When you own or manage a business, you know that security breaches are becoming more and more of an issue. Malware and viruses are getting smarter, so you need to get smarter if you want to keep your vital business information secure. Luckily, you don’t have to be a tech wiz just to safeguard customer, financial, and sales information. Lockdown on your valuable information with these 5 tips.
Keep your business safe with these 5 tips
Firewalls have been the most used and implemented cybersecurity tools since the dawn of computers. Today, they still hold up pretty well. A firewall is the first line of defense between your network and the Internet, which makes it a vital part of your security operations. Firewalls decide what can and cannot go through to your network, keeping malware and viruses out of your business computers.
The best firewall to choose for your company is the one that integrates with your business the most efficiently. There are plenty of services to choose from, and firewalls generally come as a bundle with other security packages. You can even get open-source tools that include firewalls, which is a great choice if you’re protecting your information on a tight budget.
2. File Integrity Monitoring
Instead of keeping intruders out, file monitoring tools keep an eye on your existing files to make sure they remain untouched. If firewalls are the first line of defense, then file integrity monitoring tools are the second; file monitoring works by comparing a snapshot of your previous files to your current files periodically. It checks to make sure that no major file changes have happened without approval. When you install a monitoring tool, you will see a log of every file change, which gives you a great amount of control over your information.
As with firewalls, there are plenty of programs that have file integrity monitoring integrated into their existing security protections like SolarWinds and Trustwave. A file integrity check is a simple way to keep tight reins on the files within your system.
Perform a file integrity check
When you are moving data via network, you are exposing it to risk. A way to minimize that risk is by encrypting the data that you are moving. Encryption is like a cipher, and only those with a key are able to unlock and read the information. When you’re dealing with sensitive information, like personal or financial data, encryption is absolutely necessary to make sure that information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands during a transfer. Before you begin encrypting, make sure you back up often in case your encryption files become corrupted.
If you operate on Windows Pro or above, you’ve already got an encryption software at hand: BitLocker. If you don’t have Windows Pro, you can find other free or paid software to keep your files indecipherable to criminals.
4. Keeping Up to Date
One of the most overlooked security procedures is updating your software regularly. If you often click “Cancel” when a software update pops up on your computer, you’re actually putting vital information at risk. Hackers often find new ways into common software and operating systems, so when companies push a new update, they patch the holes that hackers have found their way into. If you neglect the update, you’re leaving your computer open to attacks. The easiest way to improve safety is simply by keeping your technology updated and secure at all times.
Keep your device updated and secure
5. Common Sense Tips
Last, but certainly not least, you can train yourself or your employees to be savvier when dealing with cybersecurity. Most breaches are not due to highly complex hacker attacks or vicious Internet worms, but rather simple confusion or mistakes committed by the average worker. Phishing emails, unsafe downloads, and simple passwords will likely lead to malware infections into your business operations, so spending a little time focusing on cybersecurity with all your employees (including yourself) is well worth the hassle.
Here are some simple issues you can fix quickly:
- Make sure all passwords are unique and secure:
- If you need to implement a password manager, which creates unique passwords in an encrypted file, then enforce the use of the manager with all of your employees. The password “Password101!” is not going to cut it.
- Make sure everyone stays away from emails asking for money or for login information. If you get a message asking you to log in, do your research before clicking the link and inputting information. Phishing emails catch many businesses unaware: make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
- All files downloaded through the Internet should be checked by anti-malware software. Suspicious downloads are easy ways for hackers to get a one-way ticket into your information, so check them before you open them.
Keeping your business information safe doesn’t require years of tech experience. With the right programs and a little bit of common sense, you can operate without fear of hackers.