Cyber attacks are no joke, and they seem to be happening more frequently and with more devastating effects on businesses.
Take for example CryptoLocker, a ransomware virus which essentially paralyses the operations of your business by holding data hostage until you pay the proposed ransom.
Scary stuff huh? We think so too.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list so that you have the tools to protect yourself against these kinds of attacks.
- Fix vulnerabilities with patch management
- Proactively catch malicious activity with antivirus
- Establish a backup plan
- Create strong unique passwords
- Protect your business with education and training
You don't have to hide away from protecting your business.
Fix vulnerabilities with patch management
Vendors, such as Microsoft or Adobe, release updates to the software that you use on your computer. These patches often contain new features, bug fixes and updates that fix known security vulnerabilities.
When it comes to protecting your computers, servers and network, it’s these patches for security vulnerabilities that are particularly important. When we don’t install these updates, we run the risk of hackers using these known security vulnerabilities to gain access to our computers and network.
Enee’s Patch Management ensures that you keep up with the latest updates and install them in a timely manner. In addition, we can help with prioritising, assessing which patches are best for particular systems and take care of all necessary testing.
Proactively catch malicious activity with antivirus
Antivirus software is one of the most basic forms of defence against security breaches, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Having an antivirus application installed on your computer is an important proactive step you should take when protecting your computers and network.
To ensure that your antivirus is doing the best job it can do, make sure you do the following:
Constantly update your AV software
New threats are detected by security companies every day, and hackers are working equally as hard to try and find ways of bypassing AV software. This cat and mouse game will never end, which means you must never stop updating, daily!
Make sure you have AV on all computers
Every workstation and server on your network should be protected with AV. Any computer on the network without AV installed becomes the weakest link and could easily allow unwanted viruses to enter the network.
Establish a backup plan
When all else fails it’s important to have a fall back, that’s why it’s important that you have backups for all your company data.
As you setup your backups it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
How often do I have to backup?
To answer this, ask yourself, if I lost everything right now and had to restore from a backup, how far back in time would I be comfortable restoring to?
For example, if it is 4pm in the afternoon and I’ve just lost everything, is my business comfortable restoring from a backup that ran last night, which means losing everything that I did today? Or is it more ideal to restore to 1 hour ago? Or is it just unacceptable to lose anything at all?
The smaller the amount of time, the more expensive the solution. So it is important to ask yourself the question, and then consult with a professional to get the correct “cost vs benefit” decision for your business correct.
How long can my business operate without its data?
Depending on how much data you have to recover, restoring from data could take a while. It’s important then to ask yourself, what the maximum time your business can operate without its data.
Can you wait a day while your IT provider restores everything from backup? Should it be 4 hours? Or does it need to be instantaneous?
Once again, the smaller the amount of time, the more expensive the solution.
Create strong unique passwords
With the rise of security and data breaches, protecting our user accounts with strong passwords has become a number one priority. Good passwords won’t protect you and your business from all possible security vulnerabilities, but it is one of the most important aspects of security, and first ‘gate’ of defence.
It’s difficult however as humans, to remember unique and strong passwords. What often happens is that we either over-simplify passwords, reference things that we know or reuse passwords more than once. All of these weaken our passwords and make our accounts more vulnerable to hackers.
That’s why we would recommend using a password manager such as Lastpass, Keepass or Dashlane.
These apps are great because they:
- Store all your passwords in one spot.
- Only require you to remember one password.
- Are easily accessible to you on your web browser.
- Provide access to your passwords on multiple devices.
Using a password manager means that you can continuously create unique passwords and stay protected whilst only having to remember one password.
Protect your business with education and training
The most common and successful way attackers gain access to your computer or networks is through your people. It is extremely important to educate staff on the basics they need to know in order to protect themselves and the organisation against security attacks.
People are the weakest link in any organisation, which makes training staff a top priority.
Some important things that staff should be educated on are:
- The most frequent types of attacks; for example, how hackers try to trick you in providing confidential information or installing a virus via email.
- How to approach unusual or unexpected things in a skeptical manner.
- The expectation and processes on what they should do when they encounter something suspicious.
As a business, you should establish your own security practices and policies, for example guidelines for browsing the internet.
We would also suggest limiting permissions for particular employees based on their role within the business. Taking a prudent approach like this could mean, in the case of someone hacking an account, the hacker is unable to access sensitive information.
Bringing it all together…
As you can see, protecting your business from cyber attacks is no small task.
As hackers and other malicious actors become more advanced in their endeavours to access and hurt our businesses, its essential that we protect ourselves with a comprehensive defence strategy.
We would suggest taking the time to investigate and invest into the 5 key areas listed above, to give you peace of mind.
How Enee can help…
When you’re ready, we can help!
Our Protect package provides a solid foundation that helps you protect your business, whilst minimising the amount of downtime that your business experiences.
- Monitoring and alerting: to keep you up to date with the in’s and out’s of your computer, network and servers. If anything unusual comes up we can detect it quickly.
- Monitored antivirus: we install and manage antivirus software on all necessary devices and make sure that it’s kept up to date.
- Monitored patch management: this includes keeping up to date with all recent patches, prioritising, scheduling, installation and testing.
- Proactive maintenance: we make sure that your computers are kept clean and running efficiently by scheduling regular maintenance.
Alternatively if you’re interested in backups, training for staff, or want advice for a password manager, get in touch and we can recommend something suited to your business!