Take an honest inventory of your cybersecurity
Did you know that small and mid-sized businesses are the primary target of cyber attacks? Despite popular misconception, cybercriminals often avoid large and mega-cap companies because they already have security and safeguards in place. Instead, they focus on companies and organizations who might not be using the right resources and practices to stay safe.
With that in mind, here is an eight-part checklist on how to improve your cybersecurity readiness. Take an honest inventory; are you fully checking all of these boxes?
Limit “admin” access to only trusted IT staff, use key cards to control access to your facilities, and require that your employees use strong passwords for laptops & desktops.
Business data oversight is crucial. Centralize your data rather than leaving it in various locations. The more places data lives, the more opportunities cybercriminals have to access it. Don’t let your employees use Dropbox, Google Docs, Evernote, or other cloud services without the knowledge and permission of your IT team. Only use business-class applications that allow for corporate control of your data.
Your password policy should include stipulations that passwords must be both strong and changed every 90 days. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible. Deploy firewall, VPN, and antivirus technologies to safeguard your network and endpoints from attacks. Network monitoring and threat detection is essential. Finally, encrypt your hard drives.
Always stay vigilant about software updates and patch management. One small vulnerability here can leave your computers and your data at the mercy of savvy cybercriminals, who exploit these known weak points.
Create, distribute, and fully explain a clear set of rules and instructions you expect your employees to follow. Depending on the nature of your business, this may include guidelines around bringing your own devices, social media use, authentication requirements, and more.
Back up your data regularly; at least once per day. This way, in the event of a cyber attack or security breach, you’ll be able to recover from data corruption or business loss much more easily. Even better, implement automatic backups, using a modern data protection tool that takes incremental backups throughout the day, or at one fixed point every 24 hours.
Don’t let an attack crush your operations for hours, days, or even longer stretches. As downtime can be incredibly harmful and costly to a business in terms of revenue, choose a modern data protection solution that allows for “instant recovery” of your data and applications.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, train your people multiple times per year on basic cybersecurity best practices. Show them examples of phishing email threats, encourage them to lock laptops when stepping away from their desks, and discuss new and emerging challenges. Hold everyone accountable for cybersecurity.
HACS Service Cloud, a proprietary remote management and monitoring service, can help you hit all eight of these crucial cybersecurity checks. For one low monthly fee, experts can help you control access to your network, protect your data, provide automated software updates, build a customized cybersecurity plan, automatically backup your data, detect threats in real-time, and keep you informed on the latest trends and emerging threats in the cybersecurity world. Try it for as little as $50/month for the first year.
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