Cybercrime is on the rise, and every business must have cybersecurity protocols in place. Read on to learn what steps you need to take to keep hackers at bay.
Cybersecurity is a vital pillar of modern business. Hackers are shifting their attention to smaller enterprises, and data breaches can cost you time, money, and the trust of your customers. Below is a checklist of cybersecurity practices you should employ to minimize your risk of being hacked.
A branded email account exudes professionalism and gives you more control and security options than a free email service. Invest in an email provider that has the features you need, and make sure that your employees use only their business email to communicate with team members, customers, and business partners.
From operating systems to individual apps, it’s vital to install software updates in a timely manner. Outdated software may contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Rarely, an OS update may cause issues with certain programs, which brings us to our next tip.
Even the most comprehensive cybersecurity plan has its faults, and you’ll want a way to recover your data if the worst happens. Back up your data on a regular basis to an onsite and/or remote server. Consider investing in cloud storage or automated data backup solutions.
To maximize your company’s cybersecurity, you’ll need everyone to be on board and well-versed. Work with your IT team to design a versatile training program that caters to multiple learning styles. For example, you may have a bulleted presentation with concrete examples and a hands-on practice session. The program should teach employees daily security habits, signs of phishing, and what to do if they suspect a data breach.
Data breaches can occur externally or internally, 24/7. A managed services provider (MSP) can monitor when devices connect to your network and what files are being accessed. Large data transfers or odd access times may point to a security risk.
Phishing is one of the most prolific tactics hackers use to steal data. By pretending to be a co-worker, supplier, or another person of trust, a hacker may send a malicious attachment or link to an infected website. When the victim opens the file or link, the system becomes infected with malware that may log keystrokes or encrypt files with passwords known only by the hacker. Using tools such as DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and SPF (Sender Policy Framework), you can greatly minimize email vulnerabilities.
It’s important to manage who can access certain files. By setting user permissions, you can grant or deny user access to certain documents. This helps prevent employees from sharing sensitive files with people outside the company or accidentally modifying a report. You’ll want to update these permissions when employees leave the company to prevent remote access.
Weak passwords are a major vulnerability, especially if a hacker has done research on the account owner. Passwords should be at least eight characters in length and contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also mandate that all employees change their passwords at least
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) uses multiple layers of identity verification in conjunction with the traditional username and password requirement. These might include security questions, a retinal or fingerprint scan, randomly generated PIN sent to the user’s mobile device, or a physical token that only the rightful owner of the account would have. The more layers present, the lesser the risk of a hacker getting through.
Just like the technology behind it, cybersecurity is constantly evolving. Whether you have an in-house IT team or an MSP you can trust, it takes teamwork and vigilance to keep your data safe and your customers confident in your business.
Thanks for helping us upgrade our Macs and get them working exactly as our business needs! Fast, convenient and very knowledgeable! You’re the best!
Alary Technologies has been our IT support team for the past year at the START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders. They have done a excellent job in upgrading our system, organization, and supporting us in technical computer matters. Compared to other IT companies we have worked with, Alary Technologies comes on top. Ahmed Kufaishi the Managing Director at Alary Technologies is solution focused, knowledgeable and makes an effort to really understand his clients’ needs. It has been a pleasure to work with Ahmed and Alary Technologies. I would recommend their services to other companies and clinics.
“We continue to work with Alary Technologies due to the fact that they are quite educated and knowledge based with current upgrades, and their commitment to their customers.”
Ahmed has been providing our company with expert IT services for close to 3 years. He has guided us through hardware upgrades, server back up procedures and was instrumental in brokering a custom software program that fully automated some key functions in our business. Ahmed has always been thoroughly professional in all his dealings with us and has provided consistent and sound advise for all of our IT requirements. We consider Ahmed and Alary Technologies to be an important partner for our business.
It is refreshing to work with someone who can organize things and describe in plain language. I have a large and growing knowledge base for my work as an architect. I have realized that I can’t do everything, that I do need a team member who can look after this one relatively small by crucial part of my practice.