Businesses and essential services like hospitals and banks have digitized gradually. The ease of computer systems is accompanied by the genuine threat of hackers and cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include malware attacks, fraudulent emails, intercepting transactions between two parties, denial of service attacks, etc.

Imagine if your computer got attacked by a virus and the person behind it demands a large sum of money to remove it. The damage would be catastrophic the larger a company is, and the best way to fight against cybercrime is prevention. Go through these tips to ensure you never have to go through such a misfortune.

Install antivirus software

Malware makes its way through your firewall even when you’re careful about the files you download and links you click. It’s best to invest in antivirus software to create a more robust firewall and kill viruses if they penetrate through. Antivirus software performs thorough scans on all your devices and reports all potential suspicious activity for you to check out later.

It won’t be as costly to make the initial purchase and regular updates for the software as to lose essential company data.

Conduct training for employees

There are a lot of public service announcements regarding fraudulent emails and phone calls where people claim to be a representative of service and talk you into providing them sensitive information like ID and account numbers.

Be sure to teach your employees about different types of cyber attacks so they become more aware of such phishing attempts. You should train all of them to exercise caution when clicking links, check email addresses before responding to any suspicious emails, and download online files. Phishing scams are most prevalent, so all employees must be able to detect fraud and not provide sensitive information.

Use endpoint protection

Endpoint security or protection prevents endpoint devices like phones, tablets, laptops, etc., from data leaks and attacks. While antivirus is the best solution, it isn’t all-encompassing. Endpoint protection deals with threats that move past the antivirus software.

An everyday application of endpoint protection is when employees work from home. Even when the company’s network is secure, employees will use personal devices and networks at home, posing a risk. It’s the best option for remote work because endpoint security tools monitor and update devices remotely.

Contact external cybersecurity services

Covering all bases of a company’s cybersecurity is sometimes too much to handle for its IT department. You should reach out to firms specializing in cybersecurity to set up protective software, check your network activity for cyber threats, kill spyware, and break any unauthorized access. You can focus on the main areas of your business when you’re aware that trained and trustworthy professionals are handling your company’s cybersecurity.

The services will review your cybersecurity policies and procedures, make improvements where needed, work on network security, and provide protection for all devices.

Use encryption for data

You should consider all company data sensitive and store it in a safe format. Encryption adds a thick protective layer around your data so hackers don’t get to it quickly. You can use cloud storage to upload and download data from a remote server via the internet. Cloud storage is very safe because all files on the servers are encrypted, allowing authorized access only.

You can also use VPNs (virtual private networks) for company devices. VPNs don’t allow internet service providers and third parties to see your IP address when you go online. You may be familiar with cookies that all websites prompt you to accept. These cookies track your online movement and uncover a lot of information. While websites that use cookies aren’t always harmful, hackers can gather this information to attack you.

Do routine checks on your cyber protection setup

It would be best if you never assumed all systems were perfect. There is always a possibility of an attack, and you shouldn’t just wait for it to occur. Instead, perform checks on all systems and software, ensure all data is backed up, and remove redundant files and programs. It would help if you also ran checks on previously stored data to see if there were any corrupt files.

Inspect traffic of all IoT (internet of things) devices to see if no sensitive data is being leaked. Keep an expiry date on all passwords and change them regularly. Passwords should be such that they contain upper and lower case letters, numerals and symbols, and a specific length, so it gets harder to bypass.

Create cyber security policies

All companies that use digital systems must have documented guidelines on cyber security. Policies should include what kind of websites shouldn’t be visited and how employees use company machines. How to upload and download data safely, which information employees are allowed to share, etc. Many hackers talk people into sharing classified information by talking about already public information. There should be strict guidelines to avoid this scenario and protocols on what to do when sensitive information is shared online.   

Conclusion

There’s a lot you can do to protect your digital system and data. Install antivirus software, reach out to certified professionals to secure all your information and systems, conduct staff training, and set guidelines to minimize the risk of leaking company data. Remember that there’s a person at the other end of a cyber attack, and you have various tools at your disposal to ensure they can’t mess with you. So leverage these tools and avoid compromising sensitive information and your business.


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