Almost every business today has a form of an online presence. While having an online presence makes doing business easier, it also increases the risk of cyberattacks, a reason everyone (especially businesses) needs to take cybersecurity seriously. Although there’s no sure way of protecting your business from becoming a target, you still need to take the necessary cybersecurity measures to thwart a possible hack. Most hackers will look for a way to gain access and manipulate your computer systems, especially those connected to the internet. We’d recommend using an XDR alongside the 10 following tips Outlined below are a few simple, affordable, and effective ways to protect your company from cyberattacks.
1. Keep Your Software Updated
Every computer system runs on an operating system. Systems manufacturers are always sending out security patches for their apps and operating systems to prevent security breaches. Many of these systems have the ‘update’ feature turned off. Enabling automatic updates for all operating systems and software is one of the best and easiest ways to protect your computer systems from becoming potential targets.
2. Install And Enable a Firewall
A firewall helps protect your computer systems by blocking unauthorized traffic or access into the network. It also provides an extra layer of protection against malware and viruses, which hackers use to gain access to systems. That said, it would be advisable to install and enable a strong firewall on your networks. You could start off by enabling the basic firewalls that come with most computers (windows firewall and Mac firewall), as well as on your internet router. While it might not seem like much, it sure will help make it harder for a hacker to access your data and computer systems in general.
3. Make Regular Data Backups
Cases of ransomware attacks have been on the rise in the recent past. Cybercriminals use ransomware to encrypt data and lock you out of your computer systems, making it virtually impossible to work or access any data. The hackers then force you to pay a certain amount (in ransom) to be able to access your data and systems again. Ransomware attacks can happen even if you have the most up-to-date systems or have a firewall or antivirus.
One way to avoid such inconveniences is to back up your data as often as possible. This way, you will have a backup solution should the worst happen. In addition to this, it is considerably easier to restore data from a clean backup than paying a criminal for a decryption key. You, however, want to ensure the backup storage isn’t always connected to the main systems.
4. Activate Multi-factor Authentication
Two or more factor authentication provides an excellent way to prevent unauthorized access to an account or facility. The user has to verify their identity using two methods or passkeys to be granted access. Unlike single passwords that can be hacked, having to go through it twice or thrice makes the quest too much for most hackers, wading them off. Consider activating/enabling MFAs to protect your systems from possible unauthorized access.
5. Consider Endpoint Protection
Endpoint protection is a practice where entry points and endpoints of end-user devices such as mobile phones, desktops, and laptops are secured to prevent exploitation. Endpoint security systems are thus crucial for protecting your network and cloud from cyber threats. It is often considered the frontline to keeping your networks and systems secure.
6. Get Cyber Certified
The ever-increasing cyber threats have led to high demand and shortage for cyber security professionals. More and more companies are looking to employ a cyber security expert to help keep their systems and networks safe and secure. If possible, you too can venture into a career in cybersecurity. All you’d need is to be trained in the specific field to be certified as one. Becoming certified also means you will have a better angle at handling cyber threats before they can happen and a chance to keep your networks and company secure.
7. Consider Access Management
Controlling access to set policies and data can also help protect your most valued information and data. With an access management system in place, you can assign your staff only the data they should access, making everything else inaccessible. In addition to this, access management logs every action the staff takes while accessing these files as well. This also means you can grant or deny the ability to access, copy, print, or even erase files. With this approach, one would have to seek necessary clearance to access certain files and data. While it may seem a little harsh, enforcing admin rights and blocking staff from accessing or installing apps or data will go a long way in protecting your company.
8. Create Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly
Passwords and access codes are your first line of defense against unauthorized access and privacy. While it would be advisable to create long and complex passwords for various accounts, you still should make a habit of changing them as often as possible. Security experts recommend changing passwords every 3 months or shorter, depending on the account. One of the advantages of changing passwords regularly is that it makes your account unpredictable and will through a hacker off-course if they have been trying to generate the same.
9. Secure your Network Devices and Wireless Connections (WIFI)
Almost all network devices, especially routers, access points, and printers, come with a pre-configured default admin password. Most people will continue using these devices without ever changing the default passwords. Unknown to them, such pre-configured passwords are readily available on the web. A simple search will give you a list of all possible default passwords for such devices. The first step here would be to change the default passwords to stronger and unique ones. Next, you want to ensure your Wi-Fi network is password protected to prevent snooping and eavesdropping by malicious individuals.
10. Train Your Staff
While implementing all the tips outlined above is recommended, it would be all for nothing if your staff isn’t sensitized and trained on protecting the company and themselves from cyber security threats. A simple mistake such as clicking an infected backlink or problematic site on an unsolicited email could compromise your entire network and system security. Nevertheless, educating them on how to protect themselves while online and cybersecurity will go a long way in preventing costly mistakes and incidences.