No matter what kind of business you own, your online security is more important than ever. With constant online attacks bringing down even the most well-equipped global national companies, small to medium-sized businesses and sole traders alike need to spend time thinking about their cyber security. Are you prepared?
If you are not confident in your online security plans, you could be risking everything. With just a few minutes and some nefarious software, hackers and cyber criminals can destroy everything you have worked so hard to build. Your payment records, client files, payroll information, banking details, and customer information can all be stolen right from under your nose.
Don’t be a sitting duck, waiting for a hacker to come and claim all of your hard work and destroy your business (or even just your personal accounts). Now is the time to take action – before there is a problem, not after a catastrophic data leak that ruins your credibility. Make 2019 the year that you take control of your cyber security and get safe online – and off.
Determine your most important information
Every business is different and has its own kinds of data and information that it needs to protect. It is up to you to carefully assess your business and go over all of your sensitive information in order to determine what you need to safeguard.
Once you have determined this information, you need to take the initial steps to protect it, including installing reputable anti-virus software, utilizing the appropriate firewalls, and segmenting your networks. Not sure how to do these things? Bring in an expert as soon as possible to advise you and get you set up.
Invest in the best antivirus software you can afford
Did you know that hackers could be levying malware attacks against your business right now, just looking for a vulnerability in your system? It’s true – millions upon millions of malware programs are launched each and every day, and hackers are only getting more sophisticated as time goes by.
You need a serious antivirus product that can stand up against their attacks. Your software product must protect you against worms, ransomware, Trojans, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and all of the latest malicious software.
Train your employees well, and regularly re-train them
Your employees are experts in their fields but do they know everything they need to know about online security and data protection? Your business should begin by investing in comprehensive cybersecurity education for all of your staff. Even if you feel like you are up to date with your online security, your employees need this extra support and training.
Just remember – it takes just one employee who is unsure about security to click on a phishing email and cost you a massive amount of time, embarrassment, and money – not to mention your reputation.
It’s not just about your business software
While it would be wonderful to think that your employees are only ever using their working hours for business matters, that is wishful thinking! We all like to take some time away from the grind to scroll through social media or engage in some online gaming. Make sure that everyone – including yourself – knows how to stay safe in all aspects of their online life.
Back up, back up, and then back up again
Backing up all of your important information is your, well, backup plan! If a hacker or a virus does manage to get through your virus protection, you need to have a thorough and foolproof backup plan in effect. It is always a good idea to utilize the 3-2-1 backup method. That means keeping 3 copies of all of your most important information, storing 2 more copies on external hard drives, and 1 copy on a cloud-based service.
Use two-factor authentication
By now, you should be using two-factor authentication (shortened to 2FA) in all aspects of your work and private life. 2FA works by asking you for additional information designed to verify your identity. This is usually an email or a text containing a token. Once you click the token, you can then officially log in safely.
Your online security has never been more vital
Whether you own a large business or just want to protect your personal information, you need to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. Protect yourself online so that you can use the internet with confidence for your business (as well as for your leisure!).