The importance of protection against cyber threats.
SMEs need to be wary of all kinds of cyber-attacks. It isn’t just large corporations who are targeted. Ensuring a level of protection to prevent a multitude of cyber threats is vital. Encrypting your data and updating your security software should be at the top of your list in terms of protection. However, there are other factors as well that you need to be aware of as well.
There are many steps towards the growth of your business. Safe IT practices such as keeping your data encrypted are vital. Look at these tips to avoid the most common mistakes made by small businesses.
Updating and changing passwords
Passwords are a major factor in keeping people out of your accounts. A weak password means that your sensitive information is vulnerable. Every password used to be unique, and include a capital letter, number and special character. This is also true for personal use as well. Having accounts on Google, email, news spy or any other site, the password should be unique.
You should also use 2-factor authentication. This gives you an extra layer of security by connecting a phone number to your account. Each login would require a code that is sent only to your phone.
Knowing where your data is stored, whether it is on your computer or on the cloud, is good practice. Make sure your files are organised as well as in the appropriate locations.
Encrypt your data
Encryption is nothing new and should be on all of your sensitive information. If you want to keep it secure, the first step is to encrypt the files on your computer. Next, you should use 2FA. As previously mentioned, this can add an extra layer of security. A VPN or Virtual Point Network should also be considered.
Replicate and backup
Nowadays, it should be common practice to have data backed up in at least two different locations. This can be on a USB, a separate hard drive, or on the Cloud. The backup data should also be encrypted. Backing up data ensures protection from cyber threats as it means that if the files are deleted by some malicious software, you can retrieve them easily. Ensure that all passwords are as secure as they can be.
Remotely wipe information
Remotely wiping information seems like the opposite of what you want to do for protection against cyber threats. However, having a function to remotely wipe information from a Hard drive or a mobile phone is vital. In the event of theft or loss of the item holding the information, destroying its functionality needs to be available. Otherwise, your data can easily get into the wrong hands. So keep in mind a failsafe as an option to prevent your data from being stolen.
Firewalls and Antivirus
Firewalls and Antivirus’ are also common in the IT world. No infrastructure should be without them and they should always be the first thing you install. Firewall ports control whether a program can access or be accessed by your computer. Having your IT support be on top of this is good practice. You should also regularly check which programs should have access and which should not.
Make sure your firewalls and antivirus are always turned on. You need to continually check for updates, as out of date antivirus software is vulnerable. Ensure that any alerts are dealt with quickly and thoroughly. Every machine should have an antivirus and a secure firewall.
Use IT support
There are all kinds of malicious attacks out there and expecting a small business to understand them all can be a tall order. If something goes horribly wrong, you should contact an IT support company. Having someone on your team who specialised in IT is a good goal to have, but outsourcing your IT support should be considered. IT support companies can quickly and effectively fix any issues which might arise for you. It is also a good idea for crisis management if you discuss potential future problems.