Many business owners don’t realize just how common cybercrime is until they become victims themselves. Some of the largest companies in the world are now losing millions of dollars a year to cybercrime, and it seems as if these modern criminals are only getting smarter. That is why all business owners must be proactive about protecting their hardware, software, and sensitive data. They can do so through the following ways:
Every company should have an employee training program that includes a cyber security section. These training programs need to teach employees how to create secure passwords and what they can do to avoid some of the most common scams. You should also establish clear rules regarding the use of any company devices that are handed out. Some of the rules that you may want to consider are:
- Don’t use personal social media or email accounts to disperse of company information or documents
- All passwords should change every three months
- Every computer’s history should be cleared out once a month, including cookies
- All computers should receive regular anti-virus updates
Restrict Employee Privileges
Just because you have a comprehensive security training program doesn’t mean that your employees will never make a mistake. Establishing admin privileges is one of the easiest ways to protect your system from an attack. Before your employees can download any risky files or programs, they will need permission from a designated admin who can verify that the software is not a threat. That admin should be the manager or whoever is in charge of whatever project that would need access to various parts of the system.
Hire an IT Professional
As your business continues to expand and your staff grows, you should think about hiring an IT professional with a strong academic background in information security—such as having their master’s degree in information assurance. While basic security software will most likely be adequate during your first few years, there may come a point when your business becomes a much more appealing target. These specialists can help you with a wide variety of important services such as infrastructure protection and employee security training.
If your business deals with a significant amount of technology and has lots of computers on hand, then it might be necessary to make sure that you have more than one IT person on hand. This way, you can make sure that your company is running at its highest potential at all times and don’t have to worry about any of the lags that technical issues can cause you when it comes to your productivity.
Back Up Your Files
No matter how careful you try to be, there may come a point when a malicious file makes it into your company’s system. Many of the viruses that are directed at companies are designed to lock their devices until a ransom is paid, and that can bring your company to a grinding halt. Not just for a few hours either. It could last days or, even, weeks. Company owners should consider having their sensitive data backed up on a secure cloud server so that they can continue to conduct business while their IT team removes the virus and restores the system.
What to Do After You’ve Experienced a Virus
If your company does happen to experience a virus situation, it’s important to take precautionary steps to avoid another such situation. You can do that by sitting down your entire company and having a conference of sorts. There, you can discuss what happened and the steps that the entire business will be taking to prevent future viruses. Every employee should be invested in the protection of your company and know what they can do to help. This will take training, of course. However, if anyone’s actions have been neglectful, make sure that they know that there are consequences. If a person’s computer caused the virus, have them sit down with your company’s IT professional to go over how it happened and how to avoid it in the future.
On that note, if anyone has been using their access to certain parts of the system for the wrong purposes, then you may want to take away their admin status, change the passwords, or add more security. Having access to your business’s system is a privilege and no one should have full access to it so that you can stay completely protected.
A single gap in your company’s cyber security can cost you thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye, and that is why you must always err on the side of caution. Taking just a few extra steps to protect your business from cybercrime will drastically reduce your risk of experiencing one of these devastating attacks. It will also increase the lifespan of your company.