More and more small businesses are becoming the victims of hackers and cyber crime. Research shows that 81% of all security breaches occur within small to mid-sized businesses.
Unfortunately, cyber attacks are a reality for businesses of all sizes. And with the recent news about the Intel Chip vulnerability, businesses worry that they could be vulnerable to attack. The good news is that with the proper securities in place, 97% of breaches that take place could have been prevented.
To help you prevent becoming a victim, we’ve compiled a list of 15 ways to practice responsibility and protect your business from a cyber attack today:
We have a great infographic that illustrates these 15 ways to protect yourself.
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1. Perform a Security Assessment - When was the last time you fully assessed your organization’s vulnerabilities and established your internal and external security risks? Stay on top of the most current hacking schemes & understand how they can impact your business.
2. Security Awareness - Not only is it crucial that internal IT teams understand today’s threats, but training your users is essential. Teach them about data security, email attacks (phishing), etc. Train them regularly on the latest scams and make sure they understand your internal security policies and procedures.
3. Secure your email - Spam email or phishing attacks targeting employees are a major source of cyber attacks. Educate your team members on what to look for. If you don’t have a third-party with data security expertise helping you ensure that all the necessary prevention tools are in place, you should seriously consider it.
4. Establish Password Policies - Your employees have access to a lot of information. Applying security policies to your network, like denying or limiting USB file storage access, enabling enhanced password policies, setting user screen timeouts and limiting user access are all simple to implement tools for decreasing vulnerability.
5. Quickly Detect and Stop Threats through Advanced Endpoint Security - Advanced Endpoint Security adds additional layers of protection from malware, viruses and cyber attacks. This technology (which replaces outdated anti-virus solutions) protects against file-less and script-based threats and can even rollback a ransomware attack.
6. Employ Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) - Whenever possible, put MFA in place on your network, on banking websites and social media channels. MFA delivers an added layer of protection and ensures data protection even if passwords are stolen.
7. Make Sure that Programs are Updated - Keep programs like Microsoft, Adobe and Java are updated for optimal security. You may want to consider a “critical update” service which automatically updates products to protect your computers from the latest threats.
8. Do Your Dark Web Research - Monitoring in real-time what passwords and accounts have been posted on the Dark Web can help you prevent a data breach before it happens. By monitoring the Dark Web for stolen credentials that have been posted for sale, quick action can be taken to protect your data.
9. Centralize your Security Technologies through SIEM/Log Management - Security Incident and Event Management uses big data engines to review event and security logs through all covered devices to help protect against advanced threats and meet the necessary compliance requirements.
10. Protect Against Internet-Borne Threats via Web Gateway Security - Internet security can be a race against the clock. Cloud-based security can detect web and email threats as they emerge and ultimately block them from degrading your network within seconds before they have time to reach a user.
11. Secure ALL Mobile Devices - With more and more organizations employing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approaches, it’s more important than ever before to protect any device with company data or access to your network. Employee phones and tablets can be easy targets for cyber attacks. Mobile device security closes this gap and still allows your employees to work remotely without putting your data at risk.
12. Firewall Protection - If your business is connected to the internet, it can be vulnerable to unwanted intruders. Send log files to a managed SIEM and turn on intrusion detection and intrusion prevention features.
13. Encrypt Data - Your employees and your systems have access to precious data like Social Security Numbers, routing numbers, credit card information and more. When files are at rest, they should be encrypted. Data encryption is a standard practice that helps protect business information without slowing systems down.
14. Always Backup Your Data - File and data backup should be done locally, to the cloud and offline. If your organization does an incident, backups will ensure that you retain access to your information.
15. Protect Your Business with Cyber Insurance - Cyber damage and recovery insurance can provide protection for the costs that result from a data breach or incident.
Organizations today must understand their vulnerabilities and take steps to be responsible and proactive in the face of threats. A trusted strategic IT partner with expertise in proactively managing security threats can assess your current situation and help implement protections to ensure your business has a strong line of defense securely in place.