The internet has made it much easier for small businesses and startups to break through. This has been due to the many web-based tools they can use to reach and serve their customers. However, as more businesses go online, hackers and other cybercriminals now have more targets than ever before.
In 2021 alone, the Global cybercrime damage was estimated to be over $16.4 billion a day. To avoid being the next victim, here are some of the strategies you can use.
How to protect your company from cyber security threats
- Use a VPN
Using a VPN will hide your online activities from potential hackers and other third parties who aim to steal the personal data on your team. Ensure that all the computers of your team have a reliable VPN installed and well-configured. To get started, Download VPN surfshark and install it on all your company computers.
A VPN provides a secure connection between you and the Internet. When you connect to the Internet through a VPN, all of your Internet traffic is sent through an encrypted virtual tunnel. If you use a VPN, you are more anonymous online because your IP address is no longer visible to anyone. Also, you are safer online because a VPN protects against cybercriminals. Guess what? With VPN, you are free on the Internet too because it allows you to access blocked online services.
- Enable two-factor authentication
If your company uses web apps and websites that support two-factor authentication, always ensure it is enabled for all your team’s accounts. It is always best to choose platforms that support two-factor authentication. The good news is that most business applications today support two-factor authentication.
There are few two-factor authentication methods. The method where the authentication code is received via SMS is also the most widely used. When creating an account, you provide your phone number. Afterward, every time the system suspects your identity, it sends a code to verify that you are really you. An alternative to SMS is special authentication apps. The most famous and universal are Google Authenticator and Authy. They use one-time passwords and a complex algorithm to generate a password even when the phone is not connected to any network. Also, some platforms can send a push message to your phone during registration. The fact that you have registered your iPhone or Android in their systems gives them such an opportunity. Use any of these 2 methods to protect your data.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to all your team’s accounts, making it more complicated for hackers and other cybercriminals to compromise them even when they get access to their login credentials.
- Use password managers
Studies show that 80% of hacking-related breaches happened due to password issues. Most people create weak passwords because they don’t want to use passwords that they can’t recall. Today, it is better to use 14 or more characters to generate a secure online password. Secondly, the password must be a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, which cannot contain a word that is in the name of a person, symbol, product, or organization. It sounds difficult, isn’t it? It is very hard for anyone to remember such passwords for all their online accounts. Bu do not worry, we have a solution for you. Using a password manager can help you auto generate more complicated passwords for all the online accounts you create.
All you will need to remember is the password to access your password manager app. Password managers will also inform you if any of your login details get exposed in some of the known data breaches. So, ensure everyone on your team has a password manager installed on their computers.
- Don’t open links and attached files from unknown emails
A 2019 survey by Verizon discovered that 9 out of 10 malware attacks happened via email. One of the most effective ways to avoid email-related attacks is by not opening links and files from unknown email addresses. Opening links and files that contain malware puts your computer at the risk of being compromised by hackers or any other bad elements.
But how we know that it is malicious email? First of all, be aware and make sure that the email sender’s address is known to you. Check the contacts of your colleague or organization and compare them with the sender’s email address. Most often, cybercriminals use the “typosquatting“ method, when the address of the organization differs by at least one letter, for example, instead of “Netflix”, cybercriminals write “Netfix”.
If you badly have to open files/files in an email, always scan them with a trusted antivirus before using them. You should also make sure the antivirus software you use to scan these links is updated regularly.
- Backup your data
Ensure that all important data of your company is backed up in real-time. You can do both local and cloud backups. These backups could be the savior for your company if your data ever gets compromised or damaged by hackers or malware. If you are using WordPress, there are several plugins you can use to back up your website.
The best backup plugins for WordPress websites include BackupBuddy, BlogVault, Jetpack, and UpdraftPlus. Most of these plugins give you the option of storing your website backup files offline or a third-party cloud storage service, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
Those are some of the most effective ways you can protect your company from cyber security threats. It is important to regularly educate your team about the above cyber security practices and make sure they implement them. You will need to bring in some external cyber security consultants to audit your infrastructure. They can also make recommendations of how you can make your infrastructure more secure.