Whether a company is thinking of adopting cloud computing or just using email and maintaining a website, cybersecurity should be a part of the plan. Theft of digital information has become the most commonly reported fraud, surpassing physical theft. Every business that uses the Internet is responsible for creating a culture of security that will enhance business and consumer confidence.
Businesses need a cybersecurity strategy to protect their own business, their customers, and their data from growing cybersecurity threats. Here are some tips to protect your data:
1. Train employees in security principles
Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords, and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies. Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data.
Kappa suggests implementing cybersecurity awareness training for your staff that includes monthly training on cybersecurity topics and monthly phishing simulation.
2. Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks
Keep clean machines: having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Have an IT company like Kappa ensure you are getting the latest updates and upgrades on your computer systems.
Not only do you want anti-virus, but you will also want to layer your protection and have an EDR licence for each of your PC's as well. EDR solutions complement antivirus solutions by focusing on detection and response.
They can help you quickly detect and respond to both known and unknown threats.
3. Provide firewall security for your Internet connection
A firewall guards outsiders from accessing data on your private network. Make sure your firewall is a business class firewall and has a current security subscription. If employees work from home, ensure that their home system(s) are protected by a firewall.
4. Create a mobile device action plan
Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password-protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.
5. Make backup copies of important business data and information
Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud.
Ensuring backups are encrypted and offsite is recommended. This not only protects your data from issues at your local office like floods or fires, but it also adds another layer of protection from ransomware.
6. Control physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee
Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should be revoked in ensure safety of unwanted programs installation that cause harm and access.
7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks
If you have an internal Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure, encrypted, and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router, so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Kappa suggests setting up an segmented guest WIFI, for your clients to keep your network secure.
Do not give away the password to your internal WIFI connection. This would allow clients devices to connect to your internal network, opening the potential for a major security risk.
8. Employ best practices on payment cards
Work with banks or processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations pursuant to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and don't use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.
9. Limit employee access to data and information, limit authority to install software
Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their jobs, and should not be able to install any software without permission.
10. Passwords and Multi- factor authentication
Require employees to use unique passwords for every program and change passwords every three months. Implement multi-factor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multi-factor authentication for your account.
It's important to remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. By taking these 10 steps, you can help protect your business from cyber attacks and data breaches. Creating and executing an IT cybersecurity plan for your business involves several steps, Kappa is here to help. Feel free to download our cyber hygiene checklist. Call Kappa anytime to speak to us about how we can help you improve your IT security. We are here to help!