The Internet is a growing marketplace and while that’s great for your business, it’s also great for cyber-criminals who have more potential marks. No matter the size of your business or the sector you operate in, protecting your business from malicious cyber-attacks is – don’t be lulled into believing you’re not worth a hacker’s time because those companies are their bread and butter.
This blog will help you understand the threats business owners face and how proper security can mitigate the risk of cyber-attack.
Data Breach Insurance
A few years ago you couldn’t purchase data breach insurance but with the increasing number of cyber-attacks, this new form of insurance is being popular with businesses to help cover the costs of restoring systems and retrieving stolen data.
Whilst that’s good to have it shouldn’t be your safety net and too many businesses think financial protection is all they need – what about the damage to reputation? A good insurance policy won’t cover the loss of trust if customers found a business had neglected their security, not to mention the potential fines.
Data breach insurance is a good idea for any business dealing with sensitive data but any good Managed IT Service Provider will tell you that the best insurance is having robust security to protect your data, onsite and in the cloud.
Some of the most effective security policies you can enact at your business are simple and free. Here are some ideas for a basic level of security and good practice to bolster your overall security strategy.
Know who knows what
That’s a little bit of a tongue-twister but it’s the foundation of good cyber-security.
Ensuring your employees know what sensitive data your business holds, how it is protected and how they are contributing to the security of that data will help avoid accidental data loss or leaks.
Most people wouldn’t buy a car and expect it to run smoothly for the next five years without ever being taken to the mechanic. Regular maintenance is a necessary part of keeping your car running smoothly, and the same goes for your software.
As new security risks pop up, companies release patches and updates to help keep you protected. Regularly updating your software is an easy way to protect your data and business from cyber-attacks.
Using easy to remember passwords may be tempting, but it makes it significantly easier for hackers to gain access to your system through a brute force attack. The best passwords contain a minimum of 8 characters comprised of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Passwords should also be ideally updated every thirty days, no longer than ninety, in order to maximise protection.
Use the Cloud
Storing your data in the cloud is the best form of backup and data recovery money can buy and it requires zero effort on your part if you use a professional service. Cloud-based systems automatically store your data and can be accessed instantly anywhere in the world.
There are no tapes to swap out or disks to back up overnight, it’s all done automatically. Your managed IT service or IT support provider can help you start harnessing the power of the cloud.
If your company doesn’t already have a device policy you need to implement one. With more devices used on the go than ever before and employees working from home, on the train on the way to a meeting, or hot-desking the potential for a data breach is exponentially increased.
Phones, tablets and laptops – both company issued and personal – carry potential risks of cyber-attack. Small devices can be easily lost or stolen and wirelessly transmitted data is easier to intercept for the modern hacker than wired communications.
That’s why there are several steps you should take to prevent mobile security breaches. Ensure that all devices are password protected and loaded with encryption software. Set specific rules for who can use the devices and under what circumstances.
Finally, you should install remote wiping software – you should even consider asserting the right to wipe personal devices used for work purposes – so if a device is lost or stolen the data can be destroyed remotely, preventing any or further unauthorised access.
Ensure only company issued removable USB storage is used to copy, store or transfer company files and such devices are also encrypted.
Antivirus is a must for all companies using computers but the best antivirus is training staff. Ensuring these tips and any practices you implement are properly communicated to your team will help avoid accidental loss of data. Prevention is better than cure!
When it comes to protecting your business from a cyber-attack, the best option is to hire a professional IT security firm. A Managed IT service can also provide several services that are difficult to set up internally and offer advice on training requirements – or even provide that too.
Two invaluable services you can get from an MSP are penetration testing and having network traffic run through a single point of entry. Penetration testing will check your vulnerability to attack by simulating a hack – this will help your MSP determine where your weakest points are and focus on closing the net before something gets through. While running traffic through a single point of entry will make it easier to monitor and spot suspicious behaviour.
A managed service firm will provide you with the peace of mind in knowing your company is protected from cyber-attacks, and in the event that the worst should happen or disaster strikes in the form of flood, fire or anything else, all of your important data will be securely backed up.
If you’d like to find out more about our approach to unified threat management and how to keep your company protected contact AUS IT today. We offer Managed Services, Security and Cloud services and tailored IT support in Brisbane and can help your company stay protected against modern cyber-attacks.