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Secure your greatest asset

Tips to Keep Your Data Safe from Increasing Cyberattacks

Vanessa Venugopal
© Shutterstock / kerly chonglor

The increasing cyberattacks on businesses only mean that it is time to secure your company to keep data safe. With these tips provided, you can stay away from online threats that disrupt business operations. Preventing data breaches will definitely keep companies out of trouble.

Cyberattacks are increasing in number as we move forward and embrace innovative digital transformation. Recent data shows that it reached up to 600% due to the pandemic. Large enterprises and organizations have invested in cybersecurity practices that can keep their business data safe from the increasing cyberattacks. However, small business owners spend less to none at all when protecting their data.

With the increase in online attacks, businesses’ only option is to invest in the right security software and practices. Preventing data breaches will definitely keep companies out of trouble.

Although not all practices will work 100% of the time, it will, however, lessen the impact of the attack.

Organizations that aren’t spending on data security need to take it seriously and protect devices, data, and networks from attack. Online threats of any form can drain the profit and productivity of an organization. Therefore, making it difficult for the business to recover.

Even software development companies need to secure their data. With hundreds of clients and updates on the software they need to do, they will always end up with data. Hence, they’ll need to keep them protected too.

If you are serious about keeping your business running for years, learn to practice these tips to keep your business data safe from the increasing cyberattacks.

SEE ALSO: Why Do Companies Need Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) Solutions?

Tips on Keeping Business Data Safe

Train Employees

Employee training for cybersecurity is vital since two out of three insider threats are caused by employee negligence or lack of knowledge.

A phishing attack is the most common form of malware that leads to data breaches. It comprises 57% together with social engineering. If employees are educated about the impact of cyber threats, employee negligence can decrease. It would lessen data breaches that often cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Since phishing scam is the most common cause of data leakage, the first thing employees should know is how to spot one. You can inform them of the danger of clicking on untrusted or unknown links and how they can spot a fake website. Train them to report any suspicious emails or texts asking for personal or company information.

Conduct employee training yearly for updates on cybersecurity and emerging threats.

Elements you need to implement in your company:

  • Guideline on how to use technologies in the office
  • Policies on mobile devices (company or BYOD method)
  • Protocol to secure company and personal information
  • Create strong passwords
  • How to spot suspicious emails or messages
  • Limit access to authorized or person who only needs company data
  • Disaster recovery in case of a security breach

Backup Data Regularly

Regular data backup should be part of the company’s routine. It’s the most cost-effective way to recover data in case of data loss, disaster, and power outage. Using multiple backup systems ensures data safety. Save data to the cloud, portable device, local hard drive, and more.

Furthermore, backed-up data should be checked regularly to see if it is complete and can be restored when needed.
Data backup keeps companies one step ahead of cybercriminals. Also, it prevents them from spending thousands of dollars to retrieve the information they need.

Ransomware is a form of malware that locks the company out of their data and requests a ransom before releasing the data. When a company fails to back up its file, it will hire an expert to retrieve the data or pay the ransom.

However, paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee that ransomware hackers will return everything to the company.

Invest in Cybersecurity Insurance

Cyberattacks can be damaging to a business’s finances. It can cause business disruption, litigation, and loss of revenue. Whether your business is small or large, no organization is immune to online threats and attacks. That’s why investing in cyber liability insurance can help in many ways.

Cybersecurity insurances are not all the same. It often meets the need of a company to provide organizations with the best benefits they need.

Benefits companies can get from liability insurance:

  • Covers data breach incidents
  • Reimburse any business interruption that leads to a loss in both time and money
  • Defense against cyber extortion
  • Reimburse forensic and expert support for cyberattack investigation
  • Support legal expenses

Back-Up Files Regularly

Ransomware and natural disasters are common causes of why companies often lose their data. When it happens, organizations find it harder to resume their operation. It would be possible for them to pick up where they started. It then affects the whole operation, and they have to begin again but with delays and problems.

That’s why regularly backing up files is a crucial habit for everyone. Businesses that perform regular backups can resume their work by restoring files as quickly as they can. Furthermore, it avoids the need to pay cyber attackers for encrypting files. In addition, there is no need to pay an expert to retrieve lost files.

Whether you have a small business or large enterprise, data backup is easy and doesn’t cost much more than paying a ransom. All you need is a good backup system or hardware.

If you produce multiple valuable data, then it is a good idea to have different backup methods. When you back up your data, you need to test the backup solutions you choose for your business and see that you can easily retrieve the stored data.

Some backup solutions you can use for your business:

  • Acronis Cyber Backup
  • Carbonite Safe
  • IDrive
  • Dropbox for Business

Businesses can use an online backup system, external drives, or on-premise backup hardware. You can protect data on the storage solution with a password and multi-factor authentication to access files.

Activate Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) or Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is a security standard to protect data and accounts from unauthorized access. For MFA, it requires two or more proof of identity before you can access your account. Activating your MFA or 2FA adds a layer of security that prevents attackers from gaining access to a device or account.

Data Encryption with VPN and Firewall

Encryption can keep your data safe from prying eyes, whether it’s a hacker or your competitors. Encryption converts the data into codes that no one can see or understand when sent over the internet.

A Virtual Private Network or VPN creates a secure network that allows the sender and the receiver to read the data. But it keeps prying eyes away from the encrypted content. There are multiple VPNs available that can be installed on any device.

  • ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
  • TunnelBear
  • ProtonVPN

You can also install and activate firewalls to prevent employees from surfing inappropriate websites and stop hackers from entering your company’s network.

Protect Data with Antivirus Software

Security solutions like antivirus software or anti-malware protect devices, emails, and data from threats. It runs in the background, scanning for possible malware or viruses that enter the network or block them before it deploys its intention.

Antivirus software keeps you safe from ransomware, phishing scams, viruses, and even spyware. They clean computers, reset to their safe state, and run at their best speed.

Choosing the antivirus solution for your business depends on the number of devices you need to protect, what features you want, and how much data you need to be protected. Some names of security software are Bitdefender antivirus, Norton, McAfee, Malwarebytes, and Kaspersky.

Update Software and Devices’ Systems

System and software updates are not only for adding new features. Developers update their software or applications to provide a secure app or system for users.

When you receive an update request, you shouldn’t hesitate to approve the updates. Developers include the latest security updates that protect your devices from threats. Out-of-date software has vulnerabilities in its system that hackers can exploit. They can use it as a gateway to access the device and its content.

Protect your company’s data by scheduling updates or setting automatic updates if available.

SEE ALSO: Baking Security into DevOps: Tips for Enablement

Create Cybersecurity Policies

Cybersecurity policies serve as a guideline for employees. It helps them share and handle company data, what to do to avoid threats, and how to report suspicious activities if present.

Implementing these policies will help your employees understand their responsibilities in your company.

Use Stronger Passwords

Passwords serve as the primary protection layer of an account. Hence creating a strong password keeps accounts safe and protected from hackers. Using a simple password can easily be deciphered by hackers. Therefore, make sure to create passwords that are long and complicated.

A strong password should not be less than 14 characters long. Furthermore, you’ll need a combination of upper and lower case, some symbols and numbers, and should be a passphrase. Passwords should never be recycled and contain personal information. Each account should have different passwords.

Security Risk Assessment

Performing Security Risk helps organizations identify risks present in the company’s technology, like the network, systems, and more. It can identify threats and gaps in the security of the company.

Risk assessment can also check the data stored, retrieval of data, lack of security on data protection, and how to deal with data breaches.

All the data gathered during the assessment will be analyzed, and find ways to fill in the gaps that lead to a strengthened security strategy for your company.

Add Filters to Websites and Emails

Unfiltered websites and emails can contain malware, and employees might accidentally click on links or open websites that are unsafe. Adding filters can prevent spam emails from keeping employees’ inboxes full of unimportant emails. Also, it keeps your network safe from risky websites.

Conclusion

Keeping your company’s data safe from threats takes a lot of your time. However, it saves your business from losing money and its reputation. Cybersecurity practices are a critical part of every business. No matter how big or small, organizations must learn to secure their greatest asset, their data.

Author

Vanessa Venugopal

Vanessa Venugopal is a passionate content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.


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