In 2021, there was a 68% increase from 2020 in reported data breaches, which totaled a record of 1,862. And unfortunately, this number will most likely grow as each year passes by.
Data breaches can be so devastating that most businesses close their doors permanently after a year or so. Not only can they cause business operations to come to a grinding halt, but they can also lose customer trust.
To prevent this from happening to your company, you need to have good digital security.
Keep reading for 7 cybersecurity tips you should know to protect your business.
1. Use Firewalls
Firewalls are what control the traffic that comes in and out of your network. They’re the first line of defense, so don’t forego this vital part of your cybersecurity.
Firewalls analyze everything that comes into your network. If anything’s not on your authorized list, then it’s blocked. In addition, if malware somehow gets through, a firewall can prevent it from doing further damage by blocking communication.
What’s great is most operating systems come with their won firewalls. So all you have to do is check that they’re on, and you’re set!
2. Have Good Antivirus Software
In addition to firewalls, you’ll also need antivirus software. This is another layer of security that’ll catch any malware trying to sneak into your system.
You might be tempted to just install a free antivirus program, but avoid doing this. Not only can it be malware in disguise, but it probably doesn’t have the greatest capabilities.
Spend a little money and consider it an investment into your company’s safety and survival. Also, there are many business plans and occasional discounts that’ll make the hit to your wallet not as bad. So keep an eye out!
3. Keep Programs Updated
You might’ve noticed those popups that say you need to update your programs. But because you were in the middle of doing something, you clicked “ignore” and continued on. And every time after that, you were always busy, so you kept postponing updates.
This is one of the worst things you can do for cybersecurity! The fact is, hackers are relentless in their efforts, and they’ll always keep trying to find vulnerabilities in programs to exploit.
The updates are there to patch up any holes, so it’s important that you install them right away. Every time you click “ignore” is more time for cybercriminals to get into your network, so don’t allow them this opportunity.
4. Password Protect All Accounts
It’s much easier to leave your devices and accounts without passwords. But think about it: if it’s easy for you to get into, then it’ll be easy for someone else as well.
At the very least, you should password protect all accounts. If possible, turn on multifactor authentication (MFA). This means in addition to providing credentials, you’ll also need to receive a token that’s valid for a short period of time, such as a code through email or text.
MFA adds more layers between you and hackers so even if they manage to get your username and password, they still can’t access your account because of the unique token they need to enter.
5. Back up Data Regularly
If you don’t already do this, you should start yesterday. Backups are essential for data protection; the more copies you have, the better. You should also make sure you have both digital and physical copies.
One common type of cyberattack is ransomware. Hackers will lock up your device and demand you pay a ransom, usually an amount in Bitcoin. But once you pay them, it’s never a guarantee they’ll give you back access to your device, which means you can be out of a large sum of money and your data.
If you back up your data regularly, this won’t be a problem. You can just reset your computer and work from the last backup.
These backups will also come in handy in case of fires or floods.
6. Get Workplace Training
If humans can recognize cyber attack attempts, then there’s no need for things like antivirus programs. Of course, we’re not machines, so we won’t ever be able to identify threats 100% of the time, which is why having firewalls and antivirus software is always a good idea.
Even so, successfully recognizing just some threats will help, so it’s a good idea to get workplace training. A dedicated digital security officer can stay on top of current attacks and inform the workplace about them. Not only that, but they can provide training and perform mock attacks to see if your employees can recognize key signs.
7. Work With a Managed IT Support Service
All of the above cybersecurity tips can be difficult to manage on your own. This is where IT support services can really help!
A third party can help with security measures, such as antivirus programs and data backups. They’ll bring their own technology so you won’t have to worry as much about company protection.
Even if you’ve already got an IT department, a third party can help lessen their load. That way, your in-house team can focus on the pressing issues while the third party handles everything else.
Use These Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Business
These cybersecurity tips are a great starting point for safeguarding the business you’ve poured so much blood, sweat, and tears into. By keeping up with upgraded measures, you’ll be able to fight back against hackers.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t get complacent. Cybercriminals will keep trying to hack your system, so maintain strict measures and it’ll pay off in the long run.
If you want to learn more about business protection and information technology, then check out the rest of our blog posts today.