Security for small to medium-sized businesses has always been an incredibly important way to protect brand reputation and profits. In the past this security was physical and included locking doors, installing CCTV cameras and hiring security guards - now, however, it’s virtual and an important part of any company’s IT strategy.
According to a report, titled ‘Global Cybersecurity Market - Forecasts from 2019 to 2024’, The global cybersecurity market is expected to achieve a market size of US$244.4 billion in 2024 - up from US$132.8 billion in 2018.
This booming cybersecurity market is a fantastic sign that small and medium-sized businesses are taking the issue seriously.
However, simply investing in one piece of antivirus software isn’t going to completely protect your business from the threat of cybercrime. Your business needs to create a cybersecurity strategy that’s designed specifically to minimize the opportunities that cybercriminals have of accessing your data.
So, what best practices should be included in your company’s cybersecurity strategy? OT Group has listed the top six here:
1 - Train your employees
Your company’s first line of defence against cybercrime is its employees. All staff members working for your organization, both internal and remote, should be properly trained and able to proactively participate in your company's cybersecurity program.
Your business should create a cybersecurity handbook for its employees, and organize security training where appropriate. This should include everything from the importance of creating strong passwords, computer security tips, internet usage best practices, file downloads, data storage and much more.
2 - Enforce safe password practices
According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, over 70 percent of employees reuse passwords at work. Despite this, the report finds that a staggering 81 percent of hacking-related breaches were down to either stolen or weak passwords.
Employees never change their passwords, but this can be damaging to your cybersecurity program. Make it part of your policy that employees must change their password every 60 to 90 days, and ensure that they use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols for extra security.
3 - Update computers frequently
All company computers - including desktops, laptops and mobile devices - should be regularly updated. Operating systems and web browsers introduce new security patches on a regular basis to protect your system against new hacking methods and other cybersecurity threats.
Important note: As we covered in our blog, ‘Windows 7 End of Support: What You Need to Know’, it’s important that your company upgrades to Windows 10 if you are currently using Windows 7. That’s because Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7 systems, making them susceptible to cybercrime.
4 - Use secure Wi-Fi
Your business should have secure Wi-Fi, but what happens when you are working remotely? Using public Wi-Fi networks can be risky and its use leaves important company information at the mercy of hackers. When accessing important data and company networks, it’s important that your employees use secure, encrypted and hidden Wi-Fi networks. If you or your employees do work remotely, using a virtual private network (VPN) will help secure your company information.
5 - Limit access to your network
Authorized employees should be the only people with access to your company computers and accounts. On top of that, employees of different levels should have varying access to your company’s accounts. For example, an executive should have complete access to all company information, while a new employee should be limited to what they need to successfully complete their job.
6 - Regularly backup company data
In our blog titled ‘It’s Essential To Backup Your Company’s Data to Minimize the Impact of Ransomware’, we explained how your business should regularly back up company data. In fact, we can’t stress just how important we believe this to be.
While the above tips are to help your company minimize the chance of falling foul to malicious cybercrimes, it’s still possible that a breach could happen. In the event that company data does go missing or is stolen, it’s absolutely essential that you have another copy elsewhere.
Want to learn more about implementing a cybersecurity plan into your company’s IT strategy? Contact OT Group today. Our team of experts would love to answer any security questions your company has.