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The 6 best cybersecurity practices for your business

Jan. 25, 2021 Business/Online Security

Learn what steps you and your team can take to better protect sensitive data and prevent security breaches

Did you know that 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing? [1] 

The latest statistics back up these fears:

  • Cybersecurity breaches have increased by 11% since 2018
  • Since 2014, cybersecurity breaches have increased 67%, and 
  • The current average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. [1,2]  

In order to keep you, your employees, and your clients safe, you need to up your cyber security game. 

Keep reading to learn what you and your employees can do to better protect sensitive data and prevent security breaches with increased cybersecurity measures. 

#1: Document cybersecurity policies

Creating a written cybersecurity policy is an important first step in practicing good cybersecurity protocols for your business. A written policy ensures that all of your employees understand the expectations and procedures for cybersecurity measures at your company—allowing them to better avoid any confusion or mistakes.

A company-wide policy is beneficial for businesses of any size. Larger businesses should also consider enabling each department to create their own policy based on their individual needs to use in addition to the company’s. 

#2: Enforce safe password practices

One of the most talked about cybersecurity practices is truly one of the most important—password security. It is vital for you to enforce safe password practices for your business if you want to keep your information as secure as possible.

Each of your employees should be using different, complex passwords (containing lower and upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols) for every account they’re using. We also recommend that all passwords are changed every 60 to 90 days.

The best way to manage all of these passwords is to implement an enterprise-level password manager for your business which keeps track of all passwords and identifies duplicates or weak ones.

Bonus tip: Use multi-factor authentication! Beyond standard safe password practices, multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of protection for your accounts.   

#3: Monitor and restrict data access

One of the most effective ways to avoid a data breach is to restrict and monitor who is accessing what on your company’s network. 

Although it may seem easier to simply allow all employees access to everything on the network, this can be extremely risky! The more people on your network, the greater the chance for human error and, in turn, data catastrophe. It’s best to restrict access and only give each employee access to what they need to complete their job. 

We also recommended that your company develops a user and file activity monitoring system of who is accessing the network as well as when and where. If this log is monitored regularly, you can better spot any irregularities and avoid a data breach. 

#4: Regularly backup all data

Although backing up your company’s data may seem like a basic security measure, it’s an important one. A lot of ransomware is specifically designed to steal your data, which can be devastating to a company of any size. By backing up your data, you can get back up and running much quicker if you suffer a breach.

When creating a backup be sure to include all documents and spreadsheets, databases, financial and human resources files, and accounts receivable/payables as well as all data stored in the cloud. Remember to check your backup regularly to make sure it’s still viable and store it in a separate physical location if possible.

Related resource: 

4 important reasons why data backup and recovery is essential for businesses

#5: Keep all cybersecurity software updated 

Your cybersecurity systems can only help you if they’re up to date!

Updates and upgrades for solutions like firewalls, anti-malware, web content blockers, and spam filters help protect your network and machines from the newest cyber threats out there. 

#6: Educate employees on best cybersecurity practices 

Your employees are your first line of defense against cybercrime. They’re the ones opening emails, accessing files, and saving data to the network—so it’s absolutely essential for them to be educated on best cybersecurity practices if you want to protect your business. 

You need to ensure that your employees are aware of and following your cybersecurity policies, while also helping them stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats.

We recommend regularly educating your employees on cybersecurity practices through online workshops or company-wide group presentations about different policies and local laws, especially emphasizing the impact on their privacy.

Related resource:

How to: Educate your employees on online security best practices 

The takeaways 

In our digital age, following best cybersecurity practices is essential to the success of your business. Be sure that your business is following all of the practices outlined above and conduct research to ensure you’re following any industry-specific requirements as well. 

Looking to increase your cybersecurity measures?

It’s crucial that you take your business’s cyber security seriously, and we’re here to help.

We can keep your business protected from online threats with a cyber security service tailored to you. Our services include a network vulnerability review, cyber security implementation, and continued education and training—plus so much more.  

Visit our cybersecurity page to learn more or contact us today to get started!

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Sources:

1: Accenture | Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study 

2: IBM Security | Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020

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