It’s no secret Data Breaches are expensive. In 2017 the average breach cost small/medium sized businesses $1, 027,053 USD. AskDegree provides the top 9 tips on how to protect your business from cyber threats.
1. NO PHISHING ZONE
Phishing scams occur when a cyber-criminal attempts to trick you into providing private information such as login credentials, banking or credit card information, or sensitive identification data such as your tax ID number. Remember to be suspicious of any “official looking (or sounding)” email, text message, or phone call that asks for you to divulge sensitive data or financial information. Always validate the requester prior to fulling their request.
2. CLICKER BEWARE
Do not open attachments or click links from email addresses you do not recognize. Avoid visiting unknown website or downloading software from unknown sources. Cyber criminals often use email attachments to send malware that once downloaded, can compromise your computer and all internal systems connected to the infected device.
3. P@SSW0RD STRENGTH
Create strong passwords by using a healthy mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using the same password for multiple websites and internal systems. When it comes to sharing, treat of your password like your toothbrush; (1) be sure to replace it multiple times a year, (2) do not share it with others, and (3) if it has been compromised immediately exchange it for a new one.
4. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Educate yourself and your employees on cybersecurity. Remain up-to-date with trending threats and pay close attention to data breaches impacting your industry. Establish an Internet Security Policy and hold employees accountable for maintaining constant compliance.
By now you probably know that firewalls are implemented to prevent outsiders from gaining access to data on your company’s private network. However, if you and your staff access operating systems from home devices you must also ensure firewalls have been established to protect home systems.
6. LIMIT ACCESS
Administrative privileges should be limited to highly trusted staff members. Each employee should be provided individual user profiles and access levels sufficient to fulfill their job functions, no more or no less.
7. BACKUP TO GET BACK UP QUICKLY
Critical data such as transactional records, human resources files, and financial records should be backed up at least weekly according to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). The FCC further advises the implementation of automatic data backup solutions. In the event of a debilitating malware attack, backup data will help your business get back up and running quickly.
8. LOCK DOWN
Be sure to password protect all your devices. If you need to step away from your phone, laptop, or tablet lock the device before leaving the area. Mobile devices hold a great deal of sensitive data and are easy to steal, invest in downloading data encryption tools to protect your device, for implementation information consult your device’s documentation.
We are all potential targets, both personally and professionally. Data breaches continue to rise, according to www.itgovernence.co.uk 20,836,531 records were leaked within the month of March 2018 alone. As breaches and cyber-attacks show no signs of slowing down; your best defense is an active offense, incorporate the above tips into your business’s cybersecurity program today.