10 Ways to Help Protect Your Business Against Cybercrime
Cybercrime is evolving and new threats are surfacing every year. The range of cybercrimes is staggering – gone are the days when hackers would just steal your credit card number. If you knew of all the different cybercrimes you would probably be too scared to use the internet ever again. However it doesn’t have to be as drastic as that. There are a few things that you can do to help protect against it.
First of all, what is cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that primarily takes place online. Cybercrime can range from security breaches to identity theft, it can also include things like cyber-stalking, harassment and bullying as well a child exploitation and sexual abuse.
1. Back up your data
Backing up your business’s data and website is fundamental in the event of a cyber attack or computer issues. It is important that you back up your data on a regular basis, and use multiple methods to do so.
A good back-up system typically includes:
– daily back-ups to a portable device and/or cloud storage
– end-of-week server back-ups
– quarterly sever back-ups
– yearly server back-ups
It’s great to back up your data regularly, but also it’s just as important to check every so often that you can restore your data from your back-up. There is no point in backing up your data if you are unable to retrieve it when need be.
Also make a habit to back up your data on an external drive. Make sure the external drive is NOT stored on your business premises, this will give your business a ‘plan b’ in the event of the office being robbed or damaged.
2. Secure your devices and network
Installing a security software program on your business computers will help prevent viruses infecting your network. Ensure the software includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam filters.
3. Turn on your spam filters
By using spam filters, it will help reduce the amount of spam and phishing emails that your business receives. Spam and phishing emails can be used to steal your confidential information by infecting your computer with a virus.
Applying a spam filter can reduce the risk of you or your employees opening spam emails by mistake.
4. Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a another layer of security that requires you to provide 2 or more proofs of identity before you can access your account. For example, an app or site will require a password as well as a separate code that is sent to your mobile device before access is granted to the site or app.
5. Encrypt important information
It’s important to turn on your network encryption and encrypt data when stored or sent online.
What does encryption do? Encryption converts your data into a secret code before sending it over the internet. This reduces the risk of theft, destruction or tampering. If you use public networks often (such as library, cafe, airport Wi-Fi) it is in your best interest to install a virtual private network (VPN) on your device.
6. Manage passphrases
What is a passphrase? A passphrase are passwords that are a phrase or a collection of different words (think of it as a small sentence or statement) They are simple for humans to remember but difficult for machines to crack. A secure passphrase should be:
– long (aim for at least 14 characters long, or for or more words put together)
– complex (include capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, symbols and special characters. A good tip is to swap vowels in words for symbols)
– unpredictable (never use your children’s, pet’s or Mother’s maiden name as a password. These types of passwords are so easy to obtain and easily hacked!)
While a simple sentence can make a good passphrase, a group of unrelated words will make a stronger passphrase. Just remember to keep your passphrase unique. Don’t reuse the same passphrase for all your accounts. Change certain numbers, words or symbols for each passphrase. It’s also a good idea to update your passphrase often – perhaps do this when you back up your data.
7. Put policies in place for your staff
A cyber security policy helps your staff to understand their responsibilities and what is acceptable when they use or share data, computer & devices, emails and internet sites. It’s important to have a policy in place, especially in these times of working-from-home when monitoring staff can be challenging.
8. Train your staff to be cautious when using the internet
Your staff can either be helpful or a hindrance against cyber attacks. It’s important for your staff to be able to identify a threat and know the role they play in keeping your business safe.
It’s imperative to that they know how to:
– maintain good passphrases
– learn how to identify and avoid cyber threats
– know what to do when they encounter a cyber threat
– know how and when to report a cyber threat
9. Protect your clients and customers
Without clients and customers you probably wouldn’t have a business. It’s so important that you keep your clients and customers information secure. If you lose or compromise their information it can potentially damage your business’s reputation and you may also face legal consequences.
Make sure your business invest in and provides a secure online environment for transactions. Also keep any personal information that is stored tightly secure. There are laws about what you can do with personal information you collect from your customers and clients, contact your legal representative for more information on this.
10. Invest in cyber insurance
Highly consider cyber insurance to protect your business. The cost of dealing with a cyber attack can be much more than just repairing databases, upgrading security or replacing laptops. A cyber insurance policy can help your business with the costs recovering from an attack.
The internet is here to stay and is an integral part of our lives. Yes it can be a bit scary and fearful, however if we are vigilant and put the right steps in place to protect ourselves we can enjoy all the wonders the internet brings!
For more information on insuring your business or if you have more questions you’d like answered, contact us today for a chat about your insurance needs and goals.
This article originally appeared on Clear Insurance In The News and has been published here with permission.
Advisr does not provide advice and does not hold a financial service license (AFSL). All information above has been provided by Lisa Carter.