Cyber security

Cyber security is a top priority for many businesses today. In the wake of numerous corporate breaches over the last few years, all users are on higher alert about the safety of their sensitive data. The last thing your IT department needs is a cyber-attack – so how can you prevent this from happening? Here are six key tips to help you protect your company’s sensitive data.

  1. Educate your employees
A well-educated IT team that knows about the potential cyber risks your business could encounter is your best line of defence against hackers. Make your employees aware of the ways cyber-criminals can infiltrate your systems. Teach staff members to recognise the signs of a breach so you can identify and address one as soon as possible. You should also educate employees on how to stay safe while using the company’s network.
  1. Implement formal security policies
Having company-wide security policies in place can help reduce your likelihood of an attack. Require strong passwords – those with a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, with numbers and symbols – that should be changed every 60 to 90 days. Hold your employees accountable for cyber security and make sure all employees understand their responsibilities in using both company-issued and personal devices for work purposes.
  1. Practice your incident response plan
You already know you should have a plan of action ready to go in case of a data breach – but have you practiced that plan with your employees to make sure all employees know what they’re doing? It’s smart to run a drill of your response plan (and refine if necessary) so your staff can detect and contain the breach quickly should an incident occur.
  1. Plan for a breach
31% of small businesses lack a plan of action for responding to a security breach, and 22% say they don’t know where to start in terms of cyber security. The likelihood of a cyber-attack on any sized business continues to increase as technology and hacking techniques advance, and without a response plan in place, your business is more likely to falter and mishandle a breach when – not if – one occurs.
  1. Invest in security software
The worst mistake an IT department can make regarding its cyber protection is not having any at all. A robust security solution is a must-have for any modern company, especially those who conduct most or all of their business online.
  1. Keep your software up to date
When your security software notifies you that it’s about to expire or needs a patch, don’t delay in updating your system. Hackers are constantly scanning for security vulnerabilities, and if you let these weaknesses go for too long, you’re greatly increasing your chances of being targeted.

These six tips will act as your armour in the fight against relentless hackers. In this line of work, you always have to remain on your toes, and these tactics will help to keep you one step ahead of any threat that creeps up.

By Colby DeRodeff, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, ThreatStream