With cyber security concerns on the rise, and threats spiking globally in the past few years, ensuring that your business is properly protected against cyber threats is one of the most important things you can do. By having the proper protocols in place, you be able to keep your customers and your business safe and critical information out of the hands of those with malicious intent. Or in the event of a natural disaster or tragedy, you’ll be able to continue to operate and serve your customers with little or no interruption.
Back Up Everything
From customer records to employee documents, it doesn’t matter. If you’re company’s data becomes corrupted, lost, destroyed, or stolen, there might not be a way to recover it. Having backup redundancies of every bit of information that passes through your business will keep you and your customers protected. Depending on the amount of data you need to back up, you can choose to backup remotely or onsite with additional hard disks, cloud storage, or data servers.
Back Up Constantly
Have a routine schedule for backing up all your data. The more often you do it, the better off you’ll be should something happen.
Keep Multiple Back Ups
Because you never know what might happen to the first. If your primary data storage solution becomes corrupted, it may spread, especially if it’s caused by a virus or malware. Use both cloud and local solutions for maximum efficiency.
Have Protections in Place
Of course, having all of that data stored and backed up is meaningless if it isn’t properly protected from outside threats or intrusion. These protections include antivirus, firewalls, and strong passwords.
Find a comprehensive business grade antivirus and make sure it’s applied to all of your business’s systems, from employee computers to servers.
For your firewalls, don’t just rely on software firewalls. Invest in hardware firewall routers for maximum protection.
Then, of course, use strong passwords. All too often business will put in place short, easy to crack passwords that offer no protection. Don’t use a password anyone can easily guess. It is ok to write your passwords down and store them in a secure location, in fact, it’s recommended.
As untimely as those updates to your antivirus always seem to be, make sure to never put them off. Running an out of date version of antivirus is susceptible to attacks and various online threats that an up-to-date system does not need to worry about. Keep all of your protection software current to ensure an overall sound security level.
Monitor Your Traffic
Know where your network is being accessed from. Where are your customers located? Is there any unusual activity from a strange location? An uptick in traffic from a location not associated with your business can be a red flag and may indicate someone is trying to access your network. If you are suspicious, block the offending IP address and see if anything changes.
Let your employees know what security measures you have in place and what they can and cannot access. If you have employees that use a personal computer, such as a laptop, and the regularly carry it with them, make sure it’s isolated or approved to be used on your business network. Know what information they have access to and what company information they may be storing, such as operations data, receipts, or passwords.
Other Things to Consider
Naturally, the four points above are not the only things to consider when going through the proper motions of keeping your company safe and secure. The waters of cyber security are ever tumultuous and keeping properly secure takes both initiative and planning. Make sure to also consider the following.
Always adhere to the best security practices. This means keeping a tight configuration on all company machines, frequent system and security updates and a keen eye to any current online threats that could negatively impact your industry.
Be proactive and make sure to monitor your infrastructure. This means keeping tabs on your network traffic and perhaps even installing an intrusion detection system that will alert you to any abnormalities in system behavior.
In the event of a cyber-attack, make sure that you have a clear plan in place for both you and your staff to operate smoothly in case information becomes compromised.
- And as always, make sure to cover the very basics. Sharing passwords, sensitive information and personal company details should always be avoided.