Cybercrime has been steadily increasing over the past several years, and businesses are the prime target. You have probably seen some notable security breaches recently, notably Starwood, Facebook, and LinkedIn in recent years. While your business may not be as large as the companies that show up in the news, you need to take security seriously. Countless small business security breaches never make headlines but can result in costly fixes or closure.
While you may think that your business is covered, you could be doing things that inadvertently help hackers get into your systems. Learn how you could be compromising the security of your business so you can effectively ward off cybercriminals and keep your data safe and secure. Here are five common ways you and your employees might be helping hackers.
There’s a reason that platforms ask you to come up with complex passwords because hackers can easily crack simple passwords. They have access to programs that can run billions of simple, lowercase combinations per minute, so if you or your employees use simple combinations, hackers will likely be able to get through.
Encourage employees to create complicated passwords and change them every 90 days. If you don’t already have a reminder set to prompt a password change, initiate that reminder for all employees right away.
The more people who have access to your network, the more likely one of your employees (or ex-employees) will encounter malware or a virus that could lead to hacking. When employees have carte blanche, it increases your exposure, and your chance, of being hacked. Terminated employees can pose the same risk to your network security by absentmindedly clicking on a suspicious link or logging into an unsecure Wi-Fi connection.
Employees should be allowed access only to the programs, files, or applications that they need to complete their job duties. This could also help limit the damage if a hacker does get into an employee’s system. Employees who are terminated should have their access immediately revoked to prevent the possibility of a cyberattack.
What employees don’t know can hurt your business. It’s critical that you keep employees updated on the risks that could threaten your company’s operations. From phishing emails to ransomware, if employees know what they’re looking for, they can avoid clicking on links that look suspicious or downloading email attachments without verifying the sender. Keep your staff updated on the latest security threats and encourage them to update their passwords regularly to protect your business.
Your company should have measures in place for employees to report security threats or violations. If a security breach occurs, a timely response is critical, which is why proper protocols need to be established so that employees know what to do if they see something suspicious. All the employee education in the world won’t be effective unless you tell the employees who to contact when a security concern arises.
Establish a point person or an IT department that will be responsible for receiving and reacting to security threats. This person should be knowledgeable on the subject so they can take necessary action to prevent the hacker from going deeper into the company systems or compromising more data.
Assuming that nothing will go wrong is the biggest mistake you can make as a business owner. The threat of hacking is real, and you need to proactively address the potential issues before it’s too late, with proper education, procedures, and active monitoring. You should try to check your systems and networks regularly so you can quickly detect any discrepancies. In some cases, you may want to utilize extra protection for your network.
Our cybersecurity savants at Level 4 IT can help make sure that your networks have the proper protection while ensuring that you hinder hackers instead of help them. Network security is critical to the future operations of your business, and ignoring the potential threat can be costly. Contact level 4 IT to ensure your business is protected.