While we at First Security Services deal primarily with physical security of businesses, there is another important threat that many business face—cyber-attacks. According to CNN, there are millions of cyber-attacks that occur every day, and most of them have the goal of stealing money and sensitive information.
For business owners, this is a unique challenge that most small to medium size businesses do not have the adequate finances to address. So, what are some ways you can help decrease the chances that your business will be the victim of hacking or online theft? Check out these 5 tips below.
Routinely Update Computer Antivirus Software
Though not full-proof, antivirus software does a good job of staying up to date with the latest virus, spyware, and malicious codes that are attacking U.S. businesses. The problem is, most people forget that their software needs to be regularly updated to ensure that their individual computers and networks are protected. Make sure to meet with your IT team to set up regular times for all computers to update their antivirus software.
Secure Your Networks
Networks are one of the easiest targets for hackers because rarely are all security protocols followed. When setting up your business’ Wi-Fi network, make sure to secure it with a very strong password and hide the network once it’s up. Ideally, all desktop computers will be directly connected to the network via Ethernet cables so this won’t disrupt day-to-day functions. It’s tempting to keep Wi-Fi passwords on the walls when visitors are in the office, but this can easily lead to break-ins of your network. Finally, make sure access to your router is password protected as well.
Train Your Employees to Identify Social Engineering Threats
Ironically, one of the most important cyber security threats is something that isn’t actually a technological failure, but a human failure—social engineering. The idea of social engineering is that the greatest weakness for a business is its people, and that it can be easier to trick a human than a computer. Thus, many hackers will try to trick people into giving up sensitive information (like passwords) to access email accounts or networks. To combat this, it’s important to find a training course that will help your employees identify and stop potential social engineering schemes before they cause big issues for your company.
Create a BYOD Security Plan
Another potential target for hackers is employee smartphones and mobile devices that are used for both work and personal use. The idea is that if a hacker can gain access to a phone via a non-business related scheme, they can then use that access once a person is inside the office. When given the choice between the two, hackers will generally prefer to hack a personal email account rather than a business one since the security protocols are usually less for an email account. Our recommendation is to not let employees access sensitive work documents on personal devices, but if they have to, make sure you have a BYOD security strategy in place to address the issue.
Have any more cyber security tips for businesses? Let us know in the comments.