile device or email.

You might be familiar with this already, as most banks ask for it with their online services. It only takes a few moments to set up but keeps those important accounts extra secure.

Only those who should access the account can get in, not a cybercriminal that’s stolen username and password.

6. Use Passphrases

Use passphrases instead of passwords. A passphrase is a sentence that combines letters, numbers, and symbols. They’re more effective than simple passwords. Passwords aren’t that secure and are easy to hack.

You can still use simple words but they’re strung together adding complexity. Passphrases meet complexity requirements with ease. This is especially the case if you add a few numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters.

The more complex the password, the harder it is for someone to hack it. Complex passwords are hard to remember, so we often write them down to make it easier for ourselves.

With passphrase, you can make it a line from a book, or song. They’re complex enough to keep the network safe, but they’re a lot easier to remember. No more post-it notes making it easy to get someone’s password anymore. There’s no surprise that the FBI recommends passphrases instead of passwords.

7. Backup Your Important Data

Have backups of data and information on all your computers. Your critical data will include:

  • Word documents
  • Electronic spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • HR and Employee files
  • Financial information
  • Performance data
  • Accounts receivable/payable files

Get a backup system that will do it automatically. If not, schedule this at least weekly. You want to store copies of your data offsite, or on the Cloud.

8. Audit Your Active Directory of Users

You’re already conducting regular audits in your company. So, it makes sense to audit your employee accounts as well.

It’s especially important to review who has administrative access. They have the ‘keys to the car’ so to speak. What this means is complete access to all company files, create new user accounts, and review other users’ permissions.

A common goal for most hackers is once they get into a network, they set up admin accounts. It puts them in control and locks you out.

If you audit accounts and privileges often, you can spot any accounts that look dodgy. And if there’s an old employee with full access still, you can shut the account down. It lets you keep your accounts tidy, relevant, and safe.

9. Update Programs and Operating Systems

Vulnerabilities can hit at any time, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are complex and need a lot of time and manpower to fix. Others could be as simple to fix as running an update.

When developers find new vulnerabilities, they’ll launch patches to fix them. By installing these patches when released, you’ll protect your system from these vulnerabilities. If you aren’t updating, you’re leaving your business exposed to hackers. This puts you, your company, and your customers at risk.

Your network administrators can put together an update management program. This will scan and check devices on a regular basis to check if they need updating. If they do, these get done as a priority to make sure you’re never exposed more than necessary.

Cybersecurity Tips For Business

Cybersecurity is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Following these cybersecurity tips will go a long way to ensure your network is safe and secure. Cyber threats are always evolving, so make sure you keep your systems, and staff, up to date.

Cybersecurity is an evolving topic that requires constantly reading updated news. If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts.

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