Gone are the days when burglars have to physically enter business premises to ransack them and take whatever valuable items they can carry. These days, businesses are fighting a new breed of intruders into their facilities: hackers and malware.
These digital malevolent characters can launch discreet intrusions into a business’ cyber facilities and wreak havoc by stealing user data such as credit card details and passwords, copying or deleting files, and other attacks. There are times when the damages are so massive and vicious that businesses had to close down indefinitely (some permanently) as they try to mend their damaged reputation and restore their cybersecurity infrastructures to prevent further similar incidents.
Here are seven of the best tricks to prevent cyber attacks on your business:
- Hire a professional cybersecurity firm. While it’s true that on many occasions, a company’s in-house IT team can be enough to guard against common malware and cyber attacks, things can be different when it’s a particularly vicious computer virus or a skilled hacker that’s launching the attack. For such situations, hiring a cyber network security company with a proven record of keeping businesses safe against data breaches is an investment worth making.
If your business operations rely heavily on digital processes or if your servers store sensitive client data, this item is non-negotiable. With a dedicated professional cybersecurity team standing guard against cyber attacks, you can rest well knowing that your company’s digital security is in great hands.
- Secure all company electronic devices. There are cases when a lost thumb drive or company-issued smartphone leads to damaging cyber attacks when the thieve managed to access critical data using the device. You can avoid this by physically locking your computer hardware such as desktops, as well as using difficult passwords, password managers, and installing a device tracker app for easy recovery in case of theft.
- Practice data encryption. Data breaches are not totally preventable, as even supposedly ‘unhackable’ entities such as federal government agencies have suffered massive data breaches in the past. These agencies have robust cybersecurity infrastructures and yet, they still fell victim to hackers. You can avoid the same fate by regularly encrypting your data so that in the event they got into the wrong hands through physical theft or cyberattack, the data would be rendered unusable.
- Back up your critical data and store it somewhere safe. If you’ve ever heard of ransomware, then you know how companies can be held hostage by hackers who ask for money in exchange for letting companies back into their locking systems. This type of malware is so powerful that it can perpetually lockout companies from their own cyberinfrastructure unless a ransom is paid to the hackers. You can stay a step ahead of these shady individuals by backing up your critical data and storing it in a secure physical facility. This way, you can still operate following a cyber attack while you’re trying to figure out how to recover your data and computer system.
- Educate your employees about cybersecurity. They say that prevention is better than cure and in the case of mitigating the risks of cyberattacks, proper employee education is critical. By teaching your staff about proper cybersecurity measures, the risks and methods of cyberattacks, and other vital pieces of information, you can already lower the chances of them occurring by as much as 50 percent. With the essential knowledge gained by your employees, they’ll surely be more careful about their online behavior and even the way they use the company’s electronic devices.
- Invest in hardware and software firewalls. One of the best investments that you can make to secure your business against cyber attacks is to purchase and install hardware and software firewalls. A lot of good firewalls can prevent most malware and also keep employees from accessing malicious websites that contain different malware. You can also invest in an IDPS or intrusion detection and prevention system for a higher level of data security.
- Regularly install system updates. There are good reasons why software companies roll out updates to their operating systems (OS), chief of which is to patch security loopholes. If your company computers are still running age-old operating system versions, then you’re practically a sitting duck to hackers. The obvious and easy remedy is to just click on the update button whenever it pops up to ensure that your computers are running the latest OS version with improved security features.
By heeding these tips, you can easily avoid damaging cyberattacks that could jeopardize your entire business.