In our fully connected Internet of Things era (IIoT), we are increasingly more vulnerable to cybercriminals than ever before. There are threats everywhere, all waiting to entrap a potential victim.
Clicking wrong links can open you up to a phishing scam. Buy from the wrong website and you can compromise your identity. We have to be vigilant, and smart.
Hackers are beginning to take a more and more aggressive approach, employing cutting edge tactics to steal your personal and/or business data. One of the greatest threats in today’s world is that a major cyberattack could be carried out. The fear of losing connectivity and having devices wiped out is unfortunately, not far-fetched. So, what can you do to best protect your business and your employees?
A cyber-attack could put your network, servers, smart devices, bank accounts, and other online services in jeopardy. Major targets within the U.S.A. include banks, hospitals, manufacturers, and energy providers. This is not a threat to take lightly. We need to be prepared for potential cyberattacks.
Following is a list of 4 things that are essential to making sure your business is prepared and protected:
1. Install updates. Make sure that all of your servers and devices have the latest updates. Updates often include critical security updates. These updates address security discrepancies and vulnerabilities, as well as blocking access to cybercriminals. Enable auto updates so that you aren’t tempted to click “remind me later”. Be fastidious in running the security updates for your entire network. If employees BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), make sure you have safeguards in place for their computers, smart phones, and tablets and require security updates be run soon as they become available.
2. Secure your hardware. Every day, there are new malicious codes, hacks, and different ways to break into your system. In the past, free anti-virus software was a good deterrent. This isn’t the case any longer. Make sure that you choose robust firewall and anti-malware software that eliminates viruses, ransomware, adware, spyware, and trojans. So much attention is given to finding the newest and most sophisticated types of cyber security software, safeguarding the actual hardware can often be overlooked. Begin your cyber-attack prevention strategy by protecting all devices with a complicated password. Passwords need to be unique and difficult to crack. Use long and complex passwords. Make them at least 12 characters long, and mix it up with uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers. Use a password manager or keep a secure list with your unique logins. Finally, install “find my device” software on all company laptops, phones, and tablets. This enables the device to be wiped remotely and can also help authorities locate devices that may have been stolen.
3. Encrypt and back up data. An effective cyber-attack protection strategy consists of preventing physical access to sensitive data and rendering the data useless if it were to fall into the wrong hands. Businesses can achieve this by encrypting their data. Data encryption is the most effective and efficient fix for data breaches. Encrypt all sensitive data, including all customer information, employee information, and business data. Software for full-disk encryption is included in almost all operating systems today.
Stay ahead by backing up data and storing it separately. After encryption, data back up is essential. Ransomware hackers are notorious for locking businesses out of their systems and demanding a ransom payment before releasing data. You can stay one step ahead of this type of attack by routinely backing up data and having it stored separately.
4. Create a security-focused workplace culture. Businesses are vulnerable without employee education. Therefore, it is imperative to create a security-focused culture. Empoyees are the most common cause of data breaches, as most don’t recognize threats when they occur, nor do they have a good understanding of the types of actions that leave a business vulnerable.
Educate employees on the dangers of unsecured networks. Teach employees how to use their work devices and personal devices in a way that minimizes the risk of being hacked. Educate them about the risks associated with using an unsecured network to access work information by teaching them what unsecured networks are and where they are found. (Coffee shops, airports, hotels, etc.) Teach them to avoid unsecured websites. Unsecured websites give cyber criminals direct access to data stored on the device, including passwords and browser history.
Discourage employees from sharing passwords. Implement protocol for creating temporary passwords for guests, contractors, new hires, etc. Eliminate the scenarios that would encourage password sharing by creating protocol for each situation where it would be easy to share a password.
In addition to a robust and enterprise grade virus protection for workstations, servers, mobile devices, and other devices which may be connected to your IIoT systems, consider employing a service such as Godlan’s Managed IT Services to execute user training and digital drills to test for any weaknesses that may be lurking in your organization.
The steps to achieving the peace of mind and financial security for your business should involve the use of up-to-date data encryption, data back-up, and robust firewalls and anti-malware software. Implementing these things alongside thorough and ongoing employee education on cyber security is the best insurance to ensure that the threat of a cyber-attack never becomes your reality.
With Managed IT Services by Godlan, you can rest confidently knowing that our team will walk with you through each facet of protection against ransomware, trojans, viruses, and even a cyberattack. For more information, call: 586-464-4400 or visit Godlan.com today!