How to Better Protect Your Business from Online Threats

How to Better Protect Your Business from Online Threats

Cybersecurity should be firmly placed at the forefront of IT decision-making. As companies come to rely more and more on modern technology, the threats are becoming bolder and more sophisticated than ever.

If you’ve been keeping up with the headlines in recent months, then you’ll know that even the largest global corporations aren’t immune from data breaches. So, how can your business stand a chance against the threats out there? These tips will help you get started on the right track.

Educate Your Team

No amount of automated cybersecurity solutions can completely safeguard your business against users accidentally giving away passwords. Social engineering scams rely on trust and manipulation to “hack” your systems without any malware or computer programming.

Although most of us like to blame technology when something goes wrong, it’s usually plain old human error that’s the weakest link. There’s no substitute for educating your employees about cyber security to ensure they’re aware of the risks and understand the purpose of your IT policies.

Keep Up-to-Date

An outdated system is a vulnerable one, as many recent global cyberattacks have demonstrated. A lot of malware works by exploiting vulnerabilities in operating systems, firmware, drivers and other software that is no longer supported by the developer.

For example, the WannaCry ransomware back in May only infected computers running Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. When you have a large network to take care of, keeping everything up to date can sometimes seem like an impossible task, but it’s critical for keeping your IT secure.

Enforce Your Security Policies

Although all companies broadly face the same cybersecurity threats, every IT infrastructure is different and, therefore, presents a varying array of potential vulnerabilities. Because of this, every company should draw up a security policy that sets boundaries on employee access and how they can use your IT resources.

There are also some rules that should apply across the board, such as disallowing employees from downloading files that aren’t related to work or attempting to access inappropriate websites.

Secure Mobile Devices

Mobile devices have become a critical component in the workplace, but with convenience comes a raft of cybersecurity risks. Most significantly, mobile devices are at a far higher risk of getting lost or stolen. Additionally, if your company allows its employees to use their own devices for work, then you’ll have less control over how they handle sensitive data.

If your business does have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, you’ll still need to establish control over business data and communications by implementing a specific policy that your employees will need to agree to if they wish to use their own mobile devices for work.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Even if data does end up in the wrong hands, it won’t be of any use to a cybercriminal if it’s encrypted. Strong-enough encryption algorithm enforced with a 128-bit security key means data is pretty much impossible to hack into. You should always encrypt potentially sensitive data both when it’s in storage and in transit.

Given the reliance that many companies now have on cloud storage services, the latter is especially important. Finally, if your employees ever need to access cloud-based resources outside of the workplace, ensure they do so through a VPN, which encrypts all data in transit.

Cybersecurity may seem like a great deal of extra work and money to spend, but keeping your business safe from the ever-increasing multitude of online threats is crucial for its future success. If you’re finding it hard to find help information in plain English, read our long-form post: Everything SMBs should know about cybersecurity in 2018. Then give us a call today to find out how we can help you build a secure and reliable IT infrastructure.