So, if you’re not already taking steps toward protecting your company from the costly, time-consuming, and potentially reputation-damaging effects of malware and cybersecurity breaches, it’s time to get serious.
In this article, we’ll examine five quick and easy ways you can protect your company from cyberattacks. You can implement a few of these tips right now.
Let’s get started.
1. Use strong passwords
We know this one sounds obvious but consider this: How many of your accounts have the same login credentials? Do you have just one or two passwords that you use? Are these passwords just single words – or worse, something obvious like ‘password123?’
Using strong, unique passwords for your business and personal accounts is imperative to securing your data. The strongest passwords are longer and contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g., !, &, #, and @). Using the initial letters from the words in a personally memorable sentence is a great way to come up with a more complex, secure password.
You might also like to use a password management program like LastPass, Keeper or RoboForm to store and generate all your login credentials.
2. Encrypt your data
Data is just about useless to a malicious hacker if they can’t make sense of it – and that’s why encrypting your data and sensitive communications is a great protection strategy against cybercrime.
Put simply, encryption takes a chunk of data and converts it into unrecognizable data. This encoded or “scrambled” data can only be read by those who have access to a special key. So, if a thief attempts to steal customer information from your company and the information is encrypted, they won’t be able to use or sell the data without the key.
It’s one of the best ways to boost your network security.
3. Be wary of public Wi-Fi networks
By definition, a public Wi-Fi network is, in fact, never secure. As much as possible, avoid logging in to sensitive accounts on a public network. If you do need to access business information, use a secure portal or access your mobile data instead.
4. Use anti-malware and firewall software
A malware infection – including the dreaded ransomware attack – is a common form of cybercrime experienced by small businesses. Protecting your business against this malicious software is absolutely crucial.
First, you’ll need a robust anti-malware software. It’s important to keep in mind that viruses are constantly evolving, and anti-malware software cannot always be 100% effective. This is especially true of ransomware. For the most part, ransomware works quietly in the background, completely undetectable until it is activated by its creators.
You can add a layer of security against these cyberthreats by investing in a firewall to block them from entering your network. If you continue to implement new updates as they become available, you’ll be better protected against the latest security threats.
5. Develop a plan
Not sure what you would do in the face of a cyberattack on your business? If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – it’s an old saying, but a relevant one for cybersecurity.
Small businesses should take the time and effort to develop a comprehensive, step-by-step plan that outlines protocols that enable your team to prevent or respond quickly to any internal or external threat to your network security.