As technology continues to evolve, so do the cyber threats that businesses face. Credential theft, data loss and other cyber attacks can put your business in a position to lose time and money. Luckily, there are a number of ways to safeguard your business and prevent potential attacks from hurting your productivity and bottom line.
As experts in the field, we at Technikel Solutions want to share eight cyber security tips to help your small business stay protected and secure.
Tip #1: Put Account & Password Security Measures In Place
Remembering a password with 10+ digits, uppercase, lowercase, digits and symbols might not be easy, but trust us, it’s much easier than dealing with credential theft. An easy way to create security for your accounts is to implement a password policy and to encourage multi-factor authentication. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has shared some advice on best practices for passwords.
Tip #2: Invest In Cyber Security Defenses For Your Business
A smart investment for your business is to ensure that the hard work that you put in is not at risk. Investing in cyber security hardware and software keeps your work and data safe and secure, saving you money and time in the long run. A few cyber security investments that we recommend are:
- Software to create filters and secure your email servers.
- Firewalls, antivirus and anti-malware solutions to protect your network from unauthorized users.
- Access controls that give access to only those that are authorized for specific data and programs.
- Digital certificates for encryption and authentication, securing your data and connections.
- A schedule for updates to keep systems current and protected.
Tip #3: Develop & Enforce Policies, Procedures and Recovery Plans
The last thing that you want is to be in a panic, without a plan in place, should your business face a cyber attack. In order to be prepared for the worst, but also avoid the risk altogether, it’s a good idea to develop and enforce cyber security policies and procedures, as well as a business recovery plan.
Cyber security policies and procedures will offer a clear outline for you and your team when it comes to data backups, secure payment processing, bring your own device programs, email use, work from home programs, passwords and much more.
If your cyber security is breached, a Business Solutions Recovery Plan can guide you in the face of disaster. Policies, procedures and a sound recovery plan offer peace of mind knowing that you are protecting your business and have a strategy ready to go, should something go wrong.
Tip #4: Invest In A Skilled I.T. Team
As important as software and hardware are in protecting your data and infrastructure, the people are just as important. A skilled I.T. team that knows the ins and outs of cyber security, as well as the ins and outs of your business, makes all the difference.
If you don’t have a dedicated, in-house I.T. team, investing in a Managed Service Provider like Technikel Solutions can save you from many cyber nightmares. Our team is Vancouver-based and has years and years of experience protecting businesses’ data, networks and their bottom line.
Tip #5: Equip Employees With Cyber Awareness Training
You may think that cyber security is solely the job of the I.T. department, but these days, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In most businesses, it’s common for many, if not all, employees to have access to data and systems, making the risk of cyber attacks exponentially larger. That’s why it is important to equip your employees with cyber awareness training, so that they don’t put your business at risk.
Cyber awareness training can help your team to identify threats and better protect their personal networks, which is important in the work-from-home age.
Technikel Solutions provides Cyber Awareness Training for your team within our flat monthly fee. Anyone with access to your network or data should undergo training.
Tip #6: Limit Access To Data
Cyber awareness training is a great tool to use to educate your employees on cyber threats, but at the end of the day, it is your responsibility to make sure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands.
Employees can be your greatest cyber threat, so it is important to limit their access to only what they need to do their jobs. Access to sensitive data that is not necessary to an employee’s job should be restricted. You can use access management tools such as physical controls (keys, smart cards) and digital access controls (profiles with specific permissions) to protect your data from ending up in the wrong hands.
Tip #7: Make Sure That Users Have A Secure Connection
Over the last few years, especially as we navigate COVID, many businesses have adopted a work-from-home program or given their employees the ability to work away from the office. With that, comes the added threat of security on networks that are not your own. Cyber criminals have taken advantage of this by intercepting data transmission on the free Wi-Fi network at your local coffee shop.
To prevent security issues that come with working on other networks, it’s important to ensure that your employees use a virtual private network (VPN) when working remotely.
Tip #8: Backup Your Data Regularly
An easy cyber security tip to follow, that can really save you in the event of disaster, is to regularly backup your data. It’s important to have multiple copies of important data and it is recommended to backup that data on two types of media storage and one form of offsite storage.
Regular backups ensure that you have access to important data should your business suffer a cyber security attack or even a natural disaster like a flood or fire.
According to Imperva’s 2020 Cyberthreat Defense Report, 80% of organizations have experienced at least one successful cyber attack. Don’t let your business be a part of that 80%! Follow these eight cyber security tips and make sure that you have a knowledgeable I.T. team in your corner to guide your cyber security strategy.