ExecutiveChronicles|Keeping Your Business’s Online Information Safe|If you are a business owner, you probably have taken some measures to protect your office from robbery. You might have a security officer or an alarm system, or you might simply have multiple locks and bulletproof glass. While it is important to protect your business’s physical location, you also need to protect its online information. Follow these tips to secure your business’s network from hackers and other cyber threats.
Use Professional Services
Many companies offer a variety of services to keep your online information safe. You can purchase software and download it onto all of your employees’ computers that will prevent viruses and hackers from accessing your data. You can also pay for penetration testing services to check and strengthen your existing defenses. As with all online transactions, be on the lookout for scams. If a company offers you its services for no cost, it is probably not a real company.
Update Your Network
It’s tempting to continue to use your products until they break to save money. However, the older something is, the more vulnerable it is to a cyberattack. You should regularly update your Wi-Fi to the newest version available. Even machinery such as computers and phones should be updated to new models when you have the necessary funds. When you receive notification about software updates, take the time to install them. While it is frustrating to have to wait for your computer to stop updating, most new installations include necessary security fixes.
Almost every aspect of your company’s network has a password. You might want to make them all the same but doing so would make your company’s data very easy to steal. Instead, every system needs to have a unique password. Preferably, these passwords should be at least eight characters long and contain a mixture of symbols, letters and numbers. Each employee should set the password for his or her computer. Encourage your employees to make their passwords easy to remember but caution them against sharing them or using personal information such as names and birthdays. You also need to have a secure password for your Wi-Fi. If your office needs to offer guest Wi-Fi, that router can have a simple password that involves your company’s name. Your employee Wi-Fi must be kept secure by using a strong password, though. Make sure that your employees know that it is a violation of company policy to share access to this network with people who are not employees.
Understand the Risks
While you can prepare for cyberattacks in general with the preceding advice, you should also understand what kinds of threats are most likely to occur. Speak to fellow business owners in your area about any threats that their systems have detected. Be aware of scams that are circulating among your employees; some scammers will send mass attempts at stealing information, and you can thwart their efforts by alerting your employees. Watch for news about recent cyberattacks. If they were successful, try to find out what made the system weak enough for a hacker or virus to gain access. Don’t let yourself become paranoid but do stay informed about the threats your network could face.
Despite your best efforts, some cyber threats may make their way into your system. Always be on the lookout for these threats. Be cautious when entering passwords into a website, especially if you have been directed there by an outside link. Report any email that has a request for money as spam and then delete it. Also, be wary of emails that come from strange names or that contain many misspellings. When in doubt, consult with your IT experts.
Keeping your company’s information safe in the twenty-first century takes more than a few locks and an alarm system. However, if you take the time to review your protective systems and replace or update any that are weak, you can be reasonably sure that you are safe from a cyberattack.