In the last few years, cybercrimes have cost global businesses billions upon billions of dollars. Even with the most sophisticated protection, you can fall victim to nefarious attackers who have no problem blackmailing your company for all its worth.
Although there are so many cyber-attacks out there, that doesn't mean your brand will be affected. In fact, these malicious actions are the biggest concern for large corporations and not much of an issue for smaller brands. Regardless, you should still prepare yourself for all eventualities that might come in the future.
Besides introducing advancedIT management solutions, you’ll also have to increase the awareness and education of your staff members. Through a slow and meticulous approach, you can isolate your data from most external threats, ensuring the unhindered growth of your business.
The best way to protect yourself from digital threats is by implementing the following 8 steps:
Regardless of cyber-attacks, every manager worth his salt should create a backup for company data. Using a backup remains the most cost-effective method of safeguarding your private information.
For this trick to make sense, you need to upload data every day and to multiple devices. That way, even if something bad were to happen, you can rest assured your employees won't lose any work. Besides that, you should also create periodic backups for your server.
Check the data every once in a while to see if everything’s ok and if you can use it in case of an intrusion. A good way to protect your data is by relying on numerous SaaS solutions that will store valuable information on a cloud instead of physical storage.
Similar to your data, you also need to update your firewalls and other security software. These programs are updated to overcome the newest security threats while also patching holes in the previous versions. While these updates might be infuriating for many users, you need to take them seriously and execute them as soon as you see a notification.
You should pay special attention to firewalls. They serve to monitor all outgoing and incoming traffic so you know what's happening at all times. Another valuable trick is turning on spam filters, as they can prevent your employees from receiving any unwanted messages. Many attacks are done via phishing and spam, both of which usually come via emails.
Data encryption is a fantastic method for protecting any vital company data. With encryption, you can transform data into hidden codes that can then be sent via the internet. Once the data reaches its final destination, the recipient can decipher it for proper access.
The important thing about encrypted data is that it can only be accessed with the right encryption key. In other words, besides you and the recipient, other entities can't use its content if they were to intercept it. Modern programs can even tell you if someone tried to tamper with the data, which will alert you that you're being targeted by hackers.
Multi-factor authentication is now commonly used for all web data, not just company information. By using this technology, you can add another layer of security to your private data, preventing unauthorized access to cyber-attackers. Multi-authentication is used by all sorts of platforms, ranging from banks to payment providers, social media, and so on.
As antivirus suites become more sophisticated and employees learn the value of cyber-security, hackers are becoming forced to try alternate points of entry. They often find them in obsolete systems and programs.
Basically, any old software that you’re no longer using can serve as a backdoor for external attacks. These devices might not receive regular updates and might not have the same software protection as your new computers. However, if they’re connected to the same Wi-Fi, attackers can use them to penetrate the system with minimal effort.
The best way to tackle this issue is by obsoleting everything that you’re no longer using. Turn off devices and remove them from the system. It’s also a good idea to remove any old information that might be stored within them.
Poor passwords are another way attackers can penetrate your protection. The rule of thumb is never to use the same password for access, whether we're talking about computers, social media profiles, or software. You should also mix uppercase and lowercase letters and introduce various numbers and symbols.
You would be surprised by this, but many breaches occur due to real-world activities. Giving someone your password or providing direct access can jeopardize the entire company. The worst thing yet is that this other person doesn't have to be malicious to harm your business; they just need to have a low level of awareness.
A similar can be said for your devices. Leaving a phone or a laptop in public unprotected for a few minutes gives attackers an opportunity to grab all the data from the device while also indirectly gaining access to cloud data.
Based on everything said so far, it becomes obvious that your employees are the main security barrier against external threats. If just one person doesn’t receive proper training, he can drag down the entire system with him.
Whenever you’re about to start using a new security suite, it isn’t a bad idea to introduce all your employees to it. Furthermore, you should provide basic training during onboarding that will teach new staff members how to tackle passwords, access, and software challenges.
Protecting your business from cyber-attacks can be much easier than you might think. Ideally, you should start by training your staff and teaching them what's allowed. Due diligence should also affect the use and installation of software and passwords and how you approach periodic updates.