Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and it is only going to get worse. Every week, every month, new threats make themselves known. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure-all for these threats, but it is possible to stay ahead of the cybercriminals if you stay alert and pay attention.
Small businesses are the biggest target for cyber threats. Because small businesses are less likely to be secure than a large corporation, hackers can steal a ton of money by infiltrating hundreds of small businesses at once. “Small businesses typically have a moderate amount of data with minimal security. Hackers can use the stolen information to steal from many others.”
Hackers won’t only steal your money, either. They can steal customer data, employee details, and other private information. A data breach like this will cause your clients and your employees to lose your trust – it will damage your business relationships instantly.
Do you want to improve your cybersecurity? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are your employees trained?
This seems like an easy one – do your employees know what to do in the case of a potential cybercrime? Do they know what emails they shouldn’t open? Do they know the workplace policies on online security (including websites they shouldn’t visit, passwords they shouldn’t use, devices they shouldn’t connect to the network, etc)? Chances are, they could use a refresher.
- Do you have a password policy?
We recommend a 90-day policy to our clients (the password changes every 90 days). You should have something similar (or better) and include specifics on the number of characters and what kinds of characters must be included. The more complicated the password, the better. But remember: writing down your passwords makes them practically defunct. Memorization is key.
- Are your devices updated?
Keeping your computers and other devices updated helps prevent vulnerabilities that hackers can use to access your systems. As new threats emerge, updates are created that could help stop them. Don’t forget to update things like your cell phone and web browsers, too.
- Do you have two-factor authentication?
This type of authentication adds a second layer of security to your network. Usually, two-factor authentication requires a secondary device outside of a computer that your employee will need to use to complete their sign-in process. Sometimes this is a keychain dongle, but most of the time, you can use a smartphone app. Personally, we use Duo.
- Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
Having a plan in case of disaster (whether natural or manmade) is vital. Part of a good disaster recovery plan is having powerful, tested backups. A strong solution will have you up and running in just minutes. Discuss your disaster recovery plan with your managed service provider.
- Do you have a managed service provider?
An IT team is vital these days when it comes to protecting your data from cybercriminals. A team of professionals is much more prepared to monitor your network and warn you of suspicious activity than trying to do it yourself. Hiring an MSP is a big decision, do your research and ask around for recommendations.