The digitization of business processes brought both new opportunities and threats to the business environment. Thanks to all the latest technology, business has become more productive and cost-efficient, but the interconnectivity also makes data vulnerable. Data breaches are a regular occurrence in the business world. Both large and small companies are victims to hack attacks, but small businesses are the most exposed.
Hackers know that many small companies don’t put as much effort into their cyber security as large companies. The hackers often use unsophisticated methods because the victim didn’t practice basic security measures. Your business doesn’t have to be a victim; there are ways to protect your data from these attacks and keep your business secure.
Train Your Employees on Digital Safety
Your staff is an integral part of your security. So it is vital that you train staff on fraud detection and awareness. Without training, staff members become a vulnerability that hackers will exploit. Your team should be able to detect threats from within or outside your organization and be empowered to act upon them. An accounting anomaly or a false email address are often things an employee on the ground can detect faster than an audit.
Phishing attacks are an attack that an alert staff member can quickly identify if they know the warning signs. A well-trained staff can also detect when someone is trying to scam them. Employees should know how to execute security protocols like what information can’t be sent over emails, protecting their security credentials, or safely navigating the internet. For example, they can flag a suspicious email claiming to be from the CEO requesting funds transfer.
Protect Against Computer Viruses
A computer virus can delete, alter, steal or lock away your data. A virus attack can have a devastating effect on your operations, such as brand damage since customers can’t trust you with their data or regulators fining you for losing data. It is critical that you take any virus warning seriously.
Antivirus software provides protection for all your machines and network; it is an essential tool in cyber security. If your computer does get attacked by a virus, look into computer virus removal services to reverse any damage. In the meantime, you should:
- Disconnect the affected machine from the network immediately so that it doesn’t infect others.
- Switch off the machine entirely so that the virus doesn’t do any more damage.
- Run a thorough virus scan on all the other machines to ensure that the virus didn’t spread.
- Change all the passwords just in case they were compromised.
- Update your operating systems and software.
Switch Up Your Passwords
Passwords are the keys to your business’s digital framework. On-premise, cloud, and hybrid platforms need passwords to access them. Using password credentials for access is only as good as the integrity of those passwords. It is vital that all employees:
- Adopt complex passwords that are hard to crack. Try to use a random string of letters, special characters, and numbers rather than personal information.
- Use multi-factor authentication and security codes along with passwords.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Avoid using the same password on multiple accounts.
- Don’t share passwords or leave them in a file.
Keeping track of all the passwords can be daunting, especially if they are complex. A solution is a password manager. They generate and store passwords; the user only needs to remember the password to access the password manager.
Backup Important Information
Data is an essential resource that you need to keep safe. Sometimes data loss can be due to an attack, bad luck, or a force of nature. In such circumstances, there will be no data to recover unless you make a backup. You should keep data like customer records and financial information in a secure backup location.
As a rule of thumb, your backups should follow a 3-2-1 strategy, meaning you create three backups, with two onsite and one offsite. Windows and Apple provide an incremental backup service on their OSs. Once activated, they will automatically backup your data on a predetermined file location.
Should your data become compromised or destroyed, your business won’t have to start from scratch; they will start from the last backup. Starting from the previous backup will save you time and money.
Secure your business
Data is essential for your business operations, valued by customers, and protected by regulators. Losing or compromising your data can have serious legal, brand, and monetary consequences. So put the same amount of effort you use to secure your other assets into your data.