Modern businesses face a lot of threats when it comes to their cyber security. New technologies have emboldened criminals and allowed even those without highly advanced technical skills to pose a serious threat to businesses across the world.
Faced with this new landscape, revisiting your business’s security is certainly a good idea. Where, though, should you get started? To help, we’ve outlined 8 steps to boost your business’s security in 2017.
Back Up Your Data
In the event that your business is hit with a malware attack, the data on your computers may become corrupted or erased entirely. Likewise, ransomware attacks work by encrypting your data, making it unusable unless you agree to pay a ransom to the attacker. Both of these attacks can be largely mitigated, though, by backing up your data.
If you haven’t already, the first step in boosting your business’s security is to make sure all of your data is backed up either in cloud storage, on an external drive, or both. Do this and you won’t have to worry nearly as much about losing access to your critical data.
Update Your Security Software
Cyber security is a lot like an arms race; as criminals keep coming up with new and more advanced attacks, security software companies must keep coming up with better ways to protect against them.
If you don’t update your security software to its latest version, though, you could get left behind, leaving you completely exposed to the latest attacks. Make sure that you don’t skimp on your antivirus software and other security software. Then, once you have purchased and installed the best security software available, be sure to update it as often as is required.
Update Your Assets List
If you’ve got the right insurance, damages incurred by a cyber attack will be covered. However, you will need to be able to provide an up-to-date record of the assets that were destroyed in order to receive any kind of compensation.
It’s recommended that you update your asset list once a month, keeping a video record and a list of the serial numbers. If you are storing digital copies of these records, though, make sure to back them up in order to avoid an ironic yet costly predicament.
Allow Your Browsers to Force HTTPS
Entering information into a site with a http URL exposes that information far more than entering it into an https URL. Now, though, both Google Chrome and Firefox browsers come with the option to force https even if an http link is clicked or typed in. This is an option that you should certainly enable in order to ensure that you and your employees are always using safe browsing practices.
Ban URL Shorteners
URL shorteners such as bit.ly, t.co, and others are convenient. They’re also a security threat, though, since your employees will have no idea where it is they are clicking to. Often times, simply clicking one wrong link is all it takes to completely compromise your security.
Hopefully, in an instance such as this, your antivirus software would alert you to the fact that you are visiting a suspicious or dangerous link, however, antivirus software isn’t foolproof and it is better safe than sorry. If you ban URL shorteners and have them route to null while at the same time educating your employees about reading a link before they click it, you can greatly reduce the chance of someone accidentally opening a malicious link.
Make Use of Monitoring
The quicker you are notified of a potential issue, the quicker you will be able to address it and the less damage it will cause. This is the idea behind network monitoring services which will immediately notify you the second your network goes down. Best of all, most of these services are either low-cost or entirely free.
Another type of monitoring service you might want to consider are monitoring services which are tied to your email address. These services keep track of all of the websites which your email address has been entered into and will notify you if one of these websites has been compromised so that you can begin to take precautionary measures.
Educate Your Employees
Anytime you take steps to boost your business’s security, it is important to thoroughly relay those steps to your employees. Hold a conference where you and/or someone in your IT staff discuss the changes that have been made as well as rehash the security protocols and habits that all of your employees should be following.
This is especially important if you are on-boarding a new employee. Security from company to company ranges from locked down tight to nonexistent, and no two company’s software, protocol, or procedures are exactly the same. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure any new employee understands exactly what is expected of them in regards to cyber security before you set them behind a keyboard.
Consider a Security Assessment
If you are determined to make sure that there are absolutely no gaps in your defenses, the best step to boosting your security is to commission a security assessment.
During a security assessment, cyber security professionals will come in and analyze your company’s network from top to bottom, recommending and implementing improvements as they go. In addition to this, a security assessment provides you with a detailed yet easy to understand report that you can share with your management staff and use to better educate your employees.
If you would like to learn more about how a comprehensive security assessment can boost your business’s cyber security and safeguard it against the many threats that exist, we invite you to contact us today.