If you’ve ever had someone break into your home or even your car, you know the feeling of vulnerability and fears that accompany that experience. The fear and uncertainty can linger for months and even years.
Now imagine a break-in at your business that jeopardizes everything you have worked so hard to build. But this intruder is invisible, and there is no chance that the neighbors will see something suspicious and call the police. Someone in a distant coffee shop in another country can steal your bank account information, private employee data, and information about your clients. Security cameras and motion detectors are useless in detecting this kind of intruder. What does the aftermath look like? In the best-case scenario, you will spend a LOT of time and money cleaning up the situation and making things right. With a little luck, you might be able to get everything running normally again. In the worst-case scenario, you lose a significant amount of money, you are sued by employees and/or clients for not securing their information properly, and the devastation leads to your business not being able to recover.
According to Homeland Security, 44% of small businesses reported being a victim of a cyber-attack, with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per attack. Protecting your business from cyber threats has become a top priority and it takes everyone in your company working together to keep your business safe, from top leadership to the newest employee. It takes everyone in your company, from leadership to the newest employee, working together to keep your business safe. Here are a few tips from Homeland Security your company can apply.
SIMPLE TIPS FOR EMPLOYEES
- When in doubt, throw it out. Stop and think before you open attachments or click links in emails. Links in email, instant message, and online posts are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, it’s best to delete it.
- Implement a backup plan. Make electronic and physical back-ups or copies of all your important work. Data can be lost in many ways including computer malfunctions, malware, theft, viruses, and accidental deletion. Your backup plan should include offsite storage.
- Guard your devices. In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, never leave your laptop or mobile device unattended in a public place and lock your devices when they are not in use.
- Secure your accounts. Use passwords that are at least eight characters long and a mix of letters, numbers, and characters. Do not share any of your usernames or passwords with anyone. Create a unique password for each site that you visit. When available, turn on stronger authentication for an added layer of security, beyond the password.
- Report anything suspicious. If you experience any unusual problems with your computer or device, report it to your IT Department.
SIMPLE TIPS FOR THE BUSINESS OWNER
- Equip your organization’s computers with antivirus software and antispyware. This software should be updated regularly.
- Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypt information, and hide your Wi-Fi network.
- Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
- Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often.
- Invest in data loss protection software, use encryption technologies to protect data in transit, and use two-factor authentication where possible.
- Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
In a perfect world, every employee would work their hardest to keep your network safe and secure. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, let this post help you determine next steps. Businesses often think they can’t afford outside help…until it’s too late.
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your corporate data, please click here to contact us. SecurIT360 provides audits, scans, and analysis of various systems and businesses across multiple industries including legal, financial, utilities, and healthcare. Let us help you determine where you should spend your time and money protecting your information.