Today, for every business to run efficiently and keep up with the competition, they must utilize various technologies such as databases, CRM systems and require a good online presence to be seen. In recent years, small business (companies with 250 employees or less) have increasingly been the targets to hackers and cyber attacks. Many of these schemes directly target employees through phishing emails. Cyber attacks and data breaches come in many different types but all have one goal, and that is to take sensitive information and utilize it for some sort of gain or profit all while ruining the companies infrastructure.
So what are the most necessary things a business must do to keep their IT safe?
- Utilize Antivirus Software
- Investing the money in Antivirus can go a long way. These programs are meant to catch any sort of malware entering your systems and stopping it at the gate before it spreads.
- Enable Firewalls
- Firewalls are a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a set of security rules.
- Train Employees on Cyber Security
- Most issues stem from unaware employees falling victim to phishing emails, in fact an untrained employee is the most effective way for a cyber attack to come through. Education your team consistently and making sure they can spot hacking attempts is crucial to your business.
- Make sure your passwords are strong!
- Making passwords that are easy to guess and typical will only hurt your business, an account can easily be compromised if your password is your birthday or “password123”. Using a combination of uppercase, lowercase letters and special characters will ensure a higher security level.
- Use Encryption
- Encrypting your emails, or other messages that get sent out will ensure that your information is being sent securely. Without encryption a hacker will be able to see and intercept all data being sent.
- Patch your operating system and software regularly.
- “Patch” or Update your operating system and software regular. Hackers are always on the lookout for weaknesses within programs and once they are discovered they can gain access to your files. Keeping your system updated ensures that these weaknesses or loopholes are “patched” up and a virus that attempts to enter through a loophole will not be able to go through.
Many of these small businesses do not have the personnel, expertise or time to put in their IT security and that is when they are put at a high risk for their business or employee data to be compromised. These proactive security steps are an absolute necessity to any modern day business. Keeping those 6 items a priority in your business network established a strong foundation for your IT infrastructure that will make sure your business is running smoothly and keeps your team productive.