Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day, and they can do a lot of damage to your business if they gain access to your computer systems.
For example, in 2021 hackers got into the Colonial Pipeline’s digital system and forced it to shut down for several days. This crippled the fuel deliveries, costing the company millions of dollars. On top of this, Colonial Pipeline had to pay an extra $5 million ransom to get its operation up and running again!
To protect your company from such cyber attacks, follow these 10 cyber security tips.
1. Stay Prepared on the Legal Front
Begin by preparing for the worst. In case of a data breach, you could face some hefty GDPR fines. Make sure you’re prepared by designating someone to be in charge of your company’s GDPR compliance. And what better way to do this than to hire a lawyer? You can check one out here.
You should also stay ready to alert the right authorities in case of a cyber attack. With timely action, you can mitigate the damages and avoid further attacks.
2. Understand Your Data
You can’t protect what you don’t know you have. So, the first step to keeping your data safe is to know exactly what kind of data you have and where it’s stored.
In this regard, you should categorise your data based on its sensitivity. This will help you understand which data needs more protection. For example, personal data like names, addresses, and social security numbers should be given extra security.
You should also know where your data is stored. Is it on your computer? On a server? In the cloud? Knowing this will help you choose the right security measures.
3. Use Strong Passwords
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people use weak passwords. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
You should also never use the same password for more than one account. If a hacker gets hold of your password, they’ll have access to all your accounts. So, make sure you use a different password for each of your accounts.
And speaking of passwords, you should also have a process in place for changing them regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change your passwords every three months.
4. Encrypt Your Data
Encryption is a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your data even if they manage to get through your security measures you have in place.
When encrypting your data, you should use a strong encryption algorithm like AES 256-bit. This will make it almost impossible for hackers to decrypt your data.
You should also encrypt all your sensitive data, including personal data, financial information, and proprietary business information.
5. Install Security Software
Security software is a must for any business that wants to protect its data. There are many different types of security software, including antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs.
Make sure you choose a reputable security software provider and install the latest version of their software. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest security threats and protect your data from the latest malware.
You should also schedule regular scans of your computer systems. This will help you identify any security vulnerabilities and take steps to fix them.
6. Backup Your Data
No matter how well you secure your data, there’s always a chance that it could be lost or stolen. That’s why it’s important to back it up on a regular basis.
There are many different ways to backup your data, including using an external hard drive, backing up to the cloud, or using a backup service.
Make sure you choose a backup method that’s right for your business. And make sure you test your backups regularly to ensure they’re working properly.
7. Train Your Employees
Your employees are one of the biggest threats to your cyber security. That’s why it’s important to train them on how to keep their data safe.
Make sure they understand the importance of strong passwords, encrypting sensitive data, and not sharing passwords with anyone.
You should also have a process in place for reporting any suspicious activity or potential security breaches. And make sure your employees know who to contact in case of a security incident.
8. Monitor USB and Memory Cards
USBs and memory cards are often used to transfer data between computers. But they can also be a security risk if they’re not properly monitored.
Make sure you have a process in place for controlling who has access to your USBs and memory cards. And make sure you only use USBs and memory cards from trusted sources.
9. Use 2FA
Two-factor authentication (or two-step verification) is an additional layer of security that can help protect your data.
With two-factor authentication, you’ll need to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password. This makes it more difficult for hackers to access your account, even if they have your password.
You should enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts, especially any that contain sensitive data.
10. Give VPN Access to Your Employees
A virtual private network (VPN) is a private network that’s used to connect employees to your company’s network.
VPNs encrypt the data that’s sent between your employees and your company’s network. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal it.
Giving your employees VPN access will help keep your data safe. And it can also help improve productivity by allowing safe access to files and applications your team needs while it’s away from the office.