Whether you are a big business or a small website, you should consider cyber attacks as a fact of life. Protecting yourself from cyber attacks has become a part of doing business. It costs money to prevent a cyber attack. The alternative is the possibility of being run out of business. It is either you protect your company or your money will be taken from you, as well as your sales, your client’s data, and their money.
There are ways to prevent a cyber attack, however, not all of them are easy to implement. It all starts with understanding the problem and how most cyber attacks work.
The following are ways to protect your network and your data from cyber attacks:
#1 Hire a security consultant
A consultant is paid to know about malware, and how to prevent cyber attacks. As an expert he keeps up with developments in network threats and security. Choose an expert who has worked with companies at your level. For a small company, the consultant should be able to audit all the computers, hardware and software and give a recommendation and course of action. For an ecommerce site, a consultant like EMV payment processing Cincinnati can check the security of a company’s payment system.
#2 Install anti-virus and anti-malware software
This is usually the first line of defense of any company. Attacks via the internet are usually automated, and the best defense is secure anti-virus programs which are updated regularly. Malware threats should also be plugged as soon as these are found.
#3 Choose secure systems and operating systems
There are some network appliances which are more secure than others. Typically, they have built-in malware and anti-virus protection. Additionally, in terms of operating systems, there are some which are more secure than others. Try to choose software and operating systems which are secure, and leave vulnerable systems behind. Using a secure OS and systems would make access harder for unauthorized users.
#4 Use data encryption
If possible use an operating system level encryption. On top of that, your files should also be encrypted at the software layer. This is also true for communications, whether within the company or outside, data and files have to be individually encrypted. This would make stolen data practically useless because they could not be read.
#5 Keep passwords safe
A lot of instances of hacking are done through the knowledge of passwords. If for some reason a computer’s password is known, it can then be accessed via the internet. Or worse, knowledge of a password can lead to accessing data that’s on the cloud. Make sure that different applications, and websites have different passwords, and these passwords have to be changed regularly and frequently. Also, try to adopt long complex passwords. This would make it harder for a hacker to guess their way inside the system.
#6 Restrict physical access
This does not only mean that a computer has to be secure physically when it is outside the premises, but also while it is within the premises. There have been instances where a corporate system has been hacked because an unidentified and unsecured USB flash drive was found on the parking lot and inserted into a computer. Securing the system against unauthorized access should include security against flash drives and other external drives.
#7 Backup data often
Not all hacking is about gaining entry. Sometimes it can be to make your data captive for ransom. With a data backup, the system can be closed down, and the loss of data could be averted.