Over the past year, data breaches have cost US small businesses tens of thousands of dollars to recover lost data and implement protective measures. Studies show that businesses of all types and locations are the ideal targets for this type of attack. Since the onset of COVID-19, the government has reported a dramatic increase in cyber-attacks.
As businesses have begun to work remotely more frequently, hackers have taken advantage of these more vulnerable IT networks. As of this summer, there were over 12,000 Covid-related scams. Therefore, it is increasingly advisable to utilize a Managed Service Provider’s cybersecurity protection, like Kustura, providing a full range of cyber protection tools as an integral part of their services.
We suggest three specific steps that businesses should implement to protect their data from cyber-attacks:
- Safeguard your hardware,
- Install and keep up-to-date your anti-virus software, and upgrade your cybersecurity training
- Backup and encrypt all your files
Companies should implement the following steps:
- Safeguard your hardware
The loss or theft of IT devices is frequently given low priority in a company’s financial overview, but it remains a real threat to business continuity. A lot of attention is given to installing the latest and most robust cybersecurity software, but protecting your hardware’s security from cyber-attack includes: safeguarding all devices with a complex password, giving that password only to the user, ensuring that it is not accessible to others.
Try to bolt computers to desks. This is an easy, effective way of stopping criminals from stealing company equipment and the confidential proprietary sensitive data they contain. Install ‘find my device’ software on all tablets, laptops, mobile devices, and phones. This will enable authorities to track equipment that has been illegally taken.
Data breaches commonly occur due to stolen equipment, and therefore, protecting your hardware is an easy strategy in improving your company’s defense from a cyber-attack.
- Install firewalls, anti-virus software and provide staff awareness training
Use software in addition to staff training. Using a firewall and anti-malware software in conjunction with educating your employees regarding cybersecurity can prevent, or at least minimize, attacks like ransomware. This type of digital attack can penetrate computer networks through emails and other sources. Businesses need to ensure sufficient security training and education for workers, like the training offered by Kustura.
Today, most companies have online visibility of customers’ and company records and often use networks on the cloud. Therefore, they need to develop robust cybersecurity protocols. Data breaches are prevalent in businesses in which staff members use their personal devices for work. Current anti-virus tools are not very effective against ransomware, which morphs as soon as new anti-virus software is created.
Ransomware usually remains hidden until it is too late to save your data. So, it is essential to install software that has been specifically designed to offer frequent updates to combat this issue.
Companies should endeavor to prevent these viruses from invading your databases at all. Installing a robust firewall will help prevent malware from infecting your computer systems. Back-up and encrypt all files. Protect your data, especially confidential client information, from being accessed by encrypting it, so if it is breached, attackers will not be able to read the data.
This training teaches workers about the risks of open, unsecured networks. Companies with a proactive strategy protect against hackers by providing training on how to use their personal devices and company computers without making them vulnerable to hackers.
Staff members should be taught about the importance of never accessing unsecured websites on work computers because this gives cybercriminals direct access to sensitive data that is stored on that device, in addition to browser histories and passwords. This needs to cover clear definitions of what unsecured networks are and where they are commonly found, such as in cafes, public terminals, libraries, etc.
Businesses should develop a security-aware environment where workers usually do not share passwords. Using procedures that encourage creating temporary passwords for consultants and facilitate the orientation process for new employees will help to reduce the need to share passwords at work.
- Backup and encrypt all your files
Today’s businesses must use updated data back-up, encryption, firewalls, and anti-virus tools. Implementing this along with ongoing cybersecurity awareness training is the optimal way to protect your data from viruses and cyber-attack.
Encryption software is an integral part of most currently available networks that can encrypt all the data when the system is not being used. The best way to protect sensitive data from being accessed is by encrypting it. All sensitive data should be protected, including worker personal information, customer data, and company files.
Limit the amount of time a device is not being utilized or remains unlocked by placing all computers to automatically go into the ‘lock’ or ‘off’ position after ten minutes.
Backing-up data is an excellent way to protect it from cyber-attack. In today’s environment, cybercriminals steal a company’s data and demand exorbitant sums for its return. To prevent your company from losing access to personal files accessed illegally, you should systematically back up all of your data and store it at a separate site or a protected and secure level 4 data center like Kustura has on-premises.
For more information about cybersecurity and malware training, visit our website or give us a call at 904-855-8885.