As the internet technology becomes even more indispensable in the smooth functioning of any organization, big or small, the risk of cyber threats also increases. And don’t think that because you are a start-up, you’re not prone to attacks. The truth is – 14 million small businesses in the United States are at risk of a hacker threat.
Implementing an enhanced security system in your IT infrastructure is essential to securing your business from cyber-attacks. Additionally, there are simple ways to strengthen your cybersecurity.
Ways to strengthen your Cybersecurity
Use a reliable anti-virus software.
The United States Department of Homeland Security recommends using an anti-virus software and activating its auto-update feature to ensure that your cyber security is always up to date. Each computer device should have an anti-virus software installed.
This is the first and most important step towards guarding your vital information. Make sure that your computer firewalls are activated too.
Check the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website for the list of the most recent threats. They also provide monthly webinars and newsletters to educate business owners about the latest in cybersecurity.
Enforce password rules.
Make use of hard-to-guess passwords and enforce a guideline to be followed by your employees when creating their work email accounts.
It should include changing their passwords regularly, locking their computers when leaving their desk during breaks, and disallowing the use of company email accounts for non-work-related things.
Use custom software.
Many companies implement custom software development in their IT infrastructure for a higher level of security. Hackers don’t usually target custom software systems because these programs make use of unique patches and are harder to intrude than standard systems.
In addition to added cybersecurity, custom software systems provide for a streamlined process across various departments/teams within an organization.
Implement VPNs for all connections.
A (virtual private network) provides higher security measures than the standard networks. It allows users from multiple locations to communicate and collaborate through a highly secure network, even if they are connected to broadband or free internet hotspots.
In theory, all the traffic that passes through your VPN connection can’t be intercepted by anyone else. This makes it one of the safest mainstream ways to access company data.
However, take note that if your computer has been compromised with a malware already, connecting to a VPN is not a remedy. Clearing the bug with an antivirus is still the best way. Have a look here for a selection of VPNs or talk with your internet service provider about their VPN services.
Set up email security.
Email service providers, such as Google and Yahoo, provide added security features for organizations, which are often fee-based. If you’re working with your people remotely, you should prioritize setting up email security for all your employees.
You may also consider an enterprise email/application system such as Okta, OneLogin, or Microsoft Azure Active Directory for a more secure, easy-access tool for all apps that you use at work.
Update computers regularly.
Do a monthly cleanup of limited-duration products that are no longer in use to get rid of log-in information, credentials and other sensitive information that might be associated with them.
Uninstall such apps and programs to limit unauthorized access to your business files and information. Regularly updating and cleaning all computing devices will also ensure that no worms or viruses are thriving in your systems.
Know your other security options.
It’s better to consult with software developers or cybersecurity specialists to know what type of security features are best suited for your business.
Note that each business is unique and may require a certain level of security. Needless to say, the more dependent your business is to technology, the more you need cybersecurity.
For example, if you operate an online shop or e-commerce business, an app, or other online services, you will need a higher level of protection against hackers and other threats.
Designate an IT team.
If there are plenty of people working in your organization, it would be easy to track and monitor cyber threats if there is a dedicated team in charge of maintaining your IT infrastructure.
They will be the go-to people of your employees if their accounts have been compromised or if they have questions/issues with their accounts.
Designate a person to contact for more information if there is a problem. Your IT team will also be in charge of creating a playbook as the main reference for all your employees in order to prevent cyber threats within your organization.
A cyber attack can adversely impact your business. It can affect your standing and consumer trust and could lead to a massive loss.
Regardless if your company is small or big – it is still prone to hackers. With these tips, you can improve and strengthen your cyber security and protect everything that you’ve worked hard to achieve.