Over the past few years, technology has proven to be an instrumental factor in the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. From helping companies reach new customers to increasing productivity among employees, technology has undoubtedly changed the business game.
While business leaders are constantly trying to think of new ways to use technology to their advantage, what they often times overlook is the importance of developing a security strategy which can prove to be detrimental in the long-run. It’s key that businesses have solid security best practices in place so they don’t fall victim to cyber criminals and risk having their business’s sensitive information compromised.
Here’s a list of 5 things you can start doing today to help prevent your company’s network from being hacked:
1| Train all employees on proper security practices.
A cyber security strategy is useless if not all employees are on board. It’s important to regularly communicate best practices and company-wide security policies with your employees. Within these policies, clearly outline password requirements and proper Internet usage guidelines, and be transparent about possible penalties if rules are broken.
2| Protect computers & networks from cyber attacks.
While usage policies might help curb cyber crime, it won’t completely prevent it. It’s vital your cyber security strategy includes keeping all machines clean by having the most up-to-date software, browsers and operating systems. Clean machines and a clean network are the best way to keep viruses and malware at bay. As an additional layer of defense, make sure you have an antivirus software that runs automatically after an update.
3| Create and implement a mobile device plan.
With more employees using their personal mobile devices for business purposes, more significant security challenges are arising. If their device holds confidential information or can access your company’s network, make sure they are password protected. Be sure to educate employees about the dangers of using public networks (i.e. Wifi in airports,hotels or other public places) and have them install security apps to prevent cyber criminals from accessing and stealing sensitive information from their device.
4| Make sure you regularly backup important files & information.
Chances are you can think of multiple files that would have a negative effect on your business if they were permanently lost. It’s critical you regularly backup your company’s data so you don’t put your company and employees at risk. Be sure to backup all computers and files, especially any databases, financial files, and human resources information. It’s best to backup data automatically to avoid any lapses and store the files either offsite or in the cloud.
5| Employee passwords & authentication.
Set up a password policy outlining employee password guidelines, including the use of unique passwords and the amount of time that can pass before employees are required to change their password. Another layer of security would be the addition of multi-factor implementation to your company’s authentication process which would require additional information to be entered before users are granted access.
While it may seem like a new major data breach is reported every day, there are proven ways to protect your business and employees from falling victim to cyber criminals. It’s important to have a solid cyber security strategy in place and to inform your employees about all policies in place to help protect your company’s sensitive information.