In today’s digital world, the risk of cyberattacks is a constant concern for businesses. In fact, there are roughly 2,200 cyberattacks that occur every day, which equates to one cyberattack every 39 seconds. Falling victim to a hack can have severe consequences, including financial loss, reputational damage, and potential legal issues. To protect your business, it’s crucial to prioritize cybersecurity and take the following proactive measures.
Use Strong and Unique Passwords
Passwords usually serve as the first line of defense against unauthorized access to business accounts, sensitive information, and so forth. A strong password is essential because it makes it significantly harder for hackers to guess or crack it through automated methods like brute force attacks. Below are a few tips for increasing the strength and uniqueness of passwords.
- Create passwords that are at least 12 characters long, combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Hackers often exploit personal details to guess passwords, so avoid incorporating birthdays, names, and/or company information.
- Consider passphrases, which are often up to 30 characters long and contain multiple words. The more obscure, the better. A passphrase example would be, “Yesterday’sAvocadoWasPurple.”
- Use a password manager tool to securely store and generate strong passwords for various accounts. This way, you don’t have to rely on memorizing complex passwords.
Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security measure that adds an extra layer of protection to online accounts. It requires users to provide two different forms of identification to verify their identity. Typically, this involves combining something the user knows (such as a password) with something they possess (like a mobile device).
The primary benefit of 2FA is that even if an attacker manages to obtain or guess a user’s password, they would still need the second factor to gain access to their account. Here are a few 2FA methods to consider:
- SMS or Text Message Verification
- Mobile Authenticator Apps
- Hardware Tokens (USB keys or smart cards)
Limit User Access and Permissions
User access control is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of a business’s systems and data. It involves managing and restricting the level of access that users have to various resources, such as files, databases, applications, and network resources.
Effective user access control ensures that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information and perform specific actions within the organization’s digital environment. Strategies for managing user access include:
- Implementing role-based access control (or RBAC) for employees, clients, users, etc.
- Conducting regular audits and access reviews.
- Educating employees about the importance of user access control and the potential risks associated with excessive privileges.
Invest in a Robust Firewall and Antivirus Solution
Firewalls and antivirus software are essential components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. A firewall helps to protect your systems from unauthorized access, malicious activities, and network-based attacks. Antivirus software focuses on detecting and removing malicious software, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, and other types of malware. Here are a few aspects to look for in a firewall and antivirus solution.
- Robust threat detection: Real-time scanning, heuristic analysis, behavior-based detection
- Regular updates: Software patches and firmware upgrades
- Reporting and logging
- Expenses: Licensing fees, maintenance, updates
- Trial versions and proof-of-concept testing
Back-Up Your Data Regularly
Data backups are a critical component of any business’s cybersecurity and disaster recovery strategy. In short, they provide a safety net against data loss caused by cyberattacks, system crashes, hardware failures, etc. Backing up data regularly also provides the following advantages:
- Client/consumer trust
- Ransomware protection
- Disaster recovery
Conduct Regular Security Audits
Regular security audits are essential for businesses to assess the effectiveness of their cybersecurity measures and identify potential vulnerabilities. Here are some key benefits of regular security audits:
- Enhanced customer trust since audits maintains the confidentiality of consumer data.
- Proactive risk management
- Identification of vulnerabilities
- Staying one step ahead of evolving cyber threats.
- Continuous improvement of security infrastructures.
If you want to learn more about keeping your IT systems safe and secure download our FREE eBook called Business Owner’s Guide to Data Protection & Security.
Educate Employees About Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are a type of cyber threat where hackers attempt to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information, like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and so forth. These attacks usually occur through fraudulent emails, messages, or websites that bear similarities to trusted organizations.
By educating employees about phishing attacks, organizations can empower them to be the first line of defense against these threats. Send a company-wide email, share valuable resources, or schedule a company-wide meeting.
Phishing attacks can take on various forms, including:
- Email phishing
- Malware-based phishing
- Voice phishing
- Spear phishing
- Smishing, also known as SMS phishing
The implementation of the above cybersecurity measures is a surefire way to reduce the likelihood of cyberattacks in the future. But doing so alone can be time-consuming. Let TVG Consulting manage your business’s cybersecurity, IT operations, and cloud solutions so you don’t have to. Book A Free Cyber Risk Assessment Today!