Every single business in the modern world has digital assets and processes that help it function on a daily basis. Understanding how important it is to have fully functioning, and secure, processes and infrastructure for your business helps your business to thrive. There are always potential threats lurking when it comes to cyber-security, and that is why it is vital that you choose to build a long-term relationship with an IT support company that you can trust.
We’ve put together a basic cyber-security checklist to help you ensure you are doing everything possible to keep your digital assets and IT infrastructure safe. No matter what type of company you run, and within what industry, you’ll collect, store, and transfer, large quantities of data that could relate to your employees, your customers, suppliers, including personal information, sensitive details, and maybe healthcare histories or financial information. A cyber-attack or data breach could be devastating to your business in terms of regulatory punishment and reputational damage.
A Business Checklist for Cyber-Security
Let’s run through the checklist that will help you protect your digital assets and data. It is important to be as thorough as possible, without confusing your employees. This is where an IT support company will help:
Identify your most valuable digital assets
This is important, as a cyber risk assessment will help you understand what areas of your business require the tightest security. List the important information in order of priority, such as customer data, payment information, social media accounts etc. You can apply CMMC NIST standards for storing personal information that are sensitive but not classified.
Trust in anti-virus and other tools
There is no fail-safe answer in one cyber protection tool, so you need to be aware of the different options out there and how they can help your business. Anti-virus software is great for keeping out malware, but you need multiple layers of protection to really stay safe as a company with digital assets.
Keep things simple
An IT support company will help you with detailed security systems, but at the other side you need to keep things as simple as possible for you and your staff. They need to understand what to do and when, without it being incomprehensible or a chore.
Secure mobile devices
As remote work increases there could be times where your staff are working from home or hosting a meeting in a location away from your office space. Working remotely shouldn’t necessarily mean that your work is compromised or vulnerable. Ensure that all mobile devices for work are secure and that an encrypted VPN is used to log on to the work network from anywhere whilst protecting from potential attack.
The biggest downfall for any company or person who suffers from a data breach or cyber-attack is that passwords are too simple or used in multiple locations. There will be hundreds (if not thousands) of passwords throughout your company, and it is difficult for these to be memorised and made secure. A password manager is the way forward, and regularly changing passwords helps too.
A robust ransomware approach
One of the biggest threats to small businesses is ransomware. Make sure that you have adequate protection against a ransomware attack, as this can be very costly to a small or growing business, especially if there is a demand for a large payment to return sensitive personal information that has been stolen.
Always backup and update
Regular backups should always be a priority for any business. What this ensures is that even if the worst-case scenario happens and there is a cyber-attack on your business, you have that immediate backup that allows for minimal business disruption. Software vulnerabilities can be warded off by regularly updating all software as often as you can.
Teach good online habits
The online habits of your employees will go a long way to determining how safe your internal IT network is. A cyber-attack will often start when one person within an organisation unwittingly downloads something that they shouldn’t have. Provide cyber-awareness training at regular intervals for your employees, ensuring that they are as clued up as possible about potential threats and how to act when performing online tasks or opening emails on a daily basis.
The biggest part of this checklist is this last one – working with an IT support company that you can trust. The expertise and knowledge that professional IT experts have is crucial to your understanding and protection against cyber-threats. As technology improves and our use of it increases, as well as a world of work where we are all located in different places as we work, the potential threats also increase. Make sure that your company is regularly updated, that staff are trained to understand and identify potentials threats, and that you are working with an IT support company that gives you peace of mind and crucial, robust support against cyber-attacks.