Being online has become a necessity, without any exceptions. The internet has made it possible for businesses to communicate across the globe. As a business owner, you can provide your services to clients on different continents or let your employees work remotely without affecting the work performance or productivity. Furthermore, you can store and backup your data on the cloud without investing in hefty equipment. Despite all these advantages, the internet still has a lot of loopholes that threaten the security of any business. You’ll need to be proactive and protect the privacy and security of your data to prevent suffering significant losses. That said, here are some smart ways through which you can secure how your business communicates.
Secure Computers and Networks
First and foremost, be sure to keep your machines clean. If you want to protect your machines from cyber attacks, be sure to install antivirus and anti-malware programs and set them to run automatic scans following each update. Moreover, always upgrade your programs to the latest version, and this includes more than just the antivirus; upgrade your browser and operating systems as well.
Secure Mobile Devices
Mobile devices can pose a great security threat, especially if they hold confidential work-related information or have access to the business network. Since most of us use our mobile devices at work, the threat is relevant to almost all businesses. To minimize the risk of a security breach through hacking a mobile phone or after it’s been lost, require the employees to protect their devices using passwords, encrypt their data, and fortify their security using the designated security apps.
Use Passwords and Authentication
One of the best security practices is to use strong passwords and change them every 3 months. For a password to be strong, it should include a capital letter, numbers, symbols, and be bigger than 8 letters. Better yet, implementing multi-factor authentication can be extra useful for security and marketing purposes alike. Two-factor authentication will require more information in addition to the password provided. This can be implemented for different purposes, but it’s essential for protecting financial data.
Install Firewall for Your Internet Connection
You may feel safe after installing antivirus software, but your security can still be breached in other ways. One way to fortify security is to install a firewall for internet protection. This firewall will prevent any hacking attempts trying to access your information by making your network private. Likewise, be sure that your employees have their firewall activated if they’re working from home.
You can further secure your WiFi network by encrypting and hiding it. You can do so by accessing the settings of your router or wireless access point, after which it won’t even broadcast the name of your network. Needless to mention, be sure to protect your network using a strong password. In case your employees are working remotely and using a public network, require them to access the internet only using a VPN, which will encrypt their data. That means that, even in the case of being hacked, the hackers won’t be able to decipher the data.
Backup Important Information
If possible, always backup your data automatically. If not, then at least back it up manually once a week and store the copies in more than one location. Most businesses use the cloud to store their data in a secure and private way. The data you’ll need to back up should include human resources files, databases, financial files, accounting files, electronic spreadsheets, and any other critical data.
Archiving records is different than backing up data. When you archive files, you’re storing them for long-term retention so you can use them in the future. Usually, archived files are the data you don’t need to use in your daily operations anymore, but that which is essential for record-keeping. You’ll need this data in the case of an audit or annual appraisals.
Finally, it doesn’t make sense to let all your employees have access to the company data. Each employee should only be given the authority they need to operate. They shouldn’t be allowed to install software programs as they please, access different user accounts, or access highly-confidential data.
After all is said and done, the most important thing is to enforce your security protocols. Be sure to implement clear security protocols, educate your employees about their necessity, and train them on how to use your systems. Meanwhile, establish penalties for those refusing or forgetting to abide by the protocols you’ve implemented.