As business owners, managers, and leaders, we have to keep many balls in the air and constantly have different tasks to do and problems to solve.
As a result, it’s easy to push the less-urgent tasks to the bottom of our list and concentrate on the things that scream for our attention in any given week. Yet, this approach also leaves us open to more risk.
One example is in the world of data and cybersecurity. While thinking about how to stay safe from hackers may not be the most glamorous task to take care of on your to-do list, it is a vital one. Cybercriminals are out in force more than ever before and keep coming up with more effective and innovative ways to crash systems, steal data, and generally cause havoc.
You need to ask yourself if you and your team are doing all you must to avoid such threats. Are you doing the following things to minimize cyber risk?
Staying Updated About Threats and Solutions
Firstly, it’s wise to stay current on hackers’ latest tactics to break into networks, crash or lock systems, steal data, obtain ransom, and otherwise cause havoc. The better you and your team understand common strategies, the more easily you can avoid being stung by one or more of them. Keep an eye on the latest trends in this area, plus potential solutions.
Utilizing the Best Possible Security Software and Firewall Options
One of the best ways to keep cybercriminals at bay is to utilize quality security software, such as the comprehensive products available from the digital security firm Trend Micro. Choose software that covers various threats, such as viruses, spam, spyware, ransomware, and other malware. The best options will send you real-time threat alerts and protect device users’ privacy when browsing and buying online.
Take advantage, too, of the firewalls that are likely already preinstalled on the computers you have for your business. Most products have firewalls on them when they’re first sold, but you may need to check the settings on your computers to see if these tools need activation. Firewalls help stop hackers from using an internet connection to break into your systems and add a helpful extra layer of security.
Keeping All Systems and Devices Updated
Another good way to minimize cyber risk for your business is to ensure that you and your staff members keep all systems and devices updated. Developers make changes to their software over time, with many tweaks done to plug security gaps that they discover have opened up and could allow hackers to find a way in. As a result, if you’re not running the latest program versions, you leave yourself more vulnerable to an attack.
It pays to set up all computers and other digital devices to automatically update programs when new editions get released. There may be updates for operating systems, browsers, plugins, games, security software, firewalls, apps, and more.
Creating Regular Backups
Ransomware is a popular strategy used by hackers these days. It involves cybercriminals breaking into networks and locking systems so that victims can’t access their own information. Hackers demand a ransom in return for giving access back or state that they will release the information they find on devices unless a ransom is paid.
To safeguard against having to pay a ransom (the payment of which doesn’t guarantee that hackers will do what they promise anyhow), you need to ensure you create regular backups of all your information. This way, you can access your data elsewhere if you get stung by a ransomware attack. It’s wise to back up to cloud services daily, at a minimum, and to create backups on external hard drives that are kept separate from the internet and aren’t plugged into your networks as an extra precaution.
Using Quality Passwords
Using decent passwords that aren’t easy for anyone to guess can also make a big difference to your cybersecurity levels. Lock computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices with codes and ensure you use password-protected Wi-Fi as much as possible. Also, choose codes that aren’t based on the information you share publicly, such as on social media sites, in emails, or on your website. For instance, avoid passwords related to your birthday, child, or pet’s name.
Quality codes contain at least eight characters and a mixture of numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters. Don’t forget to change your passwords every so often and use different codes for different logins so that if one gets compromised by a hacker, the cybercriminal won’t have access to everything.
Taking all of these steps won’t 100 percent guarantee that you never have any cyberattacks to worry about, but they will significantly reduce your cyber risk. Be proactive today to minimize headaches in the future.