WIth every passing year, our reliance on computers, digital technology, online media,and cloud applications increases. We rely on these tools to stay connected, exchange vital information, run our businesses, create, conduct meetings, run marketing campaigns, and strive for growth and development. But as our dependence increases, so does the threat of online attacks.
Cybersecurity isn’t something to take lightly. Online attacks account for hundreds of millions in lost revenue, the theft of proprietary information and damage to your reputation and brand. Using only the most basic protections and then hoping for the best is no way to safeguard the integrity and future of your company.
Instead, it’s important to put together a comprehensive plan that includes multiple layers of protection and ongoing support to cover you no matter what happens. With this in mind, let’s look at 6 ways to protect yourself from online attacks.
1. Back-up Your Data
This is one of the most essential steps to online security. You’re not only vulnerable to cyber threats but to in-house employee sabotage, faulty or outdated equipment, accidents, and natural disasters. All these can destroy hardware containing vital information.
The best thing to do is to have both physical and cloud-based solutions in place. Do regular backups on external hard drives or other devices and keep these locked away in secure rooms, safe deposit boxes or safes. Additionally, get on board with a respected cloud back-up service and set regular, automatic back-ups so your data is constantly updated and stored without you even having to think about it. This will ensure you always have up to date information no matter what comes your way.
Having both of these measures in place means you’ll always be able to locate, restore, and access your data and keep your business moving.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
This is a great feature that adds another layer of security to different access points within your organization’s network. Having multi-factor authentication requires individuals to fulfill two or more requirements to access certain information or areas within your digital ecosystem.
Instead of just a password, they’ll have to enter a code and even answer a security question or two. These extra steps discourage certain unauthorized persons from attempting to access your system.
3. Change Passwords Regularly
Too often, we set up passwords that are too easy to crack and don’t change them often enough. You’d be surprised how many people use passwords like 12345, their own name, or even the word “password. Crazy, isn’t it!
Use longer passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase, letters, numbers and special characters. Stick to a firm schedule of changing them often, like once or twice a month to make access more difficult for would-be intruders.
4. Encrypt Your Data
Be sure to activate any built-in network encryption and consider working with your IT department or your IT service provider to implement more powerful, top-tier encryption for your data.
Strong encryption is a great way to ensure the safety of your data. Also, make sure emails and all information sent both from computer to computer in-house and online, are encrypted and require specific passwords and codes to open.
5. Create Security Practices and Policies
Security applications and IT support aren’t the only things protecting you. It’s important to establish the right practices and expectations early on with every team member and partner.
From safe email and web browsing policies and who gets access to what, to access control measures, password updates, and keeping your projects private, establishing an atmosphere where everyone prioritizes security is the perfect foundation for keeping your company safe.
6. Partner with an Experienced IT Service Provider
Sometimes, when we’re talking about network security, we need more additional support. Contracting an outsourced IT service provider can make a huge difference, not only in your security, but in all aspects of your information technology and digital ecosystem.
Instead of spinning your wheels trying to manage IT yourself, or outfitting an entire in-house department, your IT service provider can give you exactly the services and support you need at a great price.
There’s nothing better than having an angel on your shoulder. In this case, an IT angel making sure your system runs smoothly so your business can keep on growing.
There are many more steps you can take to protect yourself from online threats. It seems like every other week some new, advanced security program is hitting the market. And so many of them have a lot to offer. This list is a great place to start, though.
Take your security seriously. Don’t just rely on the basic, built-in measures included on your computers and applications. Upgrade to top level programs, initiate company-wide policies, upgrade and update passwords, use several layers of security, and team up with professionals who know how to protect your data against any threat.
Tech Masters provides industry-leading security measures and IT management for companies of all sizes, helping business owners thrive and organizations grow. Contact us today for your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about protecting yourself from online threats, check out our frequently asked questions below.
Why is cybersecurity so important?
Your business depends on the integrity of your data, communications, and digital media and assets. Without them, you’re stuck. Making sure you have several layers of security means your information is always protected. And if it does get breached, you’ll be able to restore it quickly. Plus, your security measures can save you thousands, even millions of dollars in lost revenue.
What are some things I can do to protect my data?
Conduct regular back-ups with both physical and cloud-based solutions, update passwords frequently, encrypt your data, use multi-factor authentication, use strong firewalls, and establish company-wide security policies.
Are the firewalls and antivirus protections on my computers good enough to protect me?
Not really. They are definitely a great starting point. For businesses, though, it’s important to implement several layers of robust security and IT support because the stakes are much higher. Companies have a lot to lose and so do their customers.
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