Data theft, ransomware and other cyber attacks can have a devastating effect on any business activity, especially if one does not take appropriate security measures to avoid it.
Many businesses have been the victims of data theft and ransomware, which has disrupted major services and, worst of all, shut down stores. While there is no fool-proof way to keep hackers and other malicious people at bay, all you can do is maintain proper security measures and procedures.
Although most data breaches can be malicious, they are relatively easy to avoid and prevent. All you need to do to protect your business from being targeted is to invest in the most up-to-date XDR cyber security system. Unknown to many, you do not need to spend more than you can afford to protect your business. The top 10 simple, practical, but effective ways to keep your data safe and secure are outlined below.
- Create a formal IT security strategy
Every business, large or small, should have a specific security strategy outlining how to protect company data and resources and how to handle the situation in the worst case scenario. In place of this policy, you will have the upper hand and you will know how / how to respond to data breaches instead of making decisions in the heat of the moment. Creating IT security strategies is one thing; Another is to use it as a guide and make necessary adjustments and updates. The IT sector is constantly evolving; Let the neighborhood plan develop with it.
- Protect your network and computer from malware
Malware is one of the worst forms of intrusion into your business. This will help if you take appropriate steps to keep your network and digital devices (computers, laptops, etc.) safe and secure. The worst thing about malware is that it can run discreetly by collecting undiscovered, vital / harmful information on your computer system for a long time. However, you can protect yourself from malware attacks:
– Turn on / install a firewall: Firewall helps prevent unauthorized traffic and packets from entering your network and computer system. At least, turn on your router’s firewall, then start thinking about installing a more powerful firewall system over time.
– Install PC protection software: You will need a powerful PC protection software to detect and prevent the most known viruses and infections without affecting PC and network performance. Good security software should be able to deal with malicious websites, identity theft and hacking attempts in one place.
– Install anti-spam and email protection software: Most hackers use malicious email to gain access to networks and computer systems. Having a system for scanning all incoming / outgoing emails for malicious code and bugs and filtering them out can help reduce your risk of being targeted.
- Your wireless network is secure
Unlike wired networks, wireless networks are susceptible to breaches, especially if they are unprotected or if you use the default security settings. Leaving your Wi-Fi network open makes it possible for anyone to log in remotely and, if technically-intelligent enough, can take control of both the connected network and the computer system. Protect your wireless networks using potentially powerful security settings and use a unique key / password. Disappearing the network will go a long way in securing your business, and hackers and malicious people will continue to be the culprits.
- Keep your password secure
To remember dozens of online accounts and passwords, many people decide to use easy-to-remember passwords for all their accounts. Unknown to them, if someone guesses their passwords correctly, it will only expose all these accounts and profiles. Cybersecurity experts recommend creating a password that is at least 8 characters long, combining letters, numbers, and special symbols. For better security you need to change these passwords at least once every 3 months. Remembering complex passwords can be a challenge for many, as you may want to use a password manager. Password managers make it possible for employees to access data and profiles that have clearance without having to remember or write down passwords.
- There is a well-known plan for personal devices
According to this HR consultancy in Scotland, personal devices pose a serious IT security risk to your business, especially if one of them is already infected. Creating a plan to control the use of personal devices within the organization / business, however, can help mitigate most of these risks. That way you can touch a wide range of guidelines and policies on how these devices should be operated and where location tracking, internet monitoring and where possible relevant data should be deleted.
For employees who work remotely (with their personal devices), the business needs to make a provision about what they should do to avoid infecting the entire network. It has the advantage of working remotely, it presents a new security concern that should be handled efficiently.
- Enable automatic software and security updates
Software and operating system developers create and send software and security patches to help fix known vulnerabilities. Older and older operating systems and software are one of the easiest targets for hackers. Enabling automated software and security updates across systems helps systems get the latest updates upon release, keeping them more secure than ever. This makes it almost impossible for hackers to exploit the known vulnerabilities of previous software versions.
- Run a background check when hiring
Hackers can disguise themselves as new employees, which is why you want to be extra careful when hiring new employees. Running a background check for everyone interested in the position can help protect the business from internal threats. It would also be advisable to keep an eye on current employees, especially if one begins to show signs of depression and character change.
- Formulate clear guidelines on data disposal
How you handle company data (important or not) makes a big difference in terms of security. This is especially important when disposing of hard drives, older computers and anything else that may contain company data. Some of these systems may contain important data / information on how to access different systems or data in one. That said, create guidelines on how these should be handled so that no data falls into the wrong hands.
Formatting the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system, or deleting files and folders is not an option here. Even a cleanly formatted hard drive may contain files that can be recovered using a readily available data recovery system. Experts recommend using known tools to overwrite and retrieve data before disposing of a drive, computer or phone.
- Consider cloud-based services
If operating computer systems is too much to manage and secure, you should consider switching to cloud-based services instead. These service providers provide industry-grade level data protection that small businesses will not be able to afford. Thus the service provider is responsible for implementing various security measures, software patches and data storage / security.
- Sensitize your employees
Your employees play an important role in company data security. All of the above steps would be worthless if none of your employees understood data protection or knew what they needed. Experts recommend enrolling them for bi-annual refresher courses to educate them about various data protection measures and practices. This is a great step towards better cyber security within the company.