Businesses that aim to reach the top of their field will, in some way or another, need adapt to capitalize on the benefits of technology, in order to drive things forward. But this means capitalizing on IT security as well.
Unfortunately, some small to medium businesses make a big mistake by only using one or two approaches to secure the businesses safety.
While there are many measures you can take to prevent cyber threats, here are a few tried and true tips to get you on your way to securing your organization today and preparing for prosperity tomorrow.
1. Prevention is the cure
“Prevention is the best cure” when talking about the common cold but also when discussing cybersecurity. Making efforts to protect your online data and having a solid preventative plan with regular support puts you in a much stronger position than frantically fixing problems along the way (downtime is one of the biggest times for cyberthreats to attack).
2. Separate personal from professional
Make sure your emails, personal data and banking details are completely separate from the business’s. This is often one of the most overlooked mistakes because it’s painfully simple to have happen. Mixing up your professional and personal accounts can lead to a disaster, especially when you need to filter your emails from spam. Not only will seperating them make you more productive, but it will protect you if one of the accounts is compromised. (Be sure to encrypt your data as an added level of security.)
3. Keep on top of your hardware
Regularly updating and maintaining your hardware is essential to the integrity of your network. Recovering from any kind of invasion to your business’s network can be extremely frustrating. Having a strong firewall and up to date hardware in place to properly enforce your security measures and prevent outside intruders from tampering with your systems and accessing sensitive data can help prevent invasions.
4. Network assessment
A network assessment is the strongest way of reviewing the IT infrastructure for your organization. The assessment will identify areas and opportunities to improve your existing system. It can be particularly helpful when you’re aware that there’s some off within your network but you’re not sure exactly what is off. The assessment will complete a thorough sweep of all your components and will highlight any areas of concern.
5. Risk assessment
There should be a risk assessment completed annually. Risk management processes help you to document and assess the risks your organization faces. A risk assessment will dive into your system’s vulnerabilities to see how safe you data truly is. The results of the assessment can then be ranked in order of risk so you can begin to prioritize the dangers and effectively minimize them.
6. Limit access to sensitive data
It’s common to look outward when there’s been a network breach but it’s easy to turn a blind eye toward what’s happening within your company. Limit the access to your sensitive data as much as you can so you can narrow the number of employees who might accidentally open a harmful link, for example. Data breaches aren’t always sophisticated attacks from professional hackers but often due to basic employee breaches. It’s best that employees are only allowed access into the data necessary for them to perform their jobs.
7. Train employees on security awareness
Surveys consistently show that employees are often the weakest link as far as data security is concerned. People on your team could be opening suspicious emails and employers often make the mistake of thinking that one training session on data security is enough. If you’re genuinely concerned and serious about keeping on top of your data’s security, you should arrange training sessions on security best practices at regular intervals (quarterly, annually, etc).
8. Be prepared with a solid disaster recovery plan
After any kind of attack, a solid disaster recovery plan should be your first order of business and can often be the difference between your organziation’s survival another catastrophe. You may not be able to stop every disaster, but you can definitely be ready with a secure plan of action to keep the damage to an absolute minimum. Building a solid disaster recovery plan is a smart way to keep on top of your security. It’s also a good tool for protecting your reputation.
9. Use an antivirus solution
There are many reasons why you really do need an antivirus solution. The main reason is the same as each previous tip, to stregthen and continue to protect your infrastructure from invasion. There are different options and types of antivirus protection available. You will need to decide what antivirus software best suits your business’s needs. It can help to get an outside opinion – ask the team you have complete your network and risk assessment.
Keeping your organization safe from outside interference needs a multi-layered plan of action, use of the right tools, and a dedicated team to put the solutions into practice. If you want to have a chat about how we can help you to build a solid data recovery plan, or advise you on what your next steps could be, please contact us.