4 Steps to Protect Your Business Against Cyber Attacks

03/08/2019

Protecting Your Business from Cyber AttacksWith nearly all businesses now operating in virtual space in some capacity, the threat of cybercrime has unfortunately become a common reality that business owners must face. Defending your business against cyberattacks may seem daunting, but fortunately, there are affordable and reasonable steps you can take to protect yourself.

Upgrade your software

Software developers regularly release newer versions of their code that not only add new features but also patch security risks that hadn’t previously been discovered. Though you should strive to keep all of your software up to date, the most important thing to keep updated is your computer’s operating system.

Many businesses continue to use Windows XP even though Microsoft has now completely stopped supporting the system, which means it no longer receives security patches and updates. “That means computers running the outdated software are now much more vulnerable to cyberattacks and hackers — and these criminals know it,” Julia Campbell warns in an article for TheBalance’s Small Business.

In other words, simply upgrading your computer or purchasing the latest Windows operating system for any computer that’s part of your business could go a long way toward improving your cyber security.
 

Train your employees

Your employees should be trained in cyber security best practices. Founder and CEO of Patriot Software Mike Kappel recommends setting up a cybersecurity policy for your business that includes procedures for keeping customer, employee, and vendor information safe, as well as protocols employees should follow in case of a breach.

He advises employees to create strong and unique passwords for all of their accounts and to set up two-factor verification whenever possible. “This requires a two-step sign-in process that adds another layer of security to accounts,” Kappel explains in an article for Forbes. “Employees will need access to another device or code to complete the sign-in process.”

According to the Hiscox Cyber Preparedness Report, employee training helped roughly 70 percent of United States companies to significantly reduce the number of cyber hacks and incidents.
 

Protect your email

One of the most popular cybercrimes is email theft, and given that most individuals’ accounts are directly associated with their email, it also represents one of the biggest areas of risk. Of all the passwords you use across all of your accounts, your email password should be the most secure.

“Cyber criminals buy and sell login IDs and passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card digits and other on darkness sites,” writes Steve Morgan, founder and editor-in-chief of Cybersecurity Ventures, in an article for Entrepreneur. “If a business has its email addresses accessible to hackers, the results can be devastating.”

One of the best — and free — ways to protect your email is to set up the aforementioned two-step verification, which virtually every email app offers, including Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.
 

It’s not all digital

Worrying about cyber security can easily make one forget that not all threats come from the internet. It’s equally as important to keep your computer or servers away from criminals in the physical world. Locking away all of your business’s electronics and permitting access only to trusted IT staff and key personnel can go a long way toward protecting your information and your operations.

Preparing for cyberattacks is a little bit like insurance. It can seem like a costly, even unnecessary investment if you think you won’t need it, but one that dearly pays off if you do. Given the propensity of cyberattacks in the modern age, taking small steps to protect yourself is well worth the trouble.
 

Related Blog Posts

Protecting the Elderly From Financial Abuse

Helpful tips you or your loved ones need to know Full story...

4 Steps to Protect Your Business Against Cyber Attacks

Full story...

Should You Install a Banking App on Your Phone?

Full story...