Best Security Tips to Protect Your Business Against Cyber Threats

If the recent trends are anything to go by, it’s safe to say that cybersecurity breaches are the No.1 threat to the U.S. economy and -by extension – the world. The FBI recently released an Internet Crime Report indicating that businesses, organizations, and government entities lost a whopping $2.7 billion to cybercrime in 2020 alone.

Unfortunately, this stat may only get worse in 2021, as cyber threat actors are constantly working around the clock to devise more sophisticated strategies for launching their malice. In fact, they’ve already succeeded in targeting reputable companies like JBS and Colonial Pipelines in what is suspected of having been ransomware attacks – pending a full investigation.

The bottom line is, it’s not a question of IF but rather WHEN your business, large or small alike, may be attacked. So the more vigilant you are against cyber threats, the better your chances of avoiding huge commercial losses, reputational damage, disruption of business, physiological harm, or potential extortion.

Keep scrolling for a detailed review of the best actionable tips that you can implement to protect your organization against ill-intended hackers and data thieves.

Actionable Tips to Protect Both Your Remote and On-Prem Workplaces

Back Up Your Data

Suppose your business were to get disrupted temporarily due to a cyber incident, network downtime, fire outbreak, power outage, or an act of God. Would you be able to recover your data? If the answer is NO, that’s a sign you need to implement a data backup solution to guarantee quick recovery and business continuity in case such uncertainties happen. The good news is that backing up your data hassle-free and doesn’t cost a fortune. However, taking it for granted can result in lifelong repercussions because 40-60% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. Think about it!

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication, MFA

MFA is a verification method that requires users to provide two or more proofs that they’re the legitimate owners of the account they’re trying to access. In this case, a password is not enough to prove identity; the system may also send a passcode to your mobile device before granting access. The idea is to provide an extra security layer, making it virtually impossible for hackers to access and compromise your online accounts.

Monitor Your Hardware and Software

Keep an inventory of all your software systems and computer equipment and ensure that they’re optimally secure to prevent illegal access. More so, if your business supports the BYOD policy, you want to reiterate to your employees to be careful:

  • Where they keep their devices
  • How they stored use their devices
  • What networks they connect to their devices, e.g., public Wi-Fi
  • What portable hard drive and USB cables they use – they could be carriers of unknown viruses and other potential threats

Regarding software, you want to eradicate any solution that’s no longer in use from your system. And while at it, you want to ensure such software contain no sensitive info when discarded. Retaining older or unutilized software as part of your network means they’ll barely get updated, creating a loophole that threat actors can capitalize on to target your confidential data.

Bolster Your Security Settings

When you acquire software or hardware, they usually come in their default security settings – you don’t want to launch and use them in that status. For instance, an ‘out of the box’ device or program may be deemed to follow standard security practices, but that doesn’t mean it’s as secure as it should be. Therefore, you should also enhance security by changing default settings, training your staff on proper usage, encrypting sensitive data, etc.

Deploy the Best Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is the practice of protecting end-user devices like laptops, smartphones, PCs, tablets, etc. In other words, it’s the act of securing all devices that threat actors may attempt to exploit to enter your system and compromise or steal data. It involves implementing technology solutions like firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, and antispyware programs. These solutions are excellent in network access control, browser isolation, app control, and URL filtering. But it doesn’t stop at the implementation stage; you should also monitor and update the endpoint security solutions as necessary.

Train Your Staff on Cybersecurity

Your employees are the weakest link between your organization’s sensitive data and cyber threat actors if they don’t know how to stay safe online. You want to partner with a reliable cybersecurity solutions firm to offer them Security Awareness Training (SAT) on topics such as password best practices, threat simulations, identifying, avoiding, and reporting cyber threats. But that’s not all; you also want to create business-specific policies that your staff should adhere to for better security compliance.

Stay Up-To-Date

Another great weak link to cyberattacks is an outdated system. When your business apps and services are out of date, they create a security loophole that cybercriminals can use to effortlessly maneuver their way past the endpoints and launch any attack. The best way to seal these vulnerabilities is to watch out for the software patches and updates that developers usually release and install to keep your systems and apps updated.

Fortify Your Email Security

Emails are usually used to launch different types of attacks such as phishing, CEO fraud, identity theft, and Business Email Compromise (BEC). The good news is that you can fortify your email security proactively through the following tips and best practices:

  • Attention to detail.  If you’re not sure about the email, you want to dig into definitive details for confirmation. In particular, confirm that the ‘signed-by’ and ‘mailed-by’ sections match the sender’s address domain.
  • Spelling and grammar. When suspecting the email’s authenticity, you should look out for any typos or blatant errors. Imagine receiving an email indicating to come from your vendor or bank but contains glaring grammatical and spelling errors. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
  • Specificity. You should also watch out for vagueness in your email receipts. A legitimate sender would most likely have your basic info, like your surname, and apply it in salutations. On the flip side, a scammer may use vague terminologies like ‘Esteemed Customer’ or ‘Hi Dear.’
  • Suspicious links. Don’t always be quick to open email links because as legitimate as they may look, the chances usually are that they may be ill-intended. The best approach is to avoid clicking the links altogether. Instead, you should notify the IT department or your security partner for further action.

IT Security Services in Omaha, St. Louis, Des Moines and Kansas City

Hopefully, these business security tips were an eye-opener, and you picked a thing or two about bolstering your on-prem and remote workspace security. But let’s face it; implementing these security best practices may be overwhelming, especially if you’re a small and mid-size business trying to push other value-adding responsibilities like marketing and new product development.

Luckily, that’s where we come in handy; Virtual IT is a No.1 rated IT and cybersecurity services provider for your organization. We can strategize, implement, and monitor your network security systems to guarantee round-the-clock protection against cyber risks with our vast resources, expertise, and experience. So reach out to our team today for a comprehensive security assessment.

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