The last three decades have marked a huge increase in the number of business computers. Due to the growth of technology new methods have been developed for processing everyday business activities easily. Without this technology, routine tasks would have taken an enormous amount of time and specialization.
The Internet allows businesses of all sizes and from any location to reach new and larger markets and provides opportunities to work more efficiently by using computer-based tools. Whether a company is thinking of adopting cloud computing or just using email and maintaining a website, cybersecurity should be a part of the plan.
Properly managing information technology may be a priority for businesses in general. But what happens when you are a small business owner with little or no IT staff. With tight budgets, small business owners face challenges in how to stay up to date with the latest innovations in technology, much less keeping computer files safe from hacking and malware. For some, it might seem an insurmountable task. However, there are best practices that even the smallest business can follow.
Employees often do many jobs making it essential that all employees accessing the network be trained on your company’s network cyber security best practices and security policies. Since the policies are evolving as cybercriminals become smarter, it’s important to have regular updates on new protocols. Establish basic security procedures and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords, and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies. Establish policies which describe how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data.
While it’s important to prevent as many attacks as possible, it is still possible to be breached regardless of your precautions. Regularly backup critical data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud or both. To ensure that you will have the latest backup if you ever need it, check your backup regularly to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
One of the first lines of defense in a cyberattack is a firewall. A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure the operating system's firewall is enabled or install firewall software available online. If employees work from home, ensure that their home system is protected by a firewall.
It’s easy to assume that your employees know to never open phishing emails. However, one leading report estimated that 30 percent of employees opened phishing emails, a 7 percent increase from 2018. Since phishing attacks involve installing malware on the employee’s computer when the link is clicked, it’s essential to have anti-malware software installed on all devices and the network.
Regardless of your preparation, an employee will likely make a security mistake that can compromise your data. Using the multi-factor identification settings on most major network and email products is simple to do and provides an extra layer of protection. Using employees’ cell numbers as a second form, since it is unlikely a thief will have both the PIN and the password. ecurity is a moving target. The cyber criminals get more advanced every day. In order to protect your data as much as possible, it’s essential that each employee make cyber security a priority
ecurity is a moving target. The cyber criminals get more advanced every day. In order to protect your data as much as possible, it’s essential that each employee make cyber security a priority
Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their jobs, and should not be able to install any software without permission.
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