How to Keep Your Business Cyber Safe

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Experts predict global cybercrime costs will skyrocket to $10.5 trillion by 2025. If you don’t take steps to protect your business against these threats, you could face devastating losses. Hackers can steal sensitive information, exploit vulnerabilities in your system, and even bring your business down by negatively impacting your reputation. You must protect your company against online threats and scams. You can begin here by following these tips on keeping your business cyber safe.

The Importance of Cyber Security for Business

Most businesses deal with sensitive data, such as personal identity information, credit card numbers, health info, etc. Your customers, clients, and partners expect you to protect that information with the right safeguards.

In many cases, laws and regulations dictate how a business must handle this data. For instance, there is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which outlines standards and rules those in the healthcare industry must follow to protect patient information.

Neglecting to provide proper defenses and security measures can result in costly lawsuits, downtime, and reputational damage. If you lose the trust of your customers, your business takes a serious hit.

Each week, new breaches impact companies across the globe. It’s alarming, but you can take steps to increase your defenses against cyber threats.

Teach Your Employees About Cyber Attacks

In many cases, it’s an unwitting employee that gives a cybercriminal what they need to access your system. One common way hackers get access is through phishing emails.

In this scenario, a hacker pretends to be someone else, such as a trusted company or individual. They use tactics to gain sensitive information or to get the employee to click on a link containing malware.

You’ve probably seen examples of phishing emails firsthand. Perhaps it’s a subject line about an account being suspended or a payment going through you didn’t authorize.

And email isn’t the only place where hackers target companies. About 74% of businesses experienced a social media attack in 2021.

Teach your employees how to recognize signs of a phishing attack. Outline some rules on what to do if they spot one. Even if your employee is unsure about an email, it’s better to get a second opinion or send a quick email to double-check rather than cause a security breach.

Always Update Software and Systems

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for loopholes and vulnerabilities to gain access to your software and systems. Updates and security patches spot these weaknesses and fix the problem.

Outdated systems have all the holes and access points that a hacker needs. However, a patch management system ensures all systems are updated and protected.

Have a record of the equipment and software that your business uses. If you no longer need some software, remove it. Older equipment and software that no longer receives updates is a liability.

Limit Access to Systems

Another way to combat hackers is to reduce your risk by limiting access to software and equipment. If someone no longer works for you or changed roles in the company, be sure they no longer have their old access if they don’t need it.

Make separate user accounts for each employee and enforce a strong password policy. Only give administrative privileges to trusted personnel and IT staff.

Additionally, you’ll want to limit employee access to certain data or systems. Your staff should only have access to the data systems needed to do their job.

On a similar note, make sure that your employees can’t install software on their own.

Backup Your Data

In the event of cyber attacks, you want to be sure you can get all your data back and any information you lose. That’s why scheduling a regular backup routine is so critical.

Schedule a backup plan that includes the following:

  • Incremental backups (daily)
  • Server backups (weekly, quarterly, and yearly)
  • External drives or cloud storage solutions
  • Testing (to ensure backups work)

Ensure that all important information can be quickly and completely retrieved if necessary. These include documents, spreadsheets, HR files, databases, etc.

Use a Firewall and Spam Filter

A firewall is a crucial part of your protection system. The firewall is the “gatekeeper” that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing traffic.

All business devices should have an installed firewall. This is especially important if you have remote employees or allow your staff to work from home.

It’s also critical to remember to update the firewall to address any security holes.

A spam filter can help limit the number of junk emails and phishing messages your employees get. Essentially, the filter spots suspicious emails and directs them to a special folder to prevent attacks. Employees can check the spam folder to make sure no emails accidentally made their way there and delete the junk.

Encrypt Important Information

Network and data encryption is another effective method used to protect sensitive information. Encryption turns plaintext into a special, secret code called ciphertext that makes it impossible to read without the decryption key.

Encryption is a simple way to reduce the risk of tampering and theft. You can do this by using a VPN or turning the option on in your router settings.

Invest in Cybersecurity Services

Perhaps the most important step you can take to keep your business cyber safe is to invest in a cybersecurity solutions provider.

Hackers get smarter every day, and new risks constantly threaten companies. Small businesses may struggle even more, especially if they can’t afford an in-house IT team. Managed IT solutions provide a scalable and convenient way to protect your business.

You’ll get a security assessment and a plan tailored to your needs, as well as 24/7 support for additional peace of mind.

Keep Your Business Cyber Safe

Implementing the cyber security tips we’ve covered will help to keep your business cyber safe. However, it’s critical to keep up with security and assess your needs if your current solution isn’t working.

At ADVANTEX, we have a wide variety of IT solutions designed to fit your Dallas or Houston small business needs. Call us today or leave a message to get started immediately.

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