Goblins, and ghouls and cybersecurity…oh my! Even though Halloween is all about tricks and treats, nothing is scarier than being unprepared and uneducated when it comes to the security of your business’s data and finances. Each day, dangerous, well-funded crime rings are using state of the art techniques to hack into the accounts of small businesses just like you!
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) reports that 1 in 5 small businesses have been victims of cyber-crime, and since the Coronavirus Pandemic, these numbers have splurged. As businesses continue to move out of the office and work from home, more information is being stored online. Think about it, private business conversations you would have in person are now all being discussed via Zoom, email, and phone. Three internets led features that can be hacked by cyber-criminals in minutes. As Cyber-Security Awareness month comes to an end, we want to make sure you have the information you need to protect yourself from hackers, so that a haunted computer is the last thing that’s scaring you this Halloween.
Here are seven critical security measures your business must have in place:
- Routinely train and test employees on security best practices. The #1 vulnerability for business networks is the employees using them. If they don’t know how to spot infected e-mails or online scams they could infect your entire network.
- Create an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and enforce it! An AUP outlines how employees are permitted to use company-owned PCs, devices, software, internet, and email. Having this type of policy is critical if your employees are using their own devices to access company data. Your IT service provider should be able to help you with these.
- Require STRONG passwords throughout your company. Passwords should be at least eight characters and contain a lowercase, and uppercase letters, symbols, and at least one number.
- Keep your network and computers up-to-date. New vulnerabilities are found almost daily on common software programs you use all the time; therefore, it’s critical you patch and update systems frequently.
- Have and test your backups. Ghostbusters can't help you out of this one. A quality backup can elude even the most aggressive ransomware attacks.
- Don’t allow your employees to download unauthorized software. One of the fastest ways to access your network is by embedding malicious code into seemingly harmless apps. Make sure they don’t have “administrative” privileges on their computers.
- Don’t scrimp on a good firewall. Your firewall is the frontline defense against hackers, so it’s vital to the safety of your business to invest in a good one, with monitoring and maintenance are done regularly.
Don’t be a fool this Halloween, if you have any questions on the above security measures or your cyber-security strategy, don’t hesitate. Contact us today.