For businesses in the digital age, cybersecurity is just as important as locking the front door when you shut up shop. Using the web to offer services, store data, manage customers and run your business offers an array of benefits, but opens you up to new kinds of security threats if you don't take proper measures to stay protected.
Because technology is always changing, the nature of hacking, scams and other malicious activity is also continually evolving. However, by following the steps below, you can ramp up your defence against cyberattack and keep your business protected.
Use passwords that are unique, complex and regularly updated
While this measure is one of the most commonly recommended, it is also one of the simplest. Sticking with default passwords is a big no-no, but changing it once is not quite enough either. According to countless cybersecurity experts, this is one of the most frequent mistakes made by individuals and businesses online, but also one of the easiest to rectify. By using passwords with a combination of lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols; limiting the use of a password to one account or device; and updating all your passwords on a regular basis, you can dramatically reduce risk of unauthorised access.
Choose trustworthy security software
Businesses in any industry should be protected by some form of security software. There are a vast number of options available for businesses to meet a variety of needs, allowing you to choose anything from straightforward all-in-one security packages to fully customised systems. The size, nature and unique requirements of your business will dictate what works best for you.
Limit access among your employees
Controlling what certain staff can and can't access on your network is an effective internal layer of defence against malicious activity. This extends to administrative processes too: allowing only IT staff and upper management to download files and install programs may cause slight hiccups, but will ultimately reduce the risk of any malware finding its way into your network.
Keep all operating systems and other software up-to-date
Software developers are constantly updating their products in the race against hackers who search for bugs and vulnerabilities. From operating systems to anti-virus software, being vigilant with updates is essential to ensure you are protected by the latest safeguards. If you continue to use older programs, you are exposing yourself to threats which target outdated systems.
Plan for the worst
Ideally, you'll never have to deal with a serious online threat to your business. However, proper preparation can help you minimise damage and recover quickly if you do find yourself in a situation where your cybersecurity has been compromised. Having a procedure in place will help both protect against loss of sensitive data and minimise downtime for your business.