Security is very important for companies of all sizes. Your company likely holds a lot of data, private information and documents that need to be kept confidential to protect both yourself and your customers. However, in addition to securing your office and protecting it from unwanted visitors, you also need to protect your company from online threats.
Hackers, thieves, criminals, and viruses can wreak havoc on your company. And with cyber crime on the rise recently, you need to be sure to protect yourself and your assets by taking the proper precautions. In an effort to keep your company safe, here are a few cyber security precautions you can take right away.
Replace Potentially Unsafe Practices
The first thing to do is to identify potential problem areas in your company. These are usually outdated practices that can put your company’s safety at risk. This could be a process that isn’t safe anymore, or a machine that potentially leaves your security vulnerable.
For example, while fax machines have long been used by many companies, they aren’t always the most secure. They can be hacked, data can get lost, documents are not encrypted and unauthorized people can gain access to important information. The best alternative is to use an Android fax app, which can allow you to send and receive faxes online, without the need for a machine.
Use Strong Passwords and 2FA
While this might seem obvious to some, it is very important to use strong passwords at work. Despite this common knowledge, more than three quarters of all company data breaches are caused by weak passwords. When setting a password, especially at work, it needs to be very difficult to guess or discover.
Passwords should be long, with a random mix of letters, numbers and symbols. It is also important that your passwords are changed frequently. A secure password should not feature anything linked to you personally such as your name, birthday or pet names. In addition to simply using strong passwords, you should also use 2FA, to give yourself that extra bit of security in case your password is discovered. By simply having stronger passwords, many companies will be able to avoid cyber criminals altogether.
Another helpful precaution your company should take to prevent online security is to restrict access to certain data or information. The only people who should have access to confidential information are those who need the information or data to do their job. The more people that have access to sensitive information or data, the higher the chance that it can become lost, leaked or compromised in another way.
People are the leading cause of data breaches at companies, so restricting access is a proven way to limit your chances of facing a catastrophic security event. In addition to restricting access based on job needs, you could also allow access based on seniority, job title, or by another measure you create. Having all important data and information viewable and editable by any employee is not best practice when it comes to your company’s digital security.
Perform Tests and Audits Frequently
While it’s important to have security measures in place to protect your information and data, remember that cyber criminals are always getting more robust and advanced in their tactics. As a result, you need to be sure to test and audit your solutions on a regular basis, to keep them up-to-date. This can help you identify any weak points, and make sure that the measures you are using are truly the best.
These audits can be done in-house, but there are also third-party service providers you can hire to test your cyber security and make sure it’s up to par. There are always new innovations in security, so be sure to upgrade your measures regularly, or when a test/audit doesn’t go well.
Make Sure Employees Know Best Security Practices
You can have all of the best cyber security measures in the world, but if your employees are not educated on them, they will not be effective. You need to educate all new and existing employees about what you expect from them in terms of security. They should be aware of your password policy, practices for securing data, mobile phone usage and various other processes designed to keep the company secure.
Also take some time to educate your employees about safe browsing, and how to identify threats such as phishing attempts or malware. Without educating them, they may be unaware of what you expect or how to deal with threats when they come in.
This may take a bit more effort and investment in the form of training, but it can prevent security breaches down the road. Without this training, your employees may not be aware that what they are doing is wrong, and it could lead to a hack or data breach. As you can imagine, these can cost companies millions of dollars, along with ruining their reputation.
Keep Your Software Updated
Another precaution to ensure your company is protected is to regularly update your software. Most business software comes with updates every few months, so make sure you take the time to perform those updates as soon as they are available.
New updates often include fixes for previous mistakes or add better or more plentiful security measures. Older versions often have glaring holes that many cyber criminals or hackers can manipulate and use to their advantage. Keep track of updates that become available, and take a few moments to become aware of what the update entails. If possible, allow for automatic updates as this can simplify the process for you, especially if you are busy and regularly forget to update your systems.
The cyber security of your company is more important now than ever, and these precautions outlined here will help keep you and your company’s security safe.