Computers and the internet have transformed modern business – so much so, these days, it’s well-nigh impossible to think of any firm that doesn’t rely to some degree on its IT to function.
The digitization of business continues at pace; however, as we move more and more of our business and personal lives online, the threats posed by cybercriminals continue to be an ever-present danger.
The revenue generated by online criminality already makes it, comparatively, the world’s third-largest economy, and no firm should consider itself beyond the risk of attack. Indeed, a recent study conducted at the end of last year found that October 2020 saw the greatest number of security breaches ever recorded globally – though there were likely considerably more as only a tiny percentage of incidents are formally reported.
The best ways to protect sensitive company data
In truth, if you want to give your firm the greatest protection from attack, you should look at outsourcing your entire digital operations to a qualified online IT provider that will provide best-in-class security systems and backup operations. While no system is 100% safe, partnering with a professional is by far the best way to protect your firm from malicious attacks. Nonetheless, there are still many other common-sense precautions you can take (and which a provider will do for you):
Choose hard-to-guess, unique passwords: One of the most common ways hackers use to gain access to corporate networks is through poor, easy-to-guess, or repeated-use passwords. You should ensure both you and your staff use only alphanumeric passwords when accessing your systems – and also insist that they are changed regularly and not shared with other accounts (like personal email, social accounts, etc).
Provide tiered access rights to staff rather than cross-board privileges: It’s highly unlikely any of your staff will need full access to every file in your system, so, rather than providing cross-board privileges, limit the access they have to only the files they need to perform their job. If a hacker should gain access through an employee account, at least they’ll only be able to tamper with or damage limited resources.
Make sure you educate your staff of the dangers of working online: Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how bulletproof your security is if your staff aren’t properly educated on the most common dangers that appear online. Humans are frequently found to be the weakest link in the corporate data security chain, and it’s incredibly common for attacks to happen through social engineering tactics like phishing. You must provide adequate education and training to your staff to help them recognize suspicious emails, websites, and other common tactics used by hackers.
Set up automated updates to software and Operating Systems: New security risks are discovered almost daily, and software manufacturers are in a constant battle against hackers to plug the risks discovered in their apps. You should ensure all software and Operating Systems used by your company are set to automatically download and install the latest updates. If you’re in any doubt about how to do this, try looking under the file menu (often under preferences) or refer to your documentation. Outdated software can provide easy access to unscrupulous attackers, so it’s essential you use only the most current versions. data