While there are many great benefits to technology, and it has truly changed the world as we know it over recent decades, it comes with a few problems. In particular, there are thousands of hackers all around the world who every day find ways to break into organizations’ systems to compromise websites, steal customer data (like credit card information) and take down a site.
In fact, over the last few years more than 100 million ransomware attacks have been carried out. There have also been millions of other threats from spyware, spam, malware and the like. Sadly, the financial losses involved with all this cybercriminal activity adds up to billions of dollars each year.
If you want to protect your business, it’s important to take steps to be as safe as possible. Read on for some top ways you can go about protecting your systems from cyberattacks today.
Protect Devices and websites, and Update Systems
One of the first essential steps you need to take is installing good-quality security software on all the computers used in your business. There are many products on the market at many different price points.
You might think the free antivirus applications pre-installed on devices is enough, but keep in mind that hackers have many sophisticated techniques for breaking into systems. You really do need to protect yourself from a wide variety of threats with a more robust security application.
When choosing a security protection product, look for something that will provide privacy when browsing and buying online; and that protects you against ransomware, spam, viruses, malware, spyware etc. Choose an option that will complete regular, custom scans on your computers and that will pick up on viruses and other infections which might already be on your gadgets.
It’s also wise to use firewalls to protect your business data and systems. Many tech companies pre-install these on computers, but again, you might want to select a third-party product that will provide higher-level security.
Another important step to take is to find a company to provide DDoS prevention for your website. This is an area that not enough business owners think about, but which can really leave you vulnerable. Hackers can break into the backend of sites to steal data (particularly sensitive financial information or customer details), imbed malware, or to simply crash systems. As such, make sure you take measures to keep them at bay.
Furthermore, keep in mind that paying for security software isn’t a set-and-forget situation either. Rather, you must keep this software updated at all times. Creators release new versions when they find out there is a security gap in their products or when they develop additional protection against new threats. As such, if you don’t run updates when they become available, you’ll leave your systems vulnerable.
Put Hard-to-Crack Passwords in Place
Next, always make sure you have hard-to-crack passwords in place on all your business devices (and personal ones you may use for business activities), to include account logins, apps and your Wi-Fi router. Cybercriminals often get into systems because people haven’t secured these properly with challenging codes.
Passwords that work best are at least twelve characters in length. They also contain a variety of numbers, symbols, and letters (both upper case and lower case are required). Don’t forget to change your passwords on a regular basis, too — around every quarter is recommended.
Don’t base your codes around words or numbers that hackers could find online. If you ever need to give out logins to consultants or other contractors, set up temporary codes for them to use instead of giving them access to your everyday passwords.
Know About the Types of Scams Hackers Use
Lastly, you will protect your business better if you keep up-to-date on the different types of scams hackers use to break into systems. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. For example, one of the most common scams sees cybercriminals insert viruses or other types of malware into emails, links and attachments. As such, never open messages or documents from people you don’t know or click on suspicious links when browsing online.
When receiving emails that seem to be from legitimate companies, such as banks, insurance agencies and telecommunications firms, also read the messages properly to be sure they’re real. Cybercriminals often create fake newsletters or other correspondence to trick readers. Be on the lookout for messages from email addresses that don’t seem correct or emails that contain red flags like not-quite-right logos or bad spelling and grammar.