Protecting yourself from cybercriminals is not as hard as you might think. Although cybercriminals and hackers are an everyday threat to businesses, you can take steps to reduce that threat and take the target off your back.
The first thing you need to do is understand why cybercriminals target small businesses and what makes your particular business vulnerable. There are many things small businesses do and don’t do that open them to attack and data theft. These may include not having enough (or any) security in place or not training employees on security protocols.
Realistically speaking, the biggest threat to your business does, in fact, come from your own employees. This doesn’t mean they are intentionally harming your business or leaving your network exposed to outside threats. It means they don’t have the proper training and knowledge to protect your business from a cyberthreat.
For example, your team needs to be trained to use strong passwords, and those passwords must be changed periodically (every three months is a good rule of thumb). A lot of people push back on strong, complicated passwords or use the same password for everything, but this is just asking for trouble and should not be allowed at your company.
Once strong passwords are in place, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on everything you possibly can, from network access to every account you and your employees use. This is an additional layer of security on top of standard password protection. This feature is generally tied to a mobile number or secondary e-mail, or it may be in the form of a PIN. For example, when 2FA is enabled, after you’ve put in your password, you will be prompted for your PIN for the associated account.
Another key: endpoint protection. This used to mean simply antivirus. But today, basic endpoint protection should include anti-ransomware layers and more. Every workstation or device should have endpoint protection.
Another key component of your defense system: an enterprise-grade firewall, monitored regularly and updated with the latest patches and firmware.
In all of this, think layers.” Layer your firewall with endpoint protection. Encrypt your computers and layer onto that encryption of your smartphones—you should even encrypt your employees’ personally-owned phones if they are accessing anything related to their job duties via these devices. Overall, layer employee training.
If all of this makes your head spin, you’re normal. Cybersecurity is becoming more and more complex as the bad guys keep finding new ways to forge their attacks. But don’t despair—call us! We are zealous about protecting your data and would be delighted to have the opportunity to serve you.