6 Ways to Secure Your Company’s Data
Few people today, if any, have not at least heard about ransomware attacks, which involve locking and encrypting a victim’s files and demanding a ransom be paid to regain access to them. This, obviously, can have a devastating effect on a business, both in terms of their finances and potentially their public image.
Ransomware has become its own highly successful industry, to the tune of $4 billion each year, according to the FBI. Some of these cybercriminals have reportedly gone so far as to engage what amounts to their own customer service departments, with 1-800 numbers that victims can call to arrange for the return of their files.
Any business that has yet to be targeted for a ransomware attack or phishing attack is likely to experience one given enough time. You might even become the target of a malware attack orchestrated just for fun.
In a report released by Verizon, it was indicated that 28% of the breaches occurring in 2019 targeted small businesses. Worse than that, a separate report from Purplesec revealed that during 2020, the number of cybercrime victims increased by more than 600%, reportedly due to the pandemic.
With a large number of employees continuing to work remotely using family computers, data security is a greater issue than ever. Only one device needs to be compromised for a network to be infiltrated, allowing for a breach in customer data and the theft or lockdown of sensitive files.
Don’t expose your business to the risk of lawsuit or termination. Here are six things to do right now to protect your business:
- Invest in Security Software
One of the more obvious precautions is the use of security software. All employees should have this software installed on their devices, even their home devices. If possible, engage an outside IT firm that can monitor your applications to keep them up to date.
- Online Backup
Your databases should be updated multiple times per day. This includes cloud databases as well. Doing so will allow you to wipe everything if necessary, restoring from a previous backup.
- Employee Training
Employees need to receive ongoing training on how to identify threats such as phishing emails. An IT firm may be hired to provide this training, or you may wish to consider training software such as KnowBe4, or Infosec IQ.
- Secure Passwords
Many people still have a tendency to use simple, easy-to-remember passwords, but employees should be in the habit of using passwords that are long and complicated. Even more important is requiring multi-factor authentication to access your network. This forces employees to use both passwords and random codes sent to them via text messages. Discuss this with your IT firm or the company hosting your data.
- Update Your Operating Systems
Microsoft, Apple, and Google are the top three makers of operating systems and release frequent updates that include their most up-to-date security protection. Even the best protection is useless, however, if the updates are ignored, which happens all too often. Make it clear that updates are required and make use of an IT firm to ensure that they are being installed.
- Cyber Insurance
No matter how many precautions you take, or how conscientious you may be, you will never be 100% secure. Cybercriminals are always evolving their methods to bypass the protections that you put in place. If all else fails, having insurance to protect you from business interruptions and potential liabilities is critical.
Ultimately, even though no single protection is going to keep you safe, having enough layers of security between you and the cybercriminals could lead them to pass you over in favor of more attractive targets.