The Christmas holidays are fast approaching but while we start to wind down to enjoy the (virtual) office party, activate out-of-office messages, and crack open the Buck Fizz, Beware! – Cyber Grinches are poised to steal your data.
But all that Christmas good cheer doesn’t need to result in the cold hard reality of hefty fines and ICO investigations when you return to the office in January. Read or blog for our top 5 tips on how to protect your business’ data over the festive period and ensure the only hard realities you face are the usual ones. Looking at you, overindulgence!
Don’t have time to read the rest? We summed it up for you here:
1. Update your antivirus software
Ensuring that all your computers and laptops have the most up to date antivirus and anti-malware installed is essential for safeguarding your business data. If you control your admin permissions, you can push the updates through network management admin or ask all your employees to run an auto-update on all programmes. If you have an IT service provider, ask if they can check that all your security applications are up to date. Don’t forget to also ask your service provider for firmware versions running on firewalls, server platforms and the like – these all need to be on the latest patch. Also, make sure that you back up your data, and your back up is working as intended.
2. Educate your employees on securing their email
All employees should be aware of this rule: if in doubt, don’t click! Malicious emails are typically phishing ones which are attempting to trick you into sharing information online. Be suspicious of any email that looks strange from well-known sources as well as unknown ones. Don’t open any attachments or click any links you are unsure of, and immediately delete the email or send on to your administrator to investigate.
3. Password Security
Scary fact: 59% of people use the same password everywhere! An excellent way to ensure your company’s data is secure is to audit all admin logins to critical servers, networks, and applications. Passwords should contain special characters, be alpha-numeric and include upper and lower case. Make sure that you amend settings to make your passwords unreadable. Even better is to set up SSH Keys on your servers. SSH keys provide a more secure way of logging into a server than using a password alone, and they are nearly impossible for cybercriminals to decipher.
4. Audit your firewall policies
Firewalls are the first line of defence for preventing unauthorized users from accessing your online information. Check, or ask your IT service provider to check, that your firewall does not have many legacy configurations or unused policies. These dodgy connections could be impeding your firewall’s effectiveness. This work can be complicated but is worth doing to ensure optimum protection for your data.
5. Invest in quality security systems
Smaller businesses might hesitate at the cost of investing in good quality cybersecurity but making that decision could ultimately save companies from the increasing financial and legal cost of a data breach. All of your devices and applications should have strong antivirus and malware protection, and your company should also be backing up data and running regular security checks.
Ensuring that customers are protected and secure is one of the highest priorities for SoConnect. We will explore cybersecurity with you during our IT Risk Management planning, helping to clarify any potential risks in your IT security. We’re equipped with the latest technology to allow us to monitor your IT systems and hardware security 24/7/365, allowing our team to act fast if an issue is identified.
Protect your business in time for the Christmas holidays: when it comes to security, we’re serious about keeping you safe.