Tips for Improving Cybersecurity at Your Company

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There’s no avoiding data breaches and major corporate hacking attempts any more. It’s the new normal, with multiple breaches, both large and small, happening every month. Yet, despite all this, many businesses still under-evaluate their risk of becoming a victim.

Those who don’t take the necessary precautions to ensure their data stays safe are prime targets for data breaches and ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals are relentless in their hunt for new targets and employ various techniques to catch employees unaware. Even those in the public sector are having a hard time staving off these attacks.

However, reports of cyber attacks targeted at small and medium businesses are on a steady rise, as they make for soft targets. In the world of data breaches and cyber-attacks, the weak spots get exploited first. Some sectors, like banking and finance, are targeted more often because they hold more valuable data. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this lowers the risk for everyone else.

By taking even basic cybersecurity precautions, businesses can lessen their chance of being targeted. Here are six tips that every business can implement to improve their security and protect themselves against most cyber attacks.

1. Secure Important Accounts and Delete Old Ones

Huge amounts of data, including passwords, are stolen every day. Just look at the massive collection of personal information that was leaked earlier this year. Which is why regularly changing account passwords isn’t simply a good idea – it’s essential.

Also make sure to delete any old, unused accounts. Sometimes businesses can have multiple old accounts lying around if they went through different employees or adopted new software. The problem is, the more accounts there are, the bigger the chance of some of them getting stolen. Hackers can use these old credentials to gain access to sensitive company information easily.

2. Set Up Extra Account Security Measures

Small and medium companies don’t always have the resources to set up complicated and robust security tools. However, there are a few free and cheap solutions out there that will still get the job done wonderfully.

Most importantly, set up two-factor authentication wherever possible. Most email services and accounts that deal with sensitive data have that option. This will make sure that cybercriminals can’t get into these accounts even if they use stolen login credentials.

It’s also worth looking into password managers, as they can help keep passwords secure across multiple accounts. This helps keep people from re-using any passwords too, which is a big cybersecurity taboo.

3. Find the Best VPN for Securing Online Data

There’s no one type of software that can promise to keep a connection 100% secure, but VPNs come pretty close. Adopting the best VPN technology for daily business practices is essential for warding off DDOS attacks, ransomware attacks, and SQL injection attacks. Which is why VPN technology is becoming popular for both business and individual use.

A VPN service will keep an online connection secure by encrypting any data that travels over it. Meaning cybercriminals won’t become privy to any important conversations or information.

4. Implement Cybersecurity Training

It’s essential that employees are kept in the loop about current phishing campaigns and other potential online risks. Human error is still one of the biggest reasons that hacking exploits are so successful. Mainly because people aren’t educated on the different dangers they may face while using the internet.

5.  Make Back-Ups of Important Data

Ransomware comes in two forms:

- Attackers try to extort money in exchange for not revealing sensitive data.

- Attackers lock-off important company servers or files and then try to extort money in exchange for releasing those files back to the company.

The latter can be avoided entirely by making regular backups on an external drive or cloud service. Any data that the company cannot afford to lose should be included in those backups. Doing this will save huge amounts of money in the long run since ransomware attacks can be crippling for a small or medium business.

6. Use Web-Filtering Technology

It’s nearly impossible for one person to keep track of all the websites employees visit on a daily business. That’s if a business even has an IT specialist on board, which isn’t the case for many small businesses.

Web filtering technology can be a big boon in this regard. It helps manage which websites employees have access to, and restricts the use of any undesired websites. Many companies use web filtering tools to keep their employees off of social media. But it’s a great way to keep them off any potential or known malicious websites too.

The Bottom Line

Being a victim of cybercrime is never a pleasant experience, but it also shouldn’t incite crippling fear. Taking just a few simple steps towards securing a business’s online assets can go a long way towards ensuring peace of mind.

There’s no guarantee that an attack won’t ever happen, but the key is to make it harder for cybercriminals to get in.