As hackers become increasingly more astute in their practice, businesses of all sizes must be conscious of this and armed themselves with effective security strategies to protect their intellectual property. Following are some important steps you can take to keep your business, employees and customers safe from online threats.
1. Adopt a Products and Services View of Cyber Security
Companies of all sizes have found that outsourcing security operations to third party security vendors to be one of the most cost effectives ways to ensure safety and security of their vital IT infrastructure. Keeping a digital security detail as part of your on-going operations can be very costly, but by partially or entirely passing their task to exterior security provider security is achieved at a reasonable price.
Recent studies done on cloud security showed that 80% of those questioned saw great potential in outside security experts to bolster interior security. Cutting-edge security measures are on the market and highly effective, but the best practice for business of all sizes is to follow a products and services approach to ensuring the security or your business and those you will be engaging.
This combines cybersecurity practices with the constant vigilance provided by a team of compliance professionals.
2. Make Systems Update a Constant Priority
There is an adage that says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is especially applicable to cyber security. One of the most important tasks you can do to keep your digital systems safe and functioning properly is to constantly be updating these systems that comprise your small business IT. Regular maintenance can ensure they run in optimal conditions regular updates provide “patching” that can keep your systems from becoming vulnerable to the increasing intelligence cyber criminals.
3. Secure Applications and the Network
Constant vigilance is required for improved security. It is important to be monitoring your network traffic for signs of any suspicious IP addresses or irregular file transfers. Once they have been spotted by your IT admin, they can add these situations to block list that prevent them from occurring in the future. Furthermore, all web platforms should be secured by an effective web application firewall (WAF) for all HTTP communications. This give your IT administrators the capacity to interrupt the most common cyber-attacks like SQL injections and XSS or cross site scripting.
Once a hacker tries to gain access to a web platform the system firewall will identify the attempted intrusion and will alert the admin to the threat. This makes it much harder to access applications your business will use all the time. According to Barclay Simpson a lot of businesses aren’t monitoring their cyber security.
4. Back Up All Systems
Ransomware is one of the most popular security threats and is a real dirty trick. This is where a cyber criminal uses a virus to encrypt all data stored on your database and holds it hostage until certain nefarious demands are met. The cases have gotten so grave that the FBI released a warning against this attack in 2015. Worse yet, even after the ransom is paid, the hacker is not able to remove the encryption and the files are lost forever. The virus is updated regularly and even companies with formidable security systems can fall foul to this ploy.
As ransomware become the tool of choice for the nefarious hacker, small businesses can keep their important data safe from harm by regularly backing up their key information. This can be done on on-site external drives, on the cloud or in a hybrid data center. You will need to keep all your data backed up on hard drives in a secure location to ensure your backed up files aren’t targetted as well. Many people find that cloud backup features are the most advantageous as they provide instant backup and top-notch security protection.
5. Train Your Employees to Be Security Smart
Human error is still one of the greatest threats to full security in the online world. It is essential that every member of your staff with access to data understands security protocol and engages in quarterly briefings and best practices. This should be accompanied with frequent reminders to adhere to best practices when protecting themselves and their digital assets. For example, it is much easier to guess a password than it would be to guess a passphrase.