When setting up a new business, there are so many factors to consider that something like cyber security can often be put on the back burner. However, the importance of strong cyber security cannot be overstated, even for fledgling businesses that may think themselves too small to be of note. The truth is that cyber criminals do target small and new businesses, believing them to be less protected than large corporations. By neglecting to put basic cyber security measures in place, new businesses play right into the hands of these criminals and put themselves at risk of hacking. Here are some of the basic cyber security tips that new businesses should take on board to protect against cyber threats.
Get the Software
Antivirus software might be expensive, but it’s absolutely essential for new businesses, especially those that handle sensitive customer data. Antimalware software is essential to maintain a strong computer network and protect against cyber threats that seek to attack weak and unprotected systems. New businesses should choose a paid-for software package specifically designed to protect businesses from malware threats. Although free services do provide some protection, they do not offer the high level of security needed to prevent security breaches to businesses and are not designed to withstand the attacks of determined cyber criminals.
Experts at Hand
For new businesses that handle sensitive information or are particularly worried about cyber threats, having or knowing of a professional cyber security company could prove the most effective solution to your requirements. Companies such as these can offer a range of services to prevent security breaches, including penetration testing, which allows businesses to see exactly how secure their defenses are. In the event of a cyber attack, these professionals can help to remove malware and ransomware and retrieve lost data, which can save businesses a great deal of money and difficulty.
Back Up Data
Backing up your business’ data is an absolutely vital step in protecting against the potential damage of cyber threats, as it prevents the loss of data and can lessen the impact of ransomware. New businesses should make it a priority to create a backup strategy, which should involve multiple forms of technology. One option is to use iCloud, or another online backup system, providing that the account is sufficiently protected by high-security passwords. Other forms of backup include external hard drives, which are physical forms of backup that should be kept in a secure place to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. Of course, no form of backup is 100% secure, which is why businesses should ensure that they take a multimedia approach to this form of security.
Train Staff on Security
One of the most effective ways of preventing cyber attacks is by training all staff effectively on the possible threats and how to protect against them. All those who have access to the business’ computer network should be trained on proper security guidelines, including proper password use and recognizing email phishing scams. As it has been reported that 30% of employees have opened phishing emails and that the majority of security breaches occur due to human error, it is clearly vital that employees are aware of the importance of best practice when it comes to security.
Proper password usage is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent security breaches from occurring. A staggering 63% of security breaches occur due to lost, stolen or weak passwords, which shows just how vital it is to enforce strong password practices. All passwords should be changed every 60 days to ensure maximum protection and should adhere to strict rules. Be sure to include capital letters, numbers and symbols in passwords, and consider using a series of random words instead of just one word. Pin passwords that use a series of six numbers are also highly effective, as they have a million unique password possibilities and are therefore much more difficult to crack.
Remember Mobile Devices
Mobile devices pose a very real security risk to businesses, as most personal devices are not protected by high-level software. This means that accessing business data, including emails, on personal mobile devices can leave businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks. New businesses should draw up policies requiring employees who access business data on mobile devices to use full password protection, including fingerprinting where possible. Installing security apps on phones and tablets is also an effective way to prevent cyber attacks through public networks, providing a much stronger defense against these very real threats.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.