Cyber security is an issue that affects every company, however large or small. Within the past few years, countless organisations have fallen victim to hacking and fraud. As hackers grow more sophisticated by the day, protecting your business against intrusion is more important than ever before. Safeguarding your online infrastructure is essential but many companies neglect basic security measures, allowing hackers through the front door. Here are just some of the ways you can secure your business.
It may seem like an obvious suggestion but many companies are still failing to utilise password protection as a viable defence against hacking. Passwords should be as complex as you can make them, this includes the use of capital letters, numbers and symbols. Try to avoid words or phrases which could be easy to guess, such as names, dates or common words. A technique which has become popular in recent years involves the swapping of single word passwords for longer phrases. The phrase doesn’t have to make sense, in fact the more complex and nonsensical, the better.
Another typical mistake made by many organisations is the use of a single password for many accounts. This may make it easier to remember your login details but should your password fall into the wrong hands your entire infrastructure could be at risk. Use different passwords for different accounts and change them regularly.
Protecting your company can also involve the utilisation of trusted security software. There are many types of security programs available, including anti-virus software, firewalls and anti-malware software. It may be simpler to install a comprehensive software package which incorporates all of these tools into a single program. These can be quite costly but there are many free trials available for businesses who are looking to save money. Some vendors even offer their security software for free!
We are all aware of some of the larger security software companies but there are many out there. Try to stick with the well-known vendors but you can use tools and programs from other companies as long as you do your research first.
The way in which you connect to the internet is also incredibly important to the overall safety of your company and its online assets. Establishing a secure connection within your main workplace is vital but this is not the only issue. Public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those found at coffee shops or on trains can be unsecured and therefore open to intrusion. This should be kept in mind when accessing company files outside of the workplace.
Utilising a VPN or virtual private network will encrypt your data and therefore allow you to access public hotspots without having to worry that your sensitive information is at risk.
One of the most useful tips for ensuring cyber security is simply to remain vigilant. Hackers employ many techniques and will take advantage of any situation they can in order to infiltrate your system. For example emails can often be used as a way to trick users into revealing sensitive information such as passwords, contact and financial information. With this in mind, make sure your email filter is set to high. Also be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour, for example emails which ask you to input private details or even spelling mistakes within the body of the text.
Vigilance can also extend to your hardware as lost or stolen devices can be just as problematic as virtual attacks. Keep your devices on you at all times and consider installing a remote wiping application, just in case the worse happens.