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Cybersecurity is pivotal to the smooth running of a business and here are 10 ways your business could improve it.
Protect yourself from spyware, viruses, and malicious code.
It is important that every one of the computers used in your business has antivirus software installed along with antispyware, both of which are kept updated frequently. You can find many versions of these software programs online from many different vendors.
All software sellers will provide updates and patches for their programs regularly, to ensure that they are kept up-to-date on the latest viruses and to improve their functionality. Make sure you set your software to install available updates automatically.
Keep your networks secure
You can keep your internet connection protected with a firewall and by encrypting your data. If your network has Wi-Fi, make sure you set it to hidden and secure it with a strong password. To make your Wi-Fi network hidden, adjust your router or access point’s settings so that it doesn’t broadcast your network’s name, usually under the settings for SSID (Service Set Identifier). Your router should also be password protected.
Create security protocols and policies designed to keep sensitive information protected.
You should set out concrete policies for employees on how they should handle sensitive data and personally identifiable information and ensure it is kept protected. Make sure any consequences are clearly outlined in your policies to avoid violations.
Educate your employees on cyber security and make them responsible for their own behavior.
Your employees should be educated on the different threats that they may face online, as well as how to keep your business data protected, especially when using social networking websites. Depending on what type of business you run, your employees may be allowing competitors to be privy to sensitive data on how your business runs internally.
Employees need to be taught how they can continue to post online without revealing your trade secrets to competitors or the public at large. According to Capita IT Professional Services you should make sure your employees are held accountable to any security procedures and policies that you set out.
Require your employees to set a strong password that is changed frequently.
You might consider adding multi-factor authentication to your login information. This requires the user to provide additional verification beyond the standard username and password in order to access your data.
Check with the vendors associated with handling sensitive data, such as financial institutions, and find out if they can add multi-factor authentication capability to your account.
Use best practices when handling payments.
You should work together with your credit card processor or bank to use the most secure and validated anti-fraud services and tools. You can also consider applying additional security measures that work with your financial institution. Make sure your payment systems are kept separate from other programs that are less secure, and avoid using the same workstation to both handle payments and surf online.
Is your company ready to shift from the older payment cards that use a magnetic strips to a safer technology using chips or EMV? Major credit card companies in the United States have set October 1st as the deadline to become compliant. You can visit the website SBA.gov/EMV to learn more and find resources to help.
Have a backup copy of all your important information and business data.
Make sure your computers regularly back up their data. Important data to include in these backups include any spreadsheets, word processing documents, financial files, databases, account payment information, and human resource files.
If possible, set backups to take place automatically, or schedule them to be done weekly. Copies of your backups should be stored online in the cloud or offsite. Here are some good tips.
Control who has access to computers and your networking equipment.
You need to ensure that your business computers are not accessed by any individual not authorized to use them. Laptops are especially tempting targets to be stolen and are easily lost. They should be locked up securely when not in use. Make sure each employee has a separate user account with their own strong password. You should only trust your senior IT staff and higher personnel with administrative privileges.
Have an action plan regarding your mobile devices
Mobile devices such as cell phones can often pose a challenge when it comes to management and security, especially if they are used for sensitive or confidential data or have access to your main network. Make sure employees keep their devices password protected, use data encryption programs, and install apps designed for security so that criminals are not able to steal information, even if they gain access to the physical device. Make sure you also have a reporting procedure in place for any equipment that is lost or stolen.
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