With cybercriminal activity on the rise, businesses across the globe must secure their data. If hackers manage to gain access to a company’s confidential files, they could destroy the entire business.
Cyber security is of vital importance to prevent cyber attacks and data breaches. Since the pandemic began, technology experts have noticed that cybercrime has been increasing and that all businesses should do whatever it takes to stop sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
Most businesses store important and confidential data on their networks, including client information, business transactions, and employment details. If a hacker manages to access these files, they will look for ways to exploit the company. They are known to hold this data to ransom, and often ask the company’s owners for large sums of money.
If a cybercriminal successfully accesses the business’s clients’ private information, it could ruin the company’s reputation. The clients will feel that the business can’t be trusted to store important and confidential data, and they might be reluctant to continue doing business with the company.
So, what can small and medium businesses do to protect their data and their company’s reputation?
Employ a Reputable VPN Service
Virtual private networks, also known as VPNs, were initially created to help keep networks within large businesses secure. Nowadays, there are several VPN providers readily available, which is one of the reasons why so many small and medium-sized businesses are taking them on board.
If a hacker manages to find your original IP address, they will find it easy to access the network and all the unsecured devices connected to the network. When you run a VPN on a device, it will mask the user’s original IP address and give it a new one. This will make it difficult for cybercriminals to hack the system. It will allow people to connect securely to a remote network while online.
Employees will be able to access all of the businesses resources that are connected to the network, including confidential files, applications the business might be using, printers, etc.
During these unprecedented times, a lot of workers work from home to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Because so many people are working from remote locations, experts believe that a lot of them connect devices to unsecured networks. If people working within the business work from home, then they should run a reputable VPN service at all times to reduce the risk of a cyber attack. The employees will be able to set up a virtual private network at home, so they can continue working without compromising sensitive data.
Invest in Password Management Software
Most people are well aware by now that they need a strong password to prevent others from gaining access to their different accounts. Using weak passwords can have a devastating impact on both small and medium sized businesses. However, remembering long and complex passwords can prove challenging, which is why you should consider purchasing a reliable enterprise password management tool.
These tools will help boost your company’s cyber security, and you will be able to configure each password manually if needed. A lot of software packages available will have an autofill feature, so you don’t have to worry about remembering all the letters and digits that were used to create the strong password.
Instead of storing all the passwords on a hard drive, a flash drive, a piece of paper, or an email account, password managers allow people to store their passwords and other confidential data in a highly secure encrypted vault.
Train Your Employees about the Dangers of Cybercriminal Activity
It is critical that your employees understand the dangers of cyber crime, especially if they are working from home. Consider holding regular meetings to educate your workforce about the different protocols and updates.
Today, a lot of businesses want to hold their employees accountable for their actions, which is why a lot of business owners ask their staff to sign a document that states that the workers have been informed about the different policies. This way, if the worker doesn’t follow the cyber security policies that are in place they will be held accountable. Although this might seem like a strict way of dealing with your team, it will help keep your company’s data secure.
Companies should focus on developing and implementing a cyber security plan. The plan should outline clearly the best practices so each person working for the business understands what to do. You might want to hire a team of tech experts to train your staff on what to do to keep the system secure. You might also want to consider hiring experts if you have any legal concerns about cyber criminal activity.
Investing in cybersecurity can cost a business a pretty penny, so you should prepare a budget for it.
Purchase Antivirus Software
Malicious programs can damage a computer and other devices and put your confidential data at risk. It is vital that a company secures both their networks and data, especially nowadays. Even if the devices connected to the company’s networks already have a built-in antivirus package, you should consider looking into getting a better system.
Cyberthreats are constantly changing, so you should invest in an antivirus package that provides regular updates to protect each device against these evolving threats. Basic antivirus software won’t be able to protect devices from sophisticated software, which is why businesses should purchase a robust anti-malware software system.
Luckily, there are several top-notch antivirus packages readily available. Most malware and antivirus developers offer potential clients a free demo version so they can test the software without having to buy it first. Consider downloading multiple packages before investing your company’s hard-earned money. Speak to other similar sized businesses to yours to see what system they are currently using.
Make a Backup of all of your Company’s Data
Losing important files can prove disastrous in the business world. You and your employees must make a backup of all the critical data stored on the company’s system to avoid losing it. It should be done on a regular basis, and users should make both a physical copy of the data, and another copy saved in offsite storage.
In the past, businesses used to store their important files in a data room. This was a physical room with high security where people could store confidential information. However, employees and others within the company were unable to access the room unless they were physically in their place of work. Instead of using traditional data rooms, a lot of companies are relying on virtual data rooms instead. A VDR will allow users to store sensitive files and data in secure cloud storage.
Even with the best cyber security on board, it’s impossible to secure the entire system. However, business owners should do their best to protect their company. They should stay up to date with new software that is designed to prevent cyber attacks and update their current system regularly. Keep an eye out for new threats that could harm your company, and educate your staff members whenever changes are being implemented.
Small and medium sized businesses are most at risk of becoming victims of a cyber security breach.