How to protect your business
For organizations of every size and type, data security is essential for IT. Hackers are constantly finding ways into our data, which requires constant vigilance by business owners. Being proactive is the key to protecting yourself and your business from data theft.
Start by creating a data security plan. This may entail working with outside service providers and designating one or more employees to coordinate the program. The program should be flexible since circumstances and risks to customer information are highly fluid. A stable plan starts with performing background and screening checks on potential employees during the hiring process.
Thieves will send emails pretending to be from existing customers, a potential client, financial institutions, etc. Create an educational program for all employees to understand the dangers of phishing emails, opening links or attachments from suspicious email addresses, or answering phone calls from unknown numbers. Be sure to purchase top-notch security software that includes a firewall and anti-malware/anti-virus security software. Use this type of software on all devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, routers, etc.
Adopt strong password protection. Passwords should be a minimum of 10 characters and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Do not reuse passwords and make sure not to use personal information. Always use unique usernames and passwords for all accounts and devices. For extra security, consider implementing a multifactor authentication process.
Encrypt all sensitive files and emails. Encrypted files should require a password to open. Make it a priority to back up pertinent information and store any external drives in a secure location. In addition, limit access to pertinent business or customer data to only employees who need to know.
- Encrypt your data. Software programs are available to help you do this.
- Use strong passwords and change them often. The longer the password, the better.
- Back up your files often, daily if possible. Using the cloud is a great option.
- Avoid public WiFi. If you do one thing, forbid all use of public WiFi for work activities.
- Provide alternatives such as a mobile virtual private network (VPN) for employees to use when they’re not in the office.
- Install antivirus software and use firewalls to protect you from unwanted intrusions.
- Keep your operating systems up to date with the latest security features.
- Develop policies for suspicious emails. Educate your employees on how to recognize phishing and other suspicious emails.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when dealing with cybercrime. Cyberattacks have become common, and there is no better investment for your business than a good security plan. If you aren’t confident you can create one on your own, hire an expert.