Time has proven that regardless of size, no business is immune from cyber attacks, and with the growing severity of hacks and data breaches, you need to be invested in protecting your business. The odds have been raised as hackers can easily cripple your business, ruin your reputation, and leave you facing many legal problems. To help you stay safe, here are 10 cybersecurity tips for businesses.
1. Require strong authentication for all users
Most cybercriminals gain access to a business’s internal system or customer accounts by taking advantage of security loopholes using scripted apps or hacking passwords. To limit the risks of unauthorized access to your systems, the safest solution is to introduce stronger authentication protocols for all users. A highly-effective way to do this is by introducing an ID scanner app into your systems for better multi-factor authentication. Introducing these extra security layers will go a long way in stopping most cyberattacks as hackers will have a harder time making their way into your systems.
2. Enhance employee awareness on cybersecurity
Educating your employees on cybersecurity best practices and introducing strict security policies will help secure your business. Having good phishing training will also improve your employees’ knowledge of cybersecurity. Keep in mind that your employees are your first line of defense against cyberattacks, and once they are vulnerable, you will constantly be a victim of many avoidable hacks and data breaches.
3. Collect and manage data responsibly
How much data do you collect from your customers? Do you have an effective data management plan? Step up your data game by being extra careful with the data you collect and actively reviewing your data management processes. Remember, the more sensitive customer data you collect and store, the more attacks you will face. Most importantly, your internal data governance procedures need to be in line with acceptable data protection laws to avoid legal problems in case of data breaches.
4. Secure your networks
Cybercriminals will always target your network as this is another easy and effective way of getting into your internal systems. As such, you need to make your internal network system harder to penetrate by:
- Installing and monitoring your firewalls
- Securing your end-points using antimalware and antivirus software
- Encrypting all your files
- Keeping your software up to date
- Using a virtual private network (VPN)
- Regularly reviewing your logs
5. Actively conduct security risk assessments
Cybercriminals are constantly using more sophisticated and harder-to-detect methods to carry out their attacks. In turn, the only way to be assured that your IT system or data has not been compromised is by actively conducting cybersecurity risk assessments. This will further help you identify the vulnerabilities and security defects within your internal systems, providing you with adequate time to seal these loopholes.
6. Set and implement strict BYOD policies
It has become a norm for employees to bring personal devices to the workplace and use them for work-related purposes. While this creates so much convenience for your workers, it significantly compromises the integrity of your internal systems as cybercriminals can use these devices to infiltrate your network. To mitigate these risks, you should set and implement strict BYOD (bring your own device) policies that outline how and when employees can use their devices for work. These policies should be focused on enlightening employees on the risk they pose to the company and how to prevent leakage of sensitive data, accidental data loss, and malware risks as they use their devices.
7.Keep your IT infrastructure up to date
Even as businesses strive to set up the best IT infrastructures, the biggest challenge comes in maintaining the integrity of these systems. One of the oldest tricks in the book when considering cybersecurity is to prioritize updating your infrastructure every two to three years. The underlying goal should be to keep up with the latest technological developments and eliminate vulnerabilities that hackers can easily exploit.
8.Ensure your remote workers use VPN
The traditional workplace setting is evolving, with remote work becoming the order of the day for many companies. Even as your business works on accommodating more employees who work from home, among your top priorities should be running secure systems. A highly efficient solution to embrace is introducing a VPN, which will enable you to keep your network safe even when employees use shared or public Wi-Fi by encrypting all connections. This will further eliminate the fears of allowing employees remote access to their work PC as their connections will be private and not compromise the company’s security.
9.Backup your data
A general principle you must never ignore as a modern business is always to back up your data. Since no one is ever prepared for severe cyberattacks, data losses, or system crashes, the only solace you will have in these instances is in your backups. Luckily, with advanced technologies, your data backup strategy does not have to be costly or complicated when there are cloud solutions. The winning edge with opting for cloud backups is the flexibility of restoring your data from any location with a few clicks of the button.
10.Set access levels
One of the best ways to safeguard your IT system and data is by setting access levels that limit who can have access to specific data at any given moment. Access control systems allow you to achieve this by ensuring that only employees with specific credentials can log in and access different categories of sensitive business data. This will give you double benefits as, on the one hand, you will create an information security framework that is harder to hack. On the other hand, you will easily monitor employees who regularly access critical data, making it easy to maintain an audit track. The best part is that you will never have to worry about a single employee having the ability to steal all your company data for malicious purposes.
One of your biggest responsibilities as a modern business is to protect yourself from cybercriminals, and with these tips, you can easily protect your IT systems and vital data.