Is It Time to Update Your Data Security?

When was the last time you did an audit of your company’s cybersecurity? If you haven’t given this a good look recently, then you may be due for an update of your policies and practices.

Cyberthreats are constantly evolving, according to Network World, so your cybersecurity must be continually upgraded, too. Staying up to date is critical to protect yourself, your business, and most importantly, your customers.

Consider these factors when bolstering your cybersecurity efforts:

Understand new threats

Some recent trends you'll need to watch include:

  • Ransomware
  • Spear phishing
  • The Internet of Things
  • Rise of the cloud

Ransomware is a type of software that blocks access to your computer system, after which criminals demand a ransom payment for you to regain access. Foil hackers by investing in a robust backup routine and real-time data security.

Spear phishing occurs when an email is disguised to look like it comes from a person or business you know. Instead, it’s an attempt to trick you and your employees into providing your passwords and other private data. Talk about this threat with your employees and establish an email security policy.

The Internet of Things is a term that refers to Internet connectedness in things we use every day, from cars to appliances to home-monitoring systems. As connectivity becomes embedded in nearly every facet of daily life, the potential for breaches multiplies. Make sure you understand what data your devices collect and how it’s shared. Then, ensure that sensitive data is protected.

The increasing use of cloud services also creates a substantial target for thieves chasing data. If your IT department loses control of your cloud-stored data, cybercriminals can gain access to business and personal information. Review your use of cloud services and the measures you are taking to safeguard your data.

Your IT department is the most critical line of defense when it comes to protecting your business from cyber criminals. Because thieves often gain access to your system through outdated software, ensure your IT team regularly updates software on your systems.

Create a cybersecurity culture

According to Entrepreneur, human error creates the conditions for most attacks. You can decrease the frequency of errors by demonstrating that cybersecurity is a priority and you expect all employees to follow protocols that ensure the safety of your important business information. Give your employees the tools to be cyberaware by providing training and explaining the reasons for your security policies and procedures.

Change passwords on a regular basis

An essential component of cybersecurity is regularly changing your passwords for accounts and access to personal information. Ensure you create strong, unique passwords that blend numbers, letters and special characters. And provide these passwords only to those staff members who need them.

Have a policy for mobile devices

The convenience and power of mobile devices are making them increasingly common business tools. However, mobile use, especially downloading non-vetted apps, increases the potential for vulnerabilities. To protect your small business, implement a security policy for mobile devices used at work. Determine what is safe to browse and download on workplace mobile devices, and communicate your policies so your employees understand them.

If your business is attacked…

If you are the victim of a cyberattack, according to the Small Business Administration, there are a few things you should do right away. First and foremost, report the incident to local law enforcement. Next, determine whether any property or identities have been stolen and report these to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Reacting quickly will minimize the impact of a cyberattack. But always remember that prevention is key.

Your customers' trust depends on whether you can ensure the safety and security of their personal information. Don’t risk a cyberattack. Review and improve your cybersecurity today.