Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common, with some very high profile cases hitting the news recently proving that almost any organisation is at risk, whether large or small. In fact, research by Symantec found that 75% of businesses have suffered some form of cyber attack in the past year. When you’ve got highly sensitive business data locked away, the consequences of it falling into the wrong hands or becoming inaccessible can be dire. Let’s look at some of the key steps every business should be taking to protect themselves from cyber-crime and viruses.
1) Set strong passwords
It goes without saying that you should never share your passwords or use any personal data such as names, addresses or important dates. Strong passwords typically contain 8-10 characters and contain a mix of letters, numbers and at least one capital letter. You should also consider refreshing your passwords every 90 days.
2) Put up a firewall
Firewalls protect your entire network by controlling the traffic that comes in and out of your business. They’re an essential for any business large or small.
3) Install anti-virus protection
Should an unwanted visitor be able to access your network, anti-virus and anti-malware software will offer some protection to your devices.
4) Update software regularly
There is little point investing in top-of-the-range technology if you’re not going to maintain it. Regular updates should be performed to make sure its security protection is up to date and ready to protect you from the latest cyber threats.
5) Secure mobile devices
Many businesses now rely on employees working remotely on their laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This is great for flexible working but poses a significant security threat if they get lost or stolen. A simple but effective step is to encrypt your devices so the data can only be read if the correct password is entered.
6) Perform data back-ups regularly
If you lose your data, you’re in big trouble. Performing regular back-ups will help ease the impact if you were to lose your data. Back-ups should be performed at least once a week to an external hard drive or the cloud. If you’re using cloud-based software like Pegasus Business Cloud this is done automatically by the cloud server provider for ease and extra peace of mind.
7) Remind your employees of internet dangers
It’s easy for unsuspecting employees to click on dubious links in emails thinking they’re harmless and before you know it, the majority of your organisation has been struck down by a nasty virus. It doesn’t hurt to send out reminder emails to staff from time to time recapping the dangers of clicking on links from unknown sources. Your IT department will thank you for it.
Unfortunately in today’s climate, you are never going to eliminate the risk of cyber-attacks completely, as even the largest of organisations have found recently. However by implementing some of the above steps you’ll be making every effort to proactively manage the risk. Setting strong passwords, implementing firewalls, staying on top of updates, educating employees and regularly backing up your data are very simple, yet effective steps for keeping your business safe.