5 Basic Steps for Information Security
It’s tempting to think that information security is really for large organizations and big enterprises. Hackers wouldn’t bother with a small business, right? In fact, attacks on small businesses are common because such organizations often don’t have the business continuity measures in place to monitor for, identify or block an infiltrator.
If you aren’t prioritizing information security, it’s time to put some steps in place to protect your data assets and your systems. It can be costly and time-consuming to recover from a breach, so use the following guidelines to protect your company:
- Install a good antivirus solution.
Lots of products call themselves antivirus, antimalware or endpoint security, but modern antivirus software has evolved to detect and defend against more than just viruses. Don’t get hung up on product labels because they all protect against malicious threats. Your antivirus solution will be crucial in protecting against malware, ransomware, and viruses.
- Invest in training.
Your employees are your best defense against cyberattacks, but they are also your greatest vulnerability if they have not been trained to recognize phishing emails or monitor for suspicious network activity. Teach them to watch for unexpected communications from a third party that seem to require immediate attention.
- Require better passwords.
Too many passwords are too simple, allowing hackers to quickly gain access to your system. Put a policy in place that requires frequent changes, as well as complex mixes of letters, numbers and special characters.
You can strengthen other barriers to your systems, such as creating user privilege limits, using patching apps and third-party software that provides robust ransomware defense. You can also protect yourself so that, in the event of a breach, you have a good backup solution that helps you quickly restore lost data.
- Create a security plan for BYOD and IoT.
If you’ve introduced devices equipped with sensors that feed data into your systems, those internet of things (IoT) devices can provide entry to hackers if they’re not secured appropriately. Don’t allow these devices public access from the internet. The same strategy must be applied to bring your own device (BYOD) programs, a common approach for the small business to keep costs down and allow employees to work on their preferred devices. To combat these issues, require complex passwords, install endpoint security solutions and implement two-factor authentication on devices.
- Secure Wi-Fi.
Unsecured Wi-Fi is a point of vulnerability for small businesses, because a hacker can work as a middleman between the end user and the server to intercept communications. Implement hardware with an intrusion detection system and update it regularly to ensure both your systems and your customers are protected.
Businesses of all sizes have proprietary information and customer data they need to protect. It’s not usually possible to completely address information security with just a software solution; employee training and investing time and energy into better password programs and securing devices are also necessary.
For assistance working through basic information security steps, or for guidance in choosing the right software applications for supporting your cybersecurity efforts, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.