One of the last things you should do as a business owner is ignore cyber security. Cyber crimes have been a growing threat over the past couple of decades, and more work is being done remotely. Data is stored in digital form, emails and messages are being sent back and forth constantly, and every workplace has wireless internet access.
With so much more data out there, there are more chances for criminals to access it, or for mistakes to lead to breaches. Your company needs to take every measure possible to prevent them from happening. Data breaches can have several negative consequences for a business. For one, you could lose revenue if customers feel they can no longer trust you to keep their data safe. You may also have to face legal consequences if mistakes have caused your business to be non-compliant with financial or privacy laws. You could have to pay a lot of money to an extortioner or a recovery specialist to get data back. Lastly, you may face lawsuits from the people affected by the breach. Here are 4 tips for your company’s cybersecurity as we head into 2022.
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Much like self-defense classes help to educate people about possible threats and how to defend against them, your employees need education regarding cyber security. They need to know how their actions can prevent breaches, and what techniques cyber criminals tend to use to access secure data. If you implement a lot of changes all at once aiming to improve your security, your staff may not be as diligent as you want them to be if they do not understand why you are making those changes.
Passwords are the strength of your cyber security apparatus, but also the weakness. Many people have weak passwords for very simple reasons. The main reason is that simple passwords are easy to remember. If you have lots of passwords, you may choose a single word, and then alter the format depending on the parameters of the portal that you are trying to access. Having a weak password is bad enough. Having the same one across platforms is even worse. That means if a criminal gets that password, they will have an easier time accessing everything else.
Having a secure and effective way to manage enterprise passwords is crucial to improve your employees’ passwords. For example, with a password management tool, your employees can have more complex passwords without having to worry about forgetting them. They will be stored securely and easily accessed. With such a system, you or your IT can monitor passwords for strengths and weaknesses, and make sure that employees are being compliant with their password habits. Your data will be safer and you will have more control over it, no matter how many employees you have.
Working remotely has become more common over the years, and it only got more popular with the Covid-19 pandemic. At your company base, you can have control over the security of your network. However, you can’t have it over the networks people are using at home. Most people have unsecured wifi networks that are very susceptible to hackers and criminals who know what they are doing. To provide more secure access to the internet, provide your remote employees with virtual private networks (VPN). These create a separate network from the home one that is more secure and protected from those who want to access your data.
Everyone should be backing up data on a regular basis. You can have it done to a secure cloud server, or to local hard drives connected to individual devices. If you are storing things on a hard drive or a local server, make sure that there is a copy kept off site in case of a fire or other event that could damage them. Cloud drives are perfect since they are not affected by such things and can be accessed anywhere.
The importance of backups is to protect your company against ransom and extortion attempts. Criminals will block your data and ask for money to unlock if. If you have a backup ready to go, then you can simply bypass the hackers and get up and running again.
The other vital aspect of leading your business is to hire cybersecurity experts. By using various testing methods, they can analyze your system and try to find weak spots. Some of these methods include red teaming, app penetration testing, etc.
Cyber security should never be an afterthought. If you don’t secure your data against breaches and hackers then you are opening your company up to several negative possible consequences. Being properly secure is an investment in time and money, but in the long run it is worth it. The nature and methods of attack are constantly evolving, but you need to do whatever you can to keep your company secure. These tips will help you to do just that, so that your data is safe and your customers will keep their faith in you.