Cybersecurity is a vitally important part of modern business. A data breach could have a devastating impact on your company.
You shouldn’t think you’re safe just because you’re a medium or small company. Some people wrongly believe that hackers are only interested in targeting big business. But this isn’t the case.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a data breach is an unlikely event. It’s been estimated there’s a 1 in 4 chance that your company will experience some sort of security failure.
With that kind of probability, you can’t afford to take any chances. This article lists 8 cybersecurity tips to help you secure your network.
1. Change Your Passwords Often
Do you and your coworkers change your passwords on a regular basis? One of the most straightforward ways of securing your accounts is to frequently change the passwords. You should also consider using a totally unique password for every website or service you use.
In some cases, an account might be hacked because you’ve used the same username and password across multiple platforms. Hackers might, for example, gain access to your Spotify password. If you don’t always use unique passwords, they could then use this information to access your Gmail.
Once they have access to your Gmail, they can then reset the password on other services. If you use a strong, unique password and frequently change your passwords, this kind of attack becomes significantly less effective.
Data breaches are a lot more common than you might think. Check out haveibeenpwned.com to input your email address into the service and it’ll let you know if your details have been leaked in a data breach. You might be surprised at how many times your passwords have been compromised.
2. Use a Password Manager
If you don’t want to mess around with changing your password regularly, you should consider using a password manager. These programs can automate the process of creating unique passwords and changing them on a regular basis.
Often, getting everyone in a workplace to change their passwords regularly is an impossible task. Using a password manager program can make things a lot easier.
3. Use Two-Step Verification
When you use 2-step verification, you not only need to input your password, but you also need to verify the login somewhere else.
For example, a text message might be sent to your cell phone with a confirmation code. This is a great and easy way to add an extra layer of security.
4. Keep Software Updated
How often do you push “remind me later” when software tries to update? This is a bad practice because it puts you at risk of a security breach.
When software is updated, not only does it improve the functionality of the software, but it also fixes any security issues there might be.
Once security vulnerabilities are exposed, hackers will specifically look for people who are using the out-of-date software. This means you’re making yourself into a target if you lag behind in updating your software.
If you want to practice good security within your company, you need to ensure every computer runs an up-to-date operating system. All of the software on every computer should also be updated regularly.
5. Delete Inactive Accounts
Often, companies keep the accounts of old employees open, long after they’ve left the building for the last time. If you’re looking for ways to tighten up your security, you should consider removing any inactive accounts on your company network.
You should try to have a good off-boarding system in place so you have a procedure for decommissioning old accounts.
6. Get a Security Audit
If you want to get feedback on how protected your company is against a cyber attack, it’s well worth investing the money in a security audit (learn more here).
A security audit will help you to identify any points of vulnerability in your cybersecurity system. You can then use the feedback from the audit to make your company’s network more secure.
In some cases, a security audit can uncover critical security vulnerabilities that could lead to catastrophe if they were exploited by a hacker.
7. Train Your Employees With Cybersecurity Tips
Many of the most successful hacks involve social engineering rather than actually hacking into a computer system. These kind of attacks are effective because the people working at a company are often a weak link.
You might spend thousands on the latest anti-virus and firewall software, but all of this is useless if one of your employees unwittingly hands over passwords to an attacker. Older employees are particularly vulnerable to things like phishing scams.
The only way you can avoid this kind of vulnerability is through educating your employees. But having a single cybersecurity seminar often isn’t enough. You really need to drill good security practices into your employees if you want to immunize your company against things like phishing attacks.
Ideally, you should have cybersecurity training sessions at least twice a year. This ensures that security protocols are reasonably fresh in people’s memories most of the time.
8. Empower Your Employees to Say Something
It’s no use having security-conscious employees if there’s no one for them to report to.
Your company should adopt a “see something, say something” approach. There should be a designated person at your company who’s responsible for taking reports on security risks.
It’s important that you take any report you might receive seriously. People making reports should always feel like their efforts are valued.
Your employees should be empowered to report security concerns to the point that you receive a lot of false positives. When you adopt this kind of workplace culture, you’re likely to quickly identify any potential security issues.
On the other hand, if employees are admonished for making false positive reports, you’re making yourself more vulnerable. When a real threat appears, people might not think it’s worth reporting.
Always Work on Security
Don’t fall into the trap of running a single cybersecurity tips seminar and thinking you are done. Good cyber security is a constant process. This is something your employees should be thinking about at all times rather than just once a year.
By being proactive, you’re not only setting up your employees for success but your business as well.
Looking to keep your kids safe on the net too? Then check out our blog post on seven apps you should use.