Most businesses have an online presence and quite a few of those businesses operate solely online. It is truly great to be able to offer this service and run a business from your own home online, however there are some ways we can make sure that our businesses stay safe and that our sensitive information stays private.
When it comes to data breaches and keeping your business safe from attacks, there is something we need to consider. 59% of data breaches can be traced back to something and employee did or didn’t do, which invited a cyber-attack. We are human and mistakes are made, but when it comes to a business, we need to ensure that we are taking the proper precautions to protect our clients and customers.
Building security awareness and respect into your companies culture is key to locking our hackers and maintaining digital security.
Here are 6 quick tips to make sure your business is safe.
- Use complex passwords: Having a complex password is essential to the safety of employees and the business. Every employee, including management, needs to use an alphanumeric password that they haven’t used before. These passwords need to contain a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and capitol and lower case letters. Most people choose easy passwords as it is often hard to remember something that is complex and considered safe, but password managers are a great tool to use and can assist with making sure they’re never forgotten.
Verify unknown identities: One tool hackers use to gain access to employees and businesses is calling or emailing claiming to be someone that is with the company or someone/a company that is close. This is called a phishing technique. The information looks legitimate and therefore makes people more susceptible to handing over that sensitive information. If you are not familiar with ‘Jenny from Accounting’ who has called to ask for sensitive information, double check caller identity and access permissions before releasing any information. Hackers love to play on our desire to be helpful.
3. Encrypt by default: Because we are constantly using our laptops and smartphones to transfer data, it is important that we take proper precautions in protecting sensitive information. Unfortunately, this equipment can be easily stolen. Set operating systems to encrypt data by default, so that it becomes useless in the wrong hands.
4. Protect portable devices: Laptops and mobile phones should always require a password and be set to auto-lock after a short period of time. Never leave them unattended in cars, buses, restrooms etc, and take them as carry-on luggage.
5. Set personal usage rules: While you may have blocked productivity-vacuums such as Facebook, what are the rules regarding games, video streaming or shopping? Can they install their own software? When business computers are used for personal usage, security vigilance tends to slide, resulting in unintentional malware installation.
6. Educate often: Digital security threats change regularly, and people become comfortable with a certain level of danger, thinking ‘it will never happen to me’. It is important to educate employees and keep them updated as new information becomes available.
These are just a few quick tips, but remember, there are always threats out there. Make sure to take the time to be preemptive in your cyber security because the ramifications of not doing so are astronomical.