Computer hacking is here to stay, unfortunately. The \”Internet of Things\” (IoT) refers to any device that can be turned on and off and connects to the Internet. It has been estimated that by 2020, there will be more than 26 million devices that will be connected to the Internet. This is not limited to computers but any device that can get and send data. While the term was coined nearly 15 years ago, it was not until very recently that it gained widespread use. All of this means that if anything, hacking will only increase. This means that everyone needs to make cybersecurity a priority.
How to Protect Your Business from Hackers:
- Develop security policies and train your staff. All companies should have basic security protocols. A lot of cybersecurity is just basic common sense. Make sure your staffs know to not open suspicious emails, especially when they have attachments, create strong passwords and change them as often as warranted, type the URL into the address bar of your browser rather than clicking links, keep your company’s anti-virus and firewall protections up to date. Lead by example if your staff see you taking cybersecurity seriously, they will respond in kind. Conversely, if you do not back up your data, neither will they.
- Back up your data. This is so important but often people just do not do it. Then if something happens to their computer systems, they can lose not just the data stored there but may also have to shut down for a period of time costing them valuable business time but also this can hurt their reputation.
- Know that you are always a target. This is not just you. Everyone with a computer and connection to the Internet is a target. Both businesses and individuals are targets of hackers. It does not matter how big or small your company is. Someone, somewhere is targeting you for hacking. There are all sorts of malware that can get into your system steal your data and/or make it impossible for your staff to access or use. Some is called \”ransomware,\” with good reason. Hackers break in, steal your data and hold it hostage. Make sure your staff uses secure devices for both their work and personal systems.
- Properly secure business devices and any others that your staff use for work. They should be able to keep personal and work data separate on those devices but also should have encryption software on them. Cyber attacks will find the vulnerable link in your cybersecurity plan. This should help if anyone loses their mobile or other device or has it stolen.
- Do not give everyone administrator privileges. Not everyone who works for you needs to have administrator privileges. Strongly consider anyone who you think needs them and manage those connections. Use strong passwords for these (and all) connections and reevaluate who on your team needs to have this kind of access. Not everyone needs access to your sensitive data so do not give everyone access. Monitor Internet usage in your workplace and monitor it regularly. That way you can detect any nefarious access attempts.
- Know where your data is stored. If you can physically look at a server and say, \”My data is there,\” you are in a much better space to secure it. If your server is housed in your property put it in a secure location and limit access to it. If you use the cloud, do your research on any companies you are considering hiring for this. Make sure they care as much about security as you do.
- Have a back up energy system. It will not protect you from hackers but can protect your data and prevent you from having to close for days or weeks while your data is restored.
Protecting your company’s data should be a high priority Cybersecurity threats are very real, though many people downplay the real threat they pose to their business because they genuinely think, \”That cannot happen to me or my business.\” The problem is it can happen if you do nothing to prevent it. From 2014 to 2015, cyber attacks went up 38%. The best thing you can do is implement and plan and stick with it.