Every business owner has read about cyber breaches and how these impact every business. We want to focus on how to prevent your confidential business information from being compromised in the first place. Cyber breaches come in a variety of forms, so we will focus on the most popular breaches; Insider breaches, payment and credit card skimmers, and direct cyber-attacks. With most of today’s critical information stored on computer systems, cyber-attacks can cost firms time, money, and data, but also their reputations.
Provide Training to all employees. Helping your employees understand how cyber breaches occur, will go a long way in prevention.
Keep your operating system, browser, anti-virus, and other critical software up to date.
If at all possible utilize a third party company to serve as your IT department, unless you are large enough to have full time professionals.
Activate your firewall. Firewalls are the first line of cyber defense; they block connections to unknown or bogus sites and will keep out some types of viruses and hackers.
Secure all passwords and do not share them with anyone.
Use only secure wireless networks.
Develop a secure way to allow laptops off the premises. Never keep client information on laptops if used off site.
Install the latest operating system updates. Keep your applications and operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux) current with the latest system updates.
Verify the authenticity of requests from companies or individuals by contacting them directly.
When an employee leaves the company or is terminated, turn off the access to their computer. If there is personal information on their computer, have your IT person manage the process.
Be aware of pushing scams. This involves a hacker using an email or website to install malicious software onto your computer. These web entities are designed to look like a normal email or website, which is how hackers convince their victims to hand over personal information.
Never open an email from someone you don’t recognize, even if it identifies you by name.
Make sure a website is secure before you enter personal information.
Do not give out any information over the phone or in an email unless you are completely sure it is authentic. Social engineering is a process of deceiving individuals into providing personal information to seemingly trusted agents who turn out to be malicious actors.
Carefully read the permission release before installing apps.
You may want to consider encryption programs for sending confidential information.
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