Avoiding a Cyber Attack: How to Protect Your Business

Unforeseen cyber attacks can be one of the most inconvenient things to happen to a business, and can present challenges that set you back unnecessarily. Most of these attacks can be avoided with the proper precautions. With knowledge of how the attacks work, they can be better handled in the event that one does occur.

Take Necessary Precautions

Ideally, with the best precautionary measures, cyber attacks can be prevented from the start. These measures include keeping software up to date, using adequately secure passwords, creating firewalls, isolating sensitive data, encrypting devices (especially mobile devices) and wiping devices remotely.

Keep Software Updated

One of the best ways to prevent cyber attacks is to make sure that system software is consistently updated when updates are made available. These updates aren’t just for aesthetics or speed — they often include many added security benefits as well. Offer incentives for employees to keep their software current, or make it a company policy to auto-update.

Use Strong Passwords

Set your staff up for success by encouraging or requiring them to use difficult-to-hack passwords. The best passwords don’t use any easily-guessed personal information (names, family members’ names, pet’s names, addresses, etc.) and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. Employees should also use different passwords for accessing different devices and accounts.

Encrypt Devices

Encryption makes things more difficult for hackers by storing the device’s data in a scrambled, harder-to-read form. It is particularly important for business phones and laptops to be encrypted to prevent the sensitive company information from being easily accessed, but employees should be encouraged or required to encrypt any devices on which they might access work email or information.

Help Employees Assess Their Risks

Many of your staffers probably aren’t concerned with securing their mobile devices and other devices where sensitive information is stored. Simply raising awareness around the office of the potential of security breaches and how they work will help employees see these risks as serious — not just to the company, but for the sake of their personal information as well. Staff awareness is one of the most valuable cyber attack prevention tools available.

Use an online risk calculator to help employees understand how sensitive personal and professional information can be acquired and let them see their own personal risk levels.

Detect Attacks in Real Time

Cyber attacks are always becoming more sophisticated, so it is important to stay one step ahead of hackers. It might be worth investing in cyber attack monitoring services for your company. These services help businesses maintain better visibility across all the areas of the company in which an attack might occur.

Know What to Do After an Attack

Every business hopes to never have to encounter an attack, but in the event that one does occur, you should arm yourself with thorough information about what to do next. It is essential to disconnect from the Internet as soon as possible and scan you system to find out more about the specifics of the attack.