Keep Your Business Safe Online

No matter how big or small, your company is exposed to risk on the internet. It’s up to you to safeguard your data as much as possible.

Because of the relatively small size of your business, you may assume that you’re totally safe online. Unfortunately, size has nothing to do with it. Your company will always be exposed to a certain amount of risk on the internet and it’s up to you to safeguard your business as much as possible.

Keep Your Business Safe in 2018

Every business has its own needs and problems, but one of the more pressing issues is cyber security. You no longer have the option of idly sitting by and hoping your business won’t be affected. If you don’t prioritize security, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you’ll be compromised.

In an effort to keep your business safe, try using some of these tips:

  1. 1. Back Up Data

One of the most significant actions you can take to protect your business is to back up data on a regular basis. Not only does this help you keep your data safe in case a server crashes or a device is damaged, but it also gives you leverage in cyber-attacks where hackers utilize ransomware techniques.

As a note, don’t automatically assume that your data is 100%  safe simply because you’re using a cloud service. Gwynn Ballard of Security Baron points to research that reveals 76%  of cloud websites contain vulnerabilities.

“To be extra cautious when using cloud services, be sure that the cloud app you use regularly backs up your data, so that you still have it in the event of a breach,” Ballard said. “If you use cloud services as part of your business, utilize smart data governance practices, and closely monitor what specific data is being stored in the cloud.”

  1. 2. Practice Good Password Hygiene

One very practical thing you can do is practice better password hygiene in your organization. Hackers generally enter into accounts, devices, and systems by guessing passcodes; the onus is on you to make sure they’re incapable of cracking your accounts.

There’s a lot that goes into good password hygiene, but there are three specific things you should be doing:

Never use default passwords and always ensure they include a variety of characters and combinations. This includes the use of lower case, upper case, numbers, letters, and symbols.

Never use the same password across all accounts and be sure to change them on a regular basis (every few weeks).

Enable two-factor authentication for important accounts that need an added layer of protection.

If you do these things — and require your employees to do the same — you’ll significantly reduce your risk of being compromised.

  1. 3. Upgrade Software Regularly

Most people find software and device updates annoying, but they have a purpose. In addition to adding new features and addressing usability issues, software updates frequently close security loopholes and address past issues that hackers have exposed. If you’re operating an outdated version, then you’re probably not getting the sort of protection you need.

The best option is to schedule updates to take place automatically overnight. This prevents the issue of downtime and removes the temptation to put it off until later. If you’re ever unsure of what a patch or update includes, contact the software vendor and ask them about the details.

Prioritize Cyber Security

The notion that a company’s size is directly correlated to security risk is foolish and outdated. The fact of the matter is that small businesses may actually be a bigger target because of their perceived ineptitude in this area. If you don’t begin to prioritize cyber security, you’ll end up being victimized. Now’s the time to step up and take a proactive stance on this issue.