Cyber Security | 6 Proven Ways to Protect Your Business

Cyber security has become a huge concern for businesses around the world. Each year more and more things move to the digital world, and with that comes a new set of challenges. Cyber criminals continue to flourish in today’s world of business. There is a lot of personal information being stored by businesses, and it is up to those businesses to adequately protect that information. Here are 7 proven strategies for protecting a business from a cyber attack. Some of these are more obvious than others, but they are all still effective practices for safeguarding your sensitive information.

1.) Use Strong Passwords

This one seems fairly obvious, but it is one of the easiest and best ways to prevent a cyber breach. Criminals who gain access to your accounts can wreak havoc on your business from behind your defenses. Furthermore, using the same password for multiple accounts heightens your risk for a cyber breach. Here are some tips for a strong and secure password:

  • Don’t use personal information in your passwords. People often use things like pet names, birth dates, nicknames, etc. as part of their passwords. For people who may know you, this makes it easier for them to guess your password and hack into your account.
  • Make sure your password is using different types of characters. Most sites today have password requirements to include these, but it is best to utilize these guidelines even when it is not required.
  • Make your passwords longer than 12 characters. The more characters that your password contains exponentially increases the difficulty of breaching.
  • Use a password management system. Using a tool like LastPass can manage your passwords for you. This enables you to use more complex and varied passwords without the hassle of remembering all of them.

2.) Regularly Update Software

As difficult as it is, try to break the habit of hitting that “ignore” or “remind me tomorrow” button when your computer gives you a notification to update. For computers, software updates are similar to going to the doctor for people. Updates are one of your computers ways to patch vulnerabilities in your network, fix issues and (hopefully) prevent new ones from happening.

3.) Regularly Backup Data

Backing up data is a crucial way of protecting your sensitive information. Downloading onto a secure hard drive is a way to ensure that you maintain safe records in the case that there is a real data breach. These records should be kept off of the network connected to all your systems so that it is isolated in the event of a breach.

4.) Encrypt Wi-Fi Networks

Your Wi-Fi and internet are some of the main ways that hackers and cyber criminals can get into your system. Your Wi-Fi should be encrypted with strong and unique passwords to strengthen your cyber security. Some sources advise to use WPA2 and WPA3 encryption protocols to prevent unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi network.

5.) Restrict Access to Sensitive Information

Unfortunately, a substantial amount of cyber breaches are from internal sources. This means that it could be employees, coworkers, or companies that you hire (such as a web developer) that are the root of your cyber breach, whether intentional or unintentional. Employees should only have access to sensitive information that is necessary for them to do their job. By limiting access, you are also limiting the routes possible criminals can use for a cyber attack.

6.) Develop a Plan for a Cyber Breach

Preparing for a rainy day is a good idea for a lot of things, and a cyber breach is no exception. You should take the time to sit down and come up with a plan and a guideline of what you are going to do if there is a cyber attack. Situations like these are extremely stressful and usually time is of the essence. Having a plan that you can refer to can mitigate some of the stress and hopefully fix the problem sooner. Knowing things like who to call, and what steps to take could be the difference between a stress induced meltdown and timely execution of a remedy to fix your cyber breach.

Preventing a Cyber Attack

Like all types of crime, cyber attacks are impossible to eradicate. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to lessen your risk. Use secure passwords, update software regularly, backup data, secure your network and limit access. Lastly, develop a plan and be prepared for an event like this to happen. If you are worried that your business may be at risk for a cyber attack, contact one of our agents to put the right coverage in place. Cyber insurance is made for situations like this, and in the event that you need it, it can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.