Cyberattacks are a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. And as more devices connect to the internet, hackers have more opportunities to exploit them. Regardless of how secure your network is or how diligent your employees are about protecting their accounts, you can never be too cautious when it comes to cybersecurity. With that in mind, here are some best practices for protecting your business from data theft and other threats:
1. Backup your files
The first thing you should do is make sure that the data on your computer is properly backed up. You can use a cloud-based backup service for this, or you can simply copy all of your files to an external hard drive or flash drive.
The latter option isn’t as convenient as having them in the cloud, but it’s better than nothing–and it’s also much cheaper than paying for a monthly fee for online storage space. If you’re looking to get started with an external hard drive while keeping costs low (and don’t mind doing some manual labor), check out our guide on how to protect yourself against ransomware by using a DIY solution like Backblaze or CrashPlan!
2. Encrypt your data
Encryption is a way to protect data from being accessed by unauthorized users. It’s a key part of data protection. Data encryption can prevent data breaches, and it’s used for both data at rest and in motion.
In this section, we’ll explain how encryption works, why it’s important to your business’ security, and how you can use it effectively in your organization.
3. Use whitelisting and blacklisting tools
Whitelisting and blacklisting are two methods of preventing unauthorized access to your business’s computers.
Whitelisting is the process of allowing only known, trusted applications to run on a system. This means that any new or unknown program will be blocked from running until it has been reviewed by an administrator who can determine whether or not it should be allowed on the network. Whitelisted applications are usually deployed through group policies or similar mechanisms so all users have access to them in their environments, regardless of which computer they’re using at any given time.
4. Create a patch management policy
As a small business owner, you likely have a lot on your plate. You’re probably responsible for some or all of the following:
- Managing employees, payroll and human resources
- Handling marketing strategy and branding
- Keeping an eye on the bottom line
With so much going on in your day-to-day life, it can be easy to put off important tasks like patching software until later–and then later never comes. But patch management is one of those things that should always be considered part of your business’s overall security strategy. Whether it’s an operating system update or an application fix from Apple or Google (or another third party), installing patches as soon as possible after they’re released will help protect against vulnerabilities that could lead to data theft or other types of damage–and potentially save money down the road by avoiding downtime caused by attacks against unpatched systems!
5. Keep your software up to date
- Keep your software up to date
Keeping your software up to date is an important step in protecting your business against data loss and theft. Many people don’t realize how easy it is for hackers to find vulnerabilities in outdated programs, which they can then use as a gateway into your network. If you don’t keep track of when updates are available, it’s possible that hackers could exploit one of these vulnerabilities without ever being detected by any security tools on the market today.
Keeping software updated can also help improve performance and reduce downtime–something that every business owner wants! Make sure you know what kinds of updates are out there so that if there’s something new coming out soon (like Windows 10), it will be easy for someone on staff who knows what they’re doing (like IT) – or even yourself -to take advantage of all these improvements right away!
6. Implement data backup strategies
- Backup your data.
- Back up to an offsite location.
- Back up to an online location.
- Back up your data multiple times and in different ways, such as onsite and offsite, or cloud-based services like Dropbox and Google Drive that have their own encryption features built in (though this may not be enough for sensitive information). There are many ways you can do this–it’s up to you! Just make sure it gets done!
7. Train employees on cybersecurity best practices
- Train employees on cybersecurity best practices
As the owner of your business, you are responsible for ensuring that all employees understand their role in protecting company data. This includes training them on the importance of following cybersecurity best practices and how they can do so. These efforts should be ongoing throughout the year as new threats arise or security controls change.
For example: If you have employees who work remotely or travel frequently, they may need more frequent reminders about keeping laptops secure when not in use at home or work–especially if they’re using public Wi-Fi connections like those found at coffee shops and hotels!
8. Identify the “crown jewels” of your business and protect them with appropriate security measures
In order to protect your business, you need to know what it is that you want to protect.
What are the “crown jewels” of your business? These are the assets that have the most value and importance to you. As an example, if a hacker were able to compromise these assets and steal them, it would have serious consequences for your organization’s operations (and possibly even its survival). Identifying these assets is often done using a risk assessment process where you consider threats against different areas of information technology (IT) infrastructure and then prioritize which ones need more protection than others based on their value.
Once you’ve identified which systems contain sensitive information or contain critical processes for running day-to-day operations at work, then it’s time for step two: protecting those systems from attack by implementing appropriate security measures such as firewalls or antivirus software packages
9. Examine connected devices, such as printers and copiers, that could be used as entry points for hackers into the network infrastructure of your organization
- Examine connected devices, such as printers and copiers, that could be used as entry points for hackers into the network infrastructure of your organization. Make sure these devices are secured with a password or PIN and that they are up to date on patches and security software updates.
10. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible to increase security; require strong passwords for all accounts; use two-step verification for critical applications such as email; and use a VPN or secure remote access tool if remote workers need access to company resources from outside networks or from public internet connections
- Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible to increase security; require strong passwords for all accounts; use two-step verification for critical applications such as email; and use a VPN or secure remote access tool if remote workers need access to company resources from outside networks or from public internet connections.
- Monitor your network regularly, including firewalls, routers and switches (e.g., port scanning), intrusion detection/prevention systems, network activity logs (e.g., Nmap scans)
In conclusion, we hope that this article has been helpful in giving you some ideas on how to protect your business from data breaches. These are just a few of the most important things to consider when it comes to cybersecurity, but if you follow these 10 best practices, then you will be well on your way to protecting yourself against cybercriminals!