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How to Safeguard Your Business Against Cybersecurity Threats

How to Safeguard Your Business Against Cybersecurity Threats

Small businesses have become particularly vulnerable to cybercrime over the past three years. This phenomenon is largely due to the rise of cheap and abundant technology, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which are easy to hack for an increasingly sophisticated set of cybercriminals.

The proliferation of cloud storage solutions and the constant evolution of digital infrastructure makes it easier for cybercriminals to target companies not only for financial gain but also for other reasons, such as making political statements and provoking economic destabilization.

Fortunately, there are several relatively simple and reliable solutions for keeping your business’s information secure and reducing potential costly damage after a cyberattack. One such approach is to maintain a secure operating system that uses the latest security features. You should also consistently update your anti-virus software and firewall in addition to backing up your data routinely, preferably to a secure offsite location.

Updating your systems as frequently as possible is always a good idea. However, it is no less important to educate your employees on why you need robust cybersecurity protections and proper digital hygiene in the first place. You can achieve this by establishing an internal cyber security policy.

Companies that lack specialized talent will typically develop security protocols with the help of external advice from experienced outsources like PCH Technologies. Our team, for example, can provide a roadmap covering all your unique business applications.

By taking the necessary precautions and staying up to date with the most recent security technology straight away, you can immediately start mitigating the risks associated with the latest cyber attacks. Now, let’s explore a few common strategies for protecting your small business from online threats in 2023 and beyond.

Information backups

The importance of keeping your most valuable data safe and secure cannot be overstated. Data breaches are costly and are the prim1ary reason you should routinely back up your essential operating data and applications. There are, of course, multiple ways of accomplishing this.

For starters, you should always back up your info to a portable device or cloud storage daily. End-of-week server back-ups, quarterly server back-ups, and yearly server back-ups provide additional layers of security, as well. It is also necessary to regularly test to confirm that your critical operating data can be restored from the backup source.

Back up your information to a secure offsite storage location to ensure you can safely recover your data after a catastrophe. When you store your data remotely, meaning it’s not contained within your company devices or other onsite storage solutions, the information is less likely to become infected after a cyberattack.

Implementing a remote cloud storage solution with encryption and multi-factor authentication for access goes a long way, too, in protecting your secure business data. This method of securing your data isn’t especially complicated. It is also relatively affordable, and most businesses deem it indispensable for safeguarding their sensitive customer information and essential business data.

Data encryption

Encryption ensures that only those authorized parties with the designated encryption key can access your data, regardless of whether the information is stored locally or sent from one device to another. Network encryption prevents unauthorized access to your systems and ensures optimal compliance with your industry’s regulators.

Fortunately, setting up encryption is rather straightforward. You may do so through your router settings. Alternatively, you could install a virtual private network (VPN) solution on your company devices to protect remote employees who use public networks. Installing a VPN on your field devices provides a secure connection between two points. It effectively keeps your critical business data confidential.

Use of passphrases

Protecting the sensitive business data accessible on your devices and networks is crucial, and using passphrases instead of passwords is among the best approaches for accomplishing this. A passphrase isn’t just a regular password. Instead, it’s a phrase or collection of unrelated words that are easy for humans to remember yet difficult for machines to crack.

To craft a secure passphrase, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Remember to increase its length to at least 14 characters or compose four or more random words. Also, include capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to raise passphrase complexity.

Making the passphrase an unpredictable selection of words rather than an interpretable sentence gives you the strongest passphrase. However, it’s worth noting that you should assign a unique passphrase for every user and never reuse it for multiple accounts. This significantly reduces the risk of a breach.

For an extra layer of convenience and security, you may want to consider a password manager. This solution securely generates and stores your passphrases. The tool helps businesses keep track of strong passphrases, making their use more efficient. When you deploy a password manager, you won’t have to worry about forgetting complicated passphrases or sacrificing their complexity for ease of remembrance.

Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) gives you an additional layer of security that requires at least two proofs of identity before allowing access to your account. You’re likely already familiar with MFA.

Essentially, it describes the process of a secure system sending a password and a code sent to your mobile device to authenticate your identity. In other words, should someone obtain your password, they would still need to initiate a second verification step to gain access.

Multi-factor authentication is easy to set up, and the security benefits are vast. When you implement MFA into your security protocols, you’ll find it easier to protect user credentials from being accessed by unauthorized personnel and criminal hackers. It does so by introducing a second authentication factor while enhancing your mobile device security at the same time.

An MFA solution offers an additional layer to detect suspicious activity by examining automated processes. This extra safeguard immediately informs you the instant someone tries to access one of your users’ accounts from an unknown device or location.

Choosing the right cybersecurity advisor

When it comes to cybersecurity, it is not uncommon for small business owners to bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best. Many smaller organizations are simply unaware that attacks on companies like theirs are on the rise and deem themselves too small to become a target. A proactive approach to your security, however, can spare you from a serious and unexpected IT catastrophe.

Learn more about how to identify system vulnerabilities and strengthen your cyber defenses today by connecting with the team of security experts at PCH Technologies. To get started with your initial risk assessment, call us now at (856) 754-7500.