How Your Business Can Stay Cyber-Secure Without Spending a Fortune?
Hackers usually aim to steal money and data from large corporations and government organizations. However, they are now shifting their attention towards small-business owners and individuals. Large enterprises have huge bank balances and valuable piles of data, but they are well-equipped with hosts of cyber-security professionals and bear close associations with law enforcement. Thus, reducing hackers chance to succeed and increasing the likelihood of getting caught and jailed. As a result, it has become significant for small-business owners, novice entrepreneurs, and general public to stay cyber-secure. But it is difficult for small-business owners to spend money to acquire sophisticated strategies for enhancing their cyber protection.
So, instead of doing nothing, it is better to adopt certain low-cost strategies, which are as follows:
1. Create awareness:
Make your employees understand that they are an easy target for the hackers. A simple and short conversation can make them alert towards cyber-security. In this small discussion, educate them about certain basics of cyber protection. Explain to them how to avoid unsafe behaviours such as opening unknown attachments or emails and clicking the links mentioned in it, downloading movies and music from rogue websites or purchasing products from unknown stores. You can also access to plenty of free materials available online that can help you in this task. But do not completely depend upon this information as a sole way to fight against any substantial threat.
2. Do not give everyone the keys to castle:
If an employee becomes deceitful, or a hacker break opens the security of an employee, then you have to take immediate actions to hold that damage. An employee should be given access to only those computer systems and data that they require to complete their work. Similarly, family members do not need access to your office data and so do not store any sensitive data in home computer systems.
3. Backup often:
Keep a backup of all the significant and sensitive data. If you lose the data, then you can easily restore it and easily prevent yourself from a stressful situation. Avoid storing backups on a computer system because malware can attack your computer and corrupt your backup data also. Therefore, you should have both offsite and onsite backups.
Save all the sensitive and job-related information in encrypted formats. If you feel that certain information related to your business is extremely sensitive, then encrypt it. Many versions of Windows have an inbuilt encryption tool, and also a large number of free encryption tools are easily accessible.
5. Do not share credentials:
Every employee should have their individual login credentials, and they should not reveal it to any other person. Such a scheme will help you to audit employee activities in case any problem arises. It will prevent employees to engage in any malpractices, and encourages them to secure their passwords.
6. Use a proper password policy:
Passwords are something that should be complicated and not easily detectable by others. However, extremely complicated passwords cause employees to either write them or reuse them. Instead, create passwords that are a combination of proper names, numbers, and words. You can also use special characters and mixed cases, which improves employee’s security and promotes satisfaction. If the data is extremely sensitive, then you can use biometrics or multi-factor authentication.
7. Devise, implement, and enforce social media policies:
Social media can sometimes become a nightmare. Employees may make particular posts that can leak sensitive data, which may provide criminals an opportunity to attack. Many times, employers unknowingly leak data by posting through smartphones. Through “auto correct” a misspelled word is corrected to a term that can be a code of sensitive information. So, it is important to implement personal and social media policies. The strategy of instructing employees to avoid making particular posts on social media will not work at all. They will violate such policies, and so it is necessary to implement and enforce certain strict rules on them that will prevent such actions.
8. Use security software:
All computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones that store sensitive data should have security software. There are plenty of software programs that include antivirus, firewall, anti-spam and various other beneficial technologies that secure your computer devices from harmful threats. Moreover, it is necessary to keep these technologies updated on your computer systems. Smartphones and tablets pose a greater risk, and it is more important to secure them with security software programs. Do not forget to install and enable remote wipe feature on all the portable devices.
9. Segregate internet access:
If you are willing to give internet access to your employees on their personal smartphones and tablets, or to your guests at the workplace or home, then implement it on a discrete network. There are low-priced modern routers that offer such facilities.
10. Hire a pro:
Hire an expert who will construct a cyber-security plan and will proactively guard you against cyber threats. Spending a little money and acquiring few hours of advice will save your time, money, and from worsening situations. It is similar to instances when either you are convicted or being audited. To deal with these situations, you should appoint experts such as a lawyer or a tax attorney. So, there is a possibility that hackers can attack you, and so it is better to hire a professional who will defend you against all the malicious threats.