As the business world becomes more and more reliant on technology, it’s more important than ever that businesses are protected against cyber attacks. As one of the fastest growing fields in the IT industry, cybersecurity is now less of a luxury and more of a necessity.
But what can you do to make sure your business’s data is protected? How can you prevent and be prepared for cyber attacks and other technological mishaps so that they don’t devastate your business? Here are some things every business should be doing.
Download patches for operating systems and software.
Operating systems and software programs are constantly releasing “patches,” which are updates to the program that often include updates or improvements related to security. If you don’t stay on top of these updates, your systems could be vulnerable. Another thing to keep in mind here: older programs eventually become so outdated that they will stop being supported (e.g. a certain version of Windows will stop being updated), so you’ll want to make sure to upgrade your software as needed to avoid vulnerabilities.
Password protect everything.
Your WiFi network should be password protected, as should every device your employees use. Create a “Guest” WiFi network that is separate from your main network, and require guests to use that. Additionally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, recommends:
- Setting the wireless access point so that it does not broadcast its service set identifier (SSID)
- Setting your router to use WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA-2), with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for encryption
- Avoiding the use of WEP (Wired-Equivalent Privacy)
Back everything up.
All of your data should be backed up so that you don’t lose vital information in case of data extortion, viruses, hardware loss or destruction, and so on. You data should be backed up regularly, and backups should be stored offsite or in the cloud.
Speaking of cloud storage, if you decide to go that route, find an option that includes data encryption, for an added layer of protection. Encryption should also be used for all important data that is sent or stored.
Run background checks before hiring.
Few things are more important than knowing your employees can be trusted with your company’s sensitive information. Running background checks on candidates before hiring can help you rest easy knowing that your employees are trustworthy.
Set employees up for success.
Additionally, make sure you set your employees up for success when it comes to cybersecurity. Install filters that help them avoid potentially unsecured websites; use filters to catch spam or phishing emails; train them on best practices when it comes to creating passwords and storing data; have strict rules about device usage, including where they can take their work devices and what (if any) external devices (like USB sticks or portable hard drives) they can use.
Have a plan.
As hard as you try to protect your business against cyber attacks, the ever-changing dynamics of the cybersecurity field mean that new, unexpected vulnerabilities may arise. Have a plan in place so you know how you will respond should a cyber attack ever occur. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Protecting your company against cyber attacks is only growing in importance, but as technology continues to develop, it also becomes more complicated. Consider hiring a cybersecurity expert—whether full-time, part-time, or contracted—to help your company be ready for any unfortunate security incidents that come your way. A staffing firm, particularly one who specializes in the IT industry, like EDI Staffing, can help you find the right person for your needs.
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