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With the ever-increasing cybercrime incidents, businesses must step up their security measures to keep their systems safe. Following a successful attack, companies face the risk of data loss, which can significantly affect operations. There are also economic implications involved, ranging from financial loss due to business interruption, legal suits by clients for security and privacy breach, reputation damage, etc.
In some cases, companies may go under following a cyber attack. In addition to the mentioned losses, ransomware hackers may extort large sums of money from their targets, which can significantly set them back financially. According to a recent survey, 78% of US organizations have experienced ransomware, and 68% have had to pay a ransom. For this reason, cybersecurity awareness is vital for every business to survive in this digital era.
How well do you understand today’s cybercrime threats? Do you know how to protect your business against them? Below are five tips to help boost your company’s cybersecurity and lockout intruders.
1. Maintain Awareness at All Times
Cybersecurity starts with awareness. As a business owner, you need to be aware of what to look out for to keep your systems safe from attacks. This means you need to train your employees on essential cybersecurity safeguards.
For instance, you should avoid logging into company accounts using public Wi-Fi, as malicious people on the network can easily gain access to the accounts. You should also be wary of pop-ups and emails that request you to open links.
Research shows that the average person receives hundreds of emails every day. Several of these emails are from opportunistic individuals out to scam people. Once you click on the links, they attach to their emails, malware lodges in your device. This grants the hackers access to your system, where they harvest confidential information.
Ensure you empower your employees to detect and report any suspicious activities on the system for appropriate immediate response. You should also perform regular system audits to test their strengths and identify areas that need tighter security measures.
2. Use Complex Passwords
59% of US organizations admit that they manage passwords using their memory. Sadly, the easier it’s for you to remember a password, the easier it will be for a hacker to figure it out. Basically, strong passwords should be hard to remember.
Cybercriminals have sophisticated programs that mine personal data and combine different words until they crack the password. For this reason, you should avoid using easily guessable passwords like your name, city, birth year, etc., as this increases your exposure to attacks.
Ensure you maintain complex passwords, which should include a mix of both cases, numbers, and special characters. The longer the password is, the harder it will be for a hacker to crack it. Lastly, it’s crucial to change passwords regularly and every time you suspect malicious activity on an account.
3. Use Secure VPN
Securing your system from cyberattacks has two phases. One is what we have already discussed above – locking cybercriminals out of your data. The other strategy is encrypting the data to make it unusable if hackers manage to get their hands on it.
A virtual private network (VPN) is an effective way of hiding your private information from those that may access it illegally. Essentially, a VPN helps improve your online privacy and security. It encrypts the data leaving your device to the internet. Meaning that even if cybercriminals get hold of it, they cannot trace it back to the source.
Though using a VPN has a few downsides, the worst being a slightly slower internet, they are no match for its benefits. In a nutshell, using a VPN remains one of the most efficient data breach fixes.
4. Keep Your Data Backed-Up and Recoverable
Another way of safeguarding your business from cybercriminals is backing up your data. With the increasing ransomware activities in the nation, more companies are getting locked out of their systems by hackers in exchange for a ransom. Other attacks result in partial or complete data loss. Such incidences can bring your business operations to a standstill.
Keeping your data backed up, and recoverable helps you stay on top of cybercrime. With a comprehensive data recovery solution, you can restore your data at a moment’s notice whenever you face such breaches. As a best practice, ensure you employ both on-site backup and an off-site cloud solution.
5. Hire an Expert IT Cybersecurity Partner
Essentially, the health of your cybersecurity boils down to what you know about cybercrime. You may have tight security measures in place, but without 24/7 monitoring, the system may still be at risk of attacks. For this season, you should hire a managed IT services provider (MSP) to help you stay on top of your company’s cybersecurity.
As much as you may be conversant with basic cybersecurity safeguards, MSPs have the necessary expertise and capacity to monitor your systems from both known and emerging sophisticated threats. With their eyes on your systems 24/7, they decipher alerts and neutralize threats before they gain access to your data.
Every business and institution is at risk of cybercrime. Without tight system monitoring, cybercriminals can easily bring your company to its knees. Implementing the tips we have discussed is one step towards foolproofing your business from the devastating impacts of cyberattacks. Remember to maintain awareness at all times. Hiring an MSP company also helps to provide close monitoring and neutralize attacks that would be sophisticated for you and your team to address. A part of your due diligence also involves using strong passwords, securing your online activities with a VPN, as well as investing in data backup and recovery solutions. Doing these can decrease your risk of attack significantly, thereby guaranteeing your business a safer online experience.
At Virtual IT, we help protect your business with a broad range of smart solutions. We guarantee a fast response rate to minimize business interruptions as much as possible. With us on your systems, you can transact confidently, knowing a reliable expert has your back. If you have more questions about protecting your business from cybercrime, reach out to our experts today.