With the alarming increase in cyberattacks over the years, cybersecurity is more essential than ever. Global cybercrime damages are predicted to cost up to $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, so not getting caught in the mix is a matter of taking in the right information and acting on it quickly.
We've made protecting yourself from cyber-intrusion a little easier with these 10 protection steps:
- Get in a password-change routine.
Everyone has a favorite go-to password - and it's often the one that gets used for every login that they have. Don't fall prey to reusing old passwords and try to come up with different ones for every login you use. Get in the habit of changing them regularly - set monthly reminders and don't keep passwords stored on-file. If all else fails, check out the variety of password-management software that exists.
- Figure out the security tools you already have.
Many applications, like email within Microsoft Office 365, give you the option to encrypt files and allow access only for designated users. Utilizing data like this are a no-brainer if you're working with data that is sensitive or especially at risk of breach. Similarly, Office 365 and on-premise Microsoft Exchange allow you to wipe data from mobile devices remotely in the event of a lost or stolen device.
- Understand the ways your data is moving.
If you're using cloud technology to store, access and share your data, file transfers are at higher risk of breach than if you were operating within a private network. Unless you've set up a personal & secure Wi-Fi hotspot through mobile tethering, you need to make considerations for protecting data on the move. Don't forget to determine appropriate security measures for remote offices and home-based employees.
- Encryption is a must - on all mobile devices.
Encryption might seem tedious but it's a huge part of arming yourself against cyber-attack. The latest Window's devices have user-friendly programs preinstalled that make the encryption process quick and less daunting.
- Be careful where you save files.
It's easy to get in the habit of saving files, folders, and emails directly to a hand-held or onsite device. Make sure you're utilizing the available security and backup features of your network environment - save your data in the designated file shares to avoid losing pertinent information when a device crashes or disappears.
- Use your administrator login for changes only.
Only under the administrator login can users make significant changes, deletions, and installations on your devices. Reserve your administrator login for these special instances only and have day-to-day users work under a normal account to avoid malware invasion.
- If you don't have anti-virus software, get it - and keep it updated.
Every device that functions within your business network should be protected by anti-virus software. Install it, learn about how it works, and make sure it's always enabled.
- Don't avoid updates.
It's tempting to choose the 'install later' option when you're busy but keeping up to date on updates can make all the difference in sustaining a secure system. Updates are often purposefully released to secure potential system exposures, so when possible, complete them as they arrive.
- Have your own back - test your back-up and restore solutions.
Figure out when your back-up systems were lasted tested and make sure things are running as planned. Routine back-up checks help not only to ensure your data is safeguarded but also help ensure that it can be restored easily if necessary.
- Keep access and security in mind when individuals part ways with the company.
When employees depart, take measures to revoke their access to your systems. Even if the parting is cordial, revoking access in a uniform way upon departure covers your bases. Don't forget to terminate access to any cloud-based systems they had access to.
Though daunting, making data protection a priority is fundamental to sustaining your business as a whole. Keep these tips on hand to make arming yourself a little easier.
And if you're feeling overwhelmed, we've got you covered - get in touch with Apex for additional support.
We sweat these and many other details for our clients all day... everyday...
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