Have you seen the latest data breach reports on the news? Relentless hackers are targeting thousands of companies day and night. Don’t let your business be an easy victim.
Keith Marchiano, a Washington DC IT services professional with Kyocera Intelligence shares tips to help protect yourself and your company from becoming a victim of cybercrime.
Marchiano’s Five Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity
- Information is your best defense. Today, everyone is aware of the dangers of online crimes, but not all of your employees will know what they can do to help protect themselves and your company from cybercriminals. Create a manual explaining the step-by-step procedures on how to handle various cyber threats such as phishing emails and man-in-the-middle scenarios. You should also include online safety training as part of the onboarding for new employees, and conduct workshops for your entire staff as a refresher course on how to thwart cybercrime throughout the year.
- Use the right cybersecurity software and tools. If you don’t have a dedicated IT team or are currently outsourcing your cybersecurity, you need to invest in quality security products. At the very least, you need high-end antivirus software and a secure firewall. Don’t confuse the two. They are not the same. Antivirus software will help identify malicious code in the files in your system and scan new files before download. A firewall monitors any attempt to connect with your servers and can stop or alert you to any unauthorized attempts to access your data. Most systems come with cybersecurity tools built-in, but you should not depend on these to protect your business. For the most peace of mind, you should opt for managed detection and response services.
- Set rules for employee passwords. Do you want to guess what the most common password was in a recent survey? ‘123456’ Other popular choices were ‘123456789’ and ‘password.’ None of them are what you can call secure. Many people are lazy when it comes to their passwords, especially passwords they use for work. Try to use longer passwords of at least 11 characters. Remember to mix random capitals and lower-case letters, symbols, as well as numbers for the most secure passwords. Ask employees to change their passwords at least every three months.
- Keep your software and hardware up to date. Failing to update your applications or computers is like inviting hackers to steal your private information. Software developers spend a lot of time and money trying to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, so the least you can do is to install the patches as soon as you can after they come out. Staying on top of security updates should be the job of your IT department, but if you don’t have a dedicated team to do it, try assigning one of your employees the task of ensuring your workers are keeping everything updated.
- Test your cybersecurity. Once you have your online security in place, you need to ensure it is working. That is where a cybersecurity audit is useful. Periodic assessments of your safety measures can help you to identify any areas which may need strengthening. As part of a comprehensive security audit, try to include a penetration test to determine how difficult it is to compromise your servers.
Making sure your company’s data is secure is your responsibility. Don’t wait until it is too late. Start protecting your information today!