Internet security is something that you hear about from big corporations, the government, and even movies or TV shows. It’s supposed to be very important, but oftentimes is overlooked because companies or entities either have the “it won’t happen to us” mentality or they are just unaware of the importance of having internet security protocols in place. That is why we decided to put together a list of ways to keep even the smallest of businesses secure.
Don’t download anything from unknown senders:
If you’ve never heard of the person or company that sent you the email, it may be tempting to see what is in that attachment, but don’t do it. Companies that are doing legitimate business typically will not send a cold email with an attachment, so make sure you know who is contacting you before you download anything.
Use a firewall and antivirus:
Antivirus removes infections from computer whereas a firewall blocks the path of infection to enter in the computer. This makes firewalls and antivirus software complementary security solutions that are both necessary for small businesses to implement.
Invest in encryption software:
In order to read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that allows you to decrypt it. Having software that encrypts your files will help protect sensitive information such as customer info and financial statements.
Stay up to date:
It important to update any type of software your company is using that is vulnerable to an attack. This includes antivirus, operating systems, websites etc. Not all updates are made for bug fixes such as it running slow or a function not working. A lot of updates include patches in security and if you do not update, you may not be protected.
Backup, backup, backup:
Repeat after me. I will back up my data. I cannot stress enough how important it is for companies to have their data backed up. There are so many different scenarios where a backup would come in handy. Backups are a necessity, from a user error where an employee accidentally breaks your website or deletes something important to the most extreme case where your business gets involved in a ransomware attack. Backups can give you peace of mind that if something goes wrong, you are prepared.
48% of data breaches that small businesses experience are from a negligent employee or contractor. That is why it is so important to train employees on proper cyber security. Your company should have protocols in place to prevent security breaches and actually follow through with them to make sure employees are complying.
60% of people use the same password for everything. You don’t want your employees using the same easily guessed password for all of the systems that they have access to. A way to encourage stronger passwords is a password management system. This will allow yourself and your employees to choose strong passwords and then they only have to remember one master password.
Don’t allow employees to install software without permission:
Malware can be tricky sometimes and look like it’s safe to download to the untrained eye. That is why you should never let employees download software without permission. Sure, the summer intern may think they are doing good by downloading an interesting program they found, but it may end up doing much more harm than good. It’s better to play it safe and make a policy of not downloading software.
Control admin access:
It’s probably not necessary to give everyone admin access to company programs. By only giving the necessary personnel admin access, you’ll reduce your risk of employees misusing their power, whether it be accidental or on purpose.
Implement a mobile policy:
It’s more than likely that employees need to access their work outside of business hours and that is usually done on a mobile device. Whether you provide a mobile device for your employees or they bring their own, you should have some sort of policy to protect your company when it comes to working on mobile. Every employee that has business information on mobile should have a passcode in case it was to get lost or stolen. You should also decide if there are any programs that should not be accessed via mobile as well.
If your small business needs any help with internet security, Black Line IT would be happy to assist. Learn more about our small business IT plans here.