Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, cybersecurity must be at the top of your priority list. You might think that cybercriminals don’t have much to steal from you, but this is far from reality. The threat of cybercrimes is real, and whether you’re an established company or a small one, you’re equally vulnerable.
Nearly 50% of SMBs experienced security breaches in 2016. In addition, the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee found that almost 71% of attacks happened on businesses that had less than 100 employees. Even massive corporations such as Merck, Maersk, and FedEx have had to face huge losses due to ransomware attacks in the past.
It’s due to these reasons that you need to be prepared to deal with cyberattacks. Here are the best cybersecurity practices that you must follow.
1. Train Your Employees
Each employee of your organization is a point of vulnerability. If the cybercriminals manage to crack their devices, they may be able to get access to all your devices. This is why it’s crucial to educate all your employees about cybersecurity.
You must let them know the impact that any cybercrime can have on your business. Teach everyone how to protect their data and devices from cyberattacks. It helps to have regular sessions on cybersecurity in your office to ensure that everyone’s on the same page and updated with the latest happenings.
It also helps to have cybersecurity best practices in place for your business. You should consider documenting these practices so that everyone in your organization can refer to them whenever they wish to. Remember, your employees are your strongest line of defense against cyberattacks so you must train them well.
2. Invest in Cybersecurity
According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses fail within six months of a cyberattack. It’s thus always better to be prepared to deal with such attacks before they strike. You must invest in cybersecurity tools that can help you thwart these attacks. In addition, you can hire cybersecurity experts to check your digital infrastructure for any loopholes regularly.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also recommends all the SMBs to set up firewalls. These can work as great barriers between your data and cybercriminals. While it helps to have the standard external firewall, you should also consider putting up internal firewalls for added protection. Even if you have employees working from home, encourage them to install firewalls on their home networks, and provide them support for the same.
3. Regularly Back-Up Data
While this method doesn’t necessarily stop any cyberattacks, it does help in keeping your data safe. Even if cybercriminals do hit you with a ransomware attack, you can still have a copy of all your data. The SBA recommends all businesses to backup all their data. This includes word documents, spreadsheets, invoices, financial files, human resources files, etc.
It also helps to backup all the data on the cloud to ensure that it can be accessed from anywhere. If you save the data physically, try to place it at a different location to make sure that it doesn’t suffer from any physical damage. Lastly, keep checking your backups regularly to ensure that everything’s functioning well and is backed up correctly.
4. Update Your Security Software
While it helps to have security software and firewalls in place, it’s equally important to keep them updated. This is because cybercriminals are always on the lookout for new ways to break into your digital infrastructure. If your security software is outdated, it’ll not be able to defend your data.
Software updates can help you plug any loopholes in your security system to keep hackers away. This is why it’s crucial to update not only the software in your office but also the one installed by your remote employees.
5. Secure Remote Access
As more organizations are moving towards remote working, it’s become necessary to secure remote access too. You must ensure that the data and systems remain secure whenever anyone accesses them remotely. If you don’t secure remote access, hackers will be able to cripple your security infrastructure easily.
Apart from firewalls, you should consider adding two-tier authentication. This provides you with an added layer of security over the existing layers. It also prevents unauthorized people from accessing your systems. You should also consider limiting remote access to bare minimum functions to ensure that your data security isn’t compromised. Lastly, keep reviewing your server logs to identify any unusual activities.
6. Have a Strategy in Place
In spite of all your efforts to protect your organization from cyberattacks, hackers can sometimes manage to get the better of you. They may be able to break into your security infrastructure and cripple it.
In such a situation, it helps to have a strategy in place to deal with such emergencies. An emergency notification system is extremely useful during such a situation. You can easily inform everyone about the attack, and this can help you take prompt action against it. It can also help you minimize your data and monetary losses.
It would also help if you can outline the steps that your employees need to take when the alarm is sounded. This can help you respond to the cyberattack in a better way. You must teach these steps to your employees when you’re training them about cybersecurity.
Having a plan to secure your organization from cyberattacks is essential to safeguard your data. You should teach cybersecurity best practices to your employees and also have a plan in place to deal with cyberattacks. It’s equally important to install the latest cybersecurity software and keep it updated. You should consider using both external and internal firewalls and also secure remote access. Lastly, backing up your data regularly can help you keep it safe even if ransomware attacks hit you.
What are the other measures that you can take to protect your data from cybercriminals? Let me know in the comments.