In today’s tech-driven business landscape, the threat of cyberattacks is ever-increasing. A startling statistic reveals that 60% of businesses have suffered a cyberattack in the last year alone. This reality underscores the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures, such as GuidePoint’s cyber measures. Large corporations and businesses of all sizes are at risk, highlighting the need for expert cyber assistance to safeguard against these pervasive threats.
So what can you do to protect your business from cyber threats? Here are seven simple tips that will help keep your data and systems safe.
Implement Strong Password Policies
One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your business from cyber threats is to implement strong password policies. Make sure that all employees use unique passwords that are at least eight characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, requires employees to change their passwords every 90 days.
On the other hand, avoid using common words or phrases, personal information, or consecutive numbers and letters. These can be easily guessed or hacked. For example, you should avoid using words like “password” or “1234”. There are also password managers that can help create and store strong passwords.
Install Security Software
This software will help detect and remove malware, viruses, and other malicious software from your computers and devices. To be effective, security software needs to be regularly updated with the latest security patches. Many security suites also come with firewall protection, which can help block unauthorized access to your network.
Additionally, if your business uses cloudification or IoT, be sure to install security software that can manage connectivity and protect against vulnerabilities. Some of the security issues a reliable security platform can help with are data breaches, malware, viruses, and phishing. It should also give you information about any devices that are trying to connect to your network and allow you to control what they can access.
Conduct Regular Penetration Tests
Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, is the practice of simulating a cyberattack on your systems to identify vulnerabilities. This allows you to proactively find and fix any weaknesses in your security measures before they can be exploited by hackers.
There are several types of penetration tests, such as network-based, application-based, and physical. Also, depending on the size and complexity of your business, you may want to consider hiring a third-party CREST-accredited provider to conduct these tests. These providers have been rigorously assessed and certified by CREST, an internationally recognized organization that specializes in information security. Investing in regular CREST penetration testing is the best way to keep your business one step ahead of cyber threats. Just be sure to address any issues that the tests uncover promptly.
Encryption is the process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your data if they were to somehow get past your security measures. There are two main types of encryption: symmetric and asymmetric.
Symmetric encryption uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data. This key must be kept secret, as anyone with access to it can decrypt your data. Asymmetric encryption uses a public and private key. The public key is used to encrypt data, while the private key is used to decrypt it. This means that the private key does not need to be kept secret, as only the holder of the private key can decrypt the data.
There are also various types of encryption algorithms, such as RSA, DES, and AES. You should consult with a security expert to determine which type of encryption is best for your business.
Back Up Your Data
Backing up your data is important in case of a security breach or other data loss. Many business owners think that their data is safe because it is stored on their computers or in the cloud. However, this is not always the case. Computers can crash and servers can be hacked.
That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan in place. You should back up your data regularly and store the backups in a secure location. There are various types of backup methods, such as local backups, cloud backups, and off-site backups. And which one you use will depend on your specific needs.
Restrict Access To Sensitive Data
Another way to protect your business from cyber threats is to restrict access to sensitive data. This data should only be accessible to employees who need it for their job. For example, if you have customer credit card information, only the employees who process payments should have access to it.
You can restrict access to data in several ways, such as through user permissions, role-based access control, and data-level security. User permissions allow you to control which users have access to which data. Role-based access control allows you to control what type of access different users have. And data-level security allows you to encrypt and control access to specific data.
You should also consider using two-factor authentication (2FA). This is an extra layer of security that requires users to provide two pieces of evidence before they can access data or systems. The first piece of evidence is usually something they know, such as a password. The second piece of evidence is usually something they have, such as a code from a text message or an app on their phone.
Educate Your Employees
It’s important to educate your employees about cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them. Employees should know how to spot a phishing email, for example, and what to do if they receive one. They should also know not to click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
You can provide training to your employees through in-person sessions, online courses, or even security awareness programs. These programs can help employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and how to protect themselves and their businesses.
Your employees should also know what to do if they suspect that their computer has been infected with malware or if they receive a suspicious email. They should know how to report these incidents to the proper authorities.
Monitor Your Network
It’s important to monitor your network for any unusual activity. This can help you spot potential threats and take action to mitigate them. There are various tools you can use to monitor your networks, such as an intrusion detection system (IDS), an intrusion prevention system (IPS), and a firewall.
An IDS monitors your network for any suspicious activity and sends alerts when it detects something. An IPS block suspicious activity before it can cause any damage. And a firewall blocks all incoming traffic from unknown or untrusted sources.
You should also consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your data. A VPN encrypts all traffic between your devices and the VPN server. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data. Additionally, a VPN can also provide you with a new IP address, which can help you avoid being blacklisted.
While there are many ways to protect your business from cyber threats, following these seven tips is a good place to start. By implementing these tips, you can help keep your business safe from potential cyber threats. And if you’re ever unsure about what steps to take, consult with a security expert.