Simple security habits to protect your business

In a world where cyber threats are rampant, are your business’s defense systems up to par? Would cybercriminals succeed in accessing your critical data? But the hardest, most important question to ask yourself is: How confident are you that your business would survive a cyber attack? If you are unable to answer with confidence, that is not a good sign.

According to Juniper Research, it is estimated that the global cost of cybercrime will reach a jaw-dropping $2 trillion by 2019, a staggering fourfold increase from the 2015 estimate of $500 billion. Unless you want your business to become another statistic, it’s imperative that you fortify your security measures before it’s too late.

Small-business owners have even more reason to be cautious. Up to 43 percent of hackers target SMBs since they typically lack a robust network security system that can keep constantly evolving cyber threats at bay. Here are some of the industry’s best security practices that ward off external and internal attackers.

Get cybersecurity insurance

Security breaches are inevitable, so instead of waiting for them to happen, it might be better to have a cyber liability insurance in place when a security breach occurs. Think of it like an airbag that helps cushion your business from cyberattacks. If you are held liable, it will cost you more than an arm and leg in court, effectively crippling your small business. With cyber liability insurance, you won’t have to worry about this. Certain types of insurance will even cover your legal fees.

Implement a password policy

Cybercriminals are infiltrating data systems by exploiting a resource many businesses tend to overlook: weak passwords. While it might not prevent every single attack, implementing an effective password policy will certainly slow down even the most persistent hacker.

Train your staff to create passwords with 12 or more characters that include both upper and lowercase letters, numbers and even punctuation marks. If nothing comes to mind, try using the Bruce Schneier method: take a personal or memorable sentence, abbreviate the words and add special characters.

Use Virtual Data Rooms

A virtual data room (VDR) is an online repository where your company can store its data. Not only does a VDR protect your business’s sensitive information, but it also makes it easier for your staff to securely share data. Hackers find it nearly impossible to extract information stored in a VDR, which is why it is generally used for archiving financial transactions and sensitive data. Legal documentation, tax paperwork, and intellectual property information are ideally stored in a VDR as well.

Beware of internal threats

While it might be hard for business owners to accept the fact that they are likely to face more internal threats than external, they will rue the day they chose to neglect insider vulnerabilities. Up to 55 percent of all cyber attacks originate within the organization. Malicious employees are responsible for 31.5 percent, and the remaining 23.5 percent are employees who were none the wiser.

To prevent internal attacks, you should keep a closer eye on authorization requirements and be extra careful when deciding which staff should have access to sensitive data. Educate employees on steering clear of suspicious links or not opening emails from unknown senders. Don’t mistake monitoring your employee’s online activities for micromanaging. As a business owner, you need to protect your team as much as you would your bottom line.

Talk to an expert

If your sink were leaking, would you fix it yourself or call an experienced professional? Chances are you’d do the latter, because you don’t know the first thing about plumbing. The same principle applies to IT security. Not only will IT security experts take time to understand your business’s needs, they will also determine the best course of action to keep hackers at bay. They do so by identifying your system’s pain points and recommending solutions that will eliminate them.

Cybercriminals are growing in both number and sophistication, and merely keeping up with them is no longer enough -- you need to stay one step ahead. With OnTech Networks as your technological partner, we can handle all your network security needs with our Managed Security services. If you have any security or cybercrime-related questions, don’t be shy. Contact us by phone or email; our team is more than happy to help you.