You may not realise it, but your business’s data could be a potential goldmine for digital hackers. Customers’ personal and financial information, your company’s intellectual property; in the current day and age, hackers are constantly finding new ways to gain access to that data and turn it into cash for themselves.
A recent survey revealed that the average cyber-attack costs a business over £400,000, so if your business is not currently taking proper internet security measures, there really is no time like the present. For some small businesses, the world of data security can seem a little mind boggling, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you.
Review Your Passwords
Many small businesses are still not considering the importance of a properly secure password. Hackers’ technology is becoming more and more sophisticated, with programmes developed specifically to crack your password. A casual “password123” or your company name followed by some numbers will simply not cut it.
A strong password should contain a combination of letters, non-consecutive numbers and characters, and be at least eight characters in length. Don’t include any words which are in the dictionary – or if you do want to use a word you know, purposely misspell it – modern hackers’ software will work out any word from the dictionary with relative ease. There are many free password checkers available online, which you can use to test your password’s strength. Review and change your passwords regularly, and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts or systems. Last but not least – whatever you do, don’t write it down! This is a rookie error that too many people still make.
Encrypt Your Data
If you’re keeping all of your data on site, encrypting it is a great way to ensure that it won’t be compromised if it does fall into the wrong hands. Many databases and applications offer secure data encryption service. It is a simple and cost-effective way of protecting data which could save your business thousands.
Monitor All Devices
The emergence of the recent BYOD (bring your own device) trend is a great step forward many ways, but it also brings with it a whole new selection of security issues. Your employees could be working on important company documents from their personal tablet or smartphone, leaving your business vulnerable to security breaches. Implement a clear BYOD policy to outline best practices for your employees, and keep an inventory of all devices which are being used for business purposes.
Secure Your Wireless
Many small businesses find wireless internet is the best way to ensure that everybody in the office has quick and easy internet access. But don’t make it just as easy for others to access your network. Ensure that your network has a secure password – following the advice given under Review Your Passwords.
Consider The Cloud
Although there always seem to be concerns surrounding cloud networks, they can be a great way to secure your data. When you turn to the cloud, all of your data will be stored remotely, rather than physically on site, which means you don’t need to worry as much about physical breakdowns or hackers. Cloud providers apply stringent security measures to keep their users’ data safe, so even if you do lose your data for any reason, you can rest safe in the knowledge that it is securely backed up elsewhere.
This guest post was written by Emma Williams for Ancar B Technologies. Leave your computer security to the experts with complete IT security solutions from Ancar B.