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How to keep your business protected from cyber attacks

If you read our recent article on the five types of hackers you need to be aware of, then you should know there are multiple threats of attack in the cyber world and they come in all shapes and sizes. If you're trying to run a business, you need to keep yourself protected to ensure you don’t become a victim.

Digital thieves are always looking for new ways to steal data. From personal information to intellectual property and financial records, there is no end to their creativity. With the threat always changing, it's key to put foundational protection in place for your business and ensure your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

If you're new to cyber hack protection, here are some first steps you can take to protect yourself and your company.

1. Audit your current situation and security

A great place to start is to look at your business and what you currently have in place. What do you need to secure? Where is your business vulnerable and where does it need protection?

If you are a small business with a lack of resources, work with an IT security professional. They’ll help you take an audit of your IT infrastructure, from computers to mobile devices and networks, to work out what you need to prevent hackers from getting in.

2. Use different strong passwords

If you use passwords such as 123456, qwerty or even, password (!) you need to change them immediately. In 2015 these three were still the most commonly used passwords and it’s probably going to be the first point of call for any hackers who are trying to get your data.

It should go without saying, these passwords will make hacking a walk in the park for cyber thieves. You need strong passwords with lots of different characters and different ones for different accounts. Have trouble remembering all of them? You could use a password vault to keep them safe. We'd recommend a vault that you can access offline that sits on your desktop. Recommended offline password managers include 1Password, KeePass, and PasswordSafe.

3. Ensure all staff understand the part they play

If your business has employees, then make sure they know that they are at the front line of your security. One of the most common ways of hacking is still through people opening or clicking on links in virus-laden emails.

While hackers could, of course, access your data remotely, internal human error is a massive part of cyber hacking too. Train your employees to be cautious about their computer security, and straight away you will be adding a layer of defense to your IT security systems and minimising the possibility of security breaches.

4. Get your security policies in place

After asking employees to work in a secure way, you should also put in place clear policies that can be constantly adhered to in their working environment. A great example would be to insist that laptops are connected to the company network and are installed with the required security software. Putting an acceptable use policy in place will also ensure everyone adheres to the same rules and is aware of security issues.

With more staff than ever working from home or away from the office, it's also important that you protect devices outside of your internal network security. Look at the mobile technology your employees use for business and make sure it is secure as possible.

5. Back up and encrypt

While trying to mitigate the risk of attack is always the first point of call, it is important to backup your data in case the worst-case scenario happens. Make sure you have a contingency plan in place in case your data gets stolen. Put a backup system in place and test it to ensure that your data can be recovered when you need it.

6. Use a multiple security solution

Viruses may be one of the most common ways that your data can be hacked and corrupted, but it's not your only threat. With more sophisticated hackers around than ever before, you need to implement a multi-layer security solution on all different devices to make sure you are as secure as you can be.

Multiple security solutions will stop attacks on your business network and alert you to any problems so that you or your IT provider can take quick and effective action.

Securing your company and customer data from the numerous threats is a tricky business, but it can be done. If you're confused or not sure what your company needs to do to make itself more protected in the cyber world, we can help you understand the risk and how to make yourself and your company safer.

Contact us now to talk more about what we can do to keep your business secure.

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