7 Ways to Protect Your Company From Cybercrime
Cybercrime is unfortunately now a regular occurrence and something all businesses should be taking into consideration. Cybercriminals do not target solely large companies, so all business owners should have cybercrime and cybersecurity and the top of their minds. This is even more important now that we have more people than ever working from home. Here we discuss 7 ways to protect your company from cybercrime
Use strong, unique passwords
This may seem like an obvious point but it is often a weak area in an organisation’s cybersecurity. Although understandably, having only one password to remember is easier, it is dangerous and if employees are doing this, they are putting the company at potential risk. People must use different passwords for each site they log in to.
In addition to this, employees should avoid simple passwords. Using letters alone is not enough. A secure password contains a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.
Companies can invest in password software. This can help store passwords in a secure way and can also help generate secure passwords. 2-factor authentication should also be used where possible. This involves sending out a code to a separate device, such as a mobile phone. The user cannot get access to a site without the password and the additional code, making the process much more robust.
Keep Devices Updated
It can often feel like your computer is continually asking to be updated and although it is tempting to ignore these notifications, delaying the update can have negative consequences. Updates are there for a reason. Your operating system usually asks for an update when they are fixing a potential issue such as a security issue. Regular updates ensure your software has all the latest fixes and results in software that is safer to use.
All business owners must ensure the devices their employees use are also installed with software that scans the operating system for malware and viruses. There is a lot in the marketplace to choose from, so if you are unsure which option is right for you, you should contact an IT specialist to help.
Updates are not solely for work desktop computers either. Employees should ensure all their devices including laptops, tablets, and mobile phones are up to date as well.
Regularly back up files
Data is one of the companies’ most valuable assets and if this data is compromised it can have devastating effects for everyone working there. If you are unfortunate enough to be targeted by a cyberattack, knowing you have your files safely backed up will be a lifeline. If you don’t, you leave your company in an extremely vulnerable position. Having a data recovery plan in place is one of the best ways to protect your business, so it is something everyone should be doing.
Where possible you should also ensure your data is encrypted. This means that if a hacker were to obtain your files, they will not be able to decode them.
Cloud solutions are available to help back up data regularly. Disaster recovery solutions are an efficient way to ensure your business is protected if you are targeted by cybercriminals
Train Employees in Cyber Security
Although you may have a cybersecurity plan in place, you must always share this information with your employees. Without their contribution and help, it will leave vulnerable areas in your plan which cyber hackers will target. All employees should understand the security policies and understand what they need to do on an individual level to ensure the business remains as protected as possible. For example, all employees should be trained to be wary when opening emails and always using unique passwords.
Install a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help make a network more secure. Just like firewalls, VPNs protect computer data by creating an encrypted connection over the internet or another less secure network. A VPN tries to hide you from hackers and ensure they cannot steal your company’s sensitive information, such as financial records. This is perfect when employees may be working from home or on the move and using public WiFi.
Set limitations on company computers
It is important that employees cannot download unauthorised software to their devices. Downloads should require approval from the system administrator. This can help prevent malware from infecting the company’s network and avoid any downtime associated with this.
Additionally, companies should ensure that individual employees can only access the information they require to carry out their job. Having user settings managed in this way helps reduce the risk of sensitive information getting leaked. Least Privilege access management means that access privileges can be organised by team members, job role, or department and means only a rare few individuals have access to everything.
Consider Physical Security
Although a lot of focus is correctly placed on cybersecurity, companies should not forget the need for physical security as well. Measures such as camera surveillance, key card access, or even biometric access to the building can all help secure the premises and company data even more.
Cybercriminals often target small to medium companies because they believe these companies to be easier targets. Therefore, all business owners must do what they can to protect their business from cybercrime. The methods above are just some of the things a business can implement to save their data.
Understandably, some businesses will find implementing these security measures challenging and potentially overwhelming. We are here to help.
ECL recognises that every client is different, and every client has a different IT support requirement. Whatever the size of your business, we can offer a support scenario to suit your needs.
Whether your business already uses Cloud services or you’re considering the Cloud as a possible way forward, talk to us first. We can provide anything from fully hosted IT infrastructures on our own ECL Private Cloud, to simple on-line backups. We can also give expert advice on Office 365 and other Cloud platforms.
How would losing access to your IT systems and data for days, or even weeks, affect your business? For many if not most companies this would be a nightmare scenario, with potentially very serious consequences.