There has been a proliferation of cyber attacks and security breaches over the past few years. The recent hacks on Yahoo email accounts and data loss at Equifax brought up a renewed focus on data security, especially for businesses that retain a lot of customer information. In many cases, cybercriminals succeed because businesses aren’t protecting themselves from minor and most basic forms of security threats. Here are five ways you can keep your business safe from cybercriminals.

 

Use a Strong Password

Many people use the names of their pets or birth dates as passwords. Such passwords can compromise your security online because they are easy to crack. You need to make things more difficult for the hackers. Use a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. This way, you will end up with a sophisticated password that even the most experienced and skilled hacker will never crack. Such passwords can even take years of trial and error to break, which will make hackers to give up. Also, make sure you create a strong password policy for the company to prevent employees from leaking passwords knowingly or unknowingly.

 

Be Aware of Phishing

A hacker can save himself a lot of trouble and time if he can coerce you to give him the password. It may seem weird why someone in his right mind would do that, but the truth is hackers can successfully convince you to give out your password to confirm your identity by posing as legitimate websites. You need to be careful and be able to detect phishing activities. Doing so will enable you to protect crucial business information and prevent any malicious attacks on your IT systems.

 

Update Your System Regularly

Hackers are ingenious and innovative. Every day, they come up with new and more advanced techniques to help them gain access to even the most secure systems. Internet security experts are also smart in their own right. They can identify these new methods used by hackers and develop algorithms to help stop them. These algorithms are in the form of regular security updates on security systems. It is important you update your system so that you can have the latest security features. Frequent updates will help secure your site against the most recent and more advanced security threats. You can set the system to update automatically, or you can check for updates manually.

 

Conduct Training Programs

There is no way you can prevent security problems in your business if you and your employees don’t understand what you are dealing with. Conduct training programs and encourage your staff to enroll in schools that offer IT degrees to further expand their knowledge about IT systems and their potential security threats. Training will also help them know the actions they should take to identify, document, and remove security threats.

 

Use VPNs

Virtual private networks (VPN) are the new darlings to those who value their security and privacy while online. VPNs typically hide your identity from potential attackers. Instead of using your original IP address, you are assigned a new IP address by the VPN. If a cybercriminal tries to track you using your IP address, he will be directed to the server where the VPN is hosted. This way, your crucial information will not leak to unauthorised individuals. You can get a VPN with as low as £5.

 

With the increasing incidences of security breaches over the internet, businesses need to take serious precautions to protect themselves online. For adequate security measures, companies should ensure they have a strong password policy, use virtual private networks, identify potential phishing activities, conduct training programs on security and update their systems on a regular basis.

 

Resources
https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2017/11/08/5-ways-to-improve-your-small-business-cybersecurity/#24b499611f6f
https://www.wgu.edu/online_it_degrees/programs
https://www.le-vpn.com/cyber-security-virtual-private-networks/
https://www.vadesecure.com/en/phishing-awareness-training-8-things-employees-understand/

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