Firms, SMEs and small businesses today are one of the most vulnerable when it comes to cyber attacks and online fraud. A lot of the details regarding their customers, business credentials and financial dealings are stored online or in cloud servers, and this makes them and private networks ready targets for attack by hackers and cyber criminals. When this type of information is in the wrong hands, a lot of bad things could happen, and businesses could even be forced to close down. There are however, a number of strategies, tips and tricks that if you implement, would ensure your working environment stays secure from any form of attack. If you happen to own a firm, and you’re still not as convinced about the level of threat that it may be exposed to, maybe our list of blue chip companies that have suffered a similar fate might help change your mind.
Cyber Security In The Workplace
Major Security Breaches Are More Common Than You Think
Back in 2016, hackers were able to hack into Deloitte’s email system to gain access to the company’s client details and login information. They then used it all to try and blackmail their clients but were unsuccessful. The following year, Equifax also got caught up in an attack that saw the hackers access personal information belonging to over 140 million customers, and gain access to their bank accounts. On the flipside, Yahoo, a large, respected Internet company has also fallen prey to attackers who got hold of personal data belonging to over 3 billion people. American Cable Company HBO has been the subject of not one, not two, but several online incidents where hackers get to access a library of shows that had not yet been released, and leak them to probably the highest bidder. All these attacks on big time companies show that as long as you’re online, nobody really is out of bounds.
Cyber Security Explained
Cyber security can be defined by having all your servers, networks, computers and data encrypted and secure. It means you’ll have very strong passwords, files that are protected, and an email server that you can rely on without fears of it getting hacked. Still, even after having taken all those measures, there are still a number of things that you ought to do in your workplace, to ensure everyone there observes the high level of security required. Here’s what you can do:
Keep Your Software Up To Date
Get a tech company that is as committed as you are to ensuring that no cyber attacks get to ruin your business. It’s also best practice to ensure that all your IT security company is run and maintained by one service provider. This way, you’ll have your Wi-Fi encrypted, your passwords secured and your data backed up. On top of all that, a credible VPN service can ensure you stay protected also when working online. They’re also widely popular for ensuring you stay anonymous online, and this is especially good if the kind of work you conduct can be considered very sensitive.
Stay Off Public Networks
Hackers have been known to spot their victims on public, unprotected networks where they hack into the devices of unassuming users and make away with all their private information. This is because public networks are very easy to gain access to, as their very nature demands that everyone is able to join in. Also, having your very own network secured allows you to prevent the risk of any outsiders messing with your online workspace. You can do this through using an encrypted router, which will ensure nobody outside your network is able to connect. If you really have to use a private network, then at least make sure you’re subscribed to a credible VPN service that’ll ensure your connection is encrypted, and prevent anyone from eavesdropping on you.
An easy way to avoid most hacking problems is using a VPN. With a VPN, the company data will be encrypted when shared over the internet. Since most reliable VPNs offer 256-bit encryption, it’s almost impossible to decrypt those data packets.
There are several reliable VPNs available in the market. They have affordable yearly plans that cost as low as $2-$3 per month. Make sure you don’t use a free VPN because most free VPNs are unreliable and come with several drawbacks. Investing in a good VPN will make sure your company data is safe and protected from hackers.
Have Your Data Backed Up
Firms that understand the importance of having their data backed up have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that none of their information gets lost in case of an emergency. Such firms have up to four separate storages for their information, notwithstanding their military grade levels of security. It’s important to always prepare for the worst, even if it seems highly unlikely. Backing up your data is important if firms hope to stay on the safe side in case of any emergency. There have been far too many instances where attackers have asked for ransoms in exchange for stolen data, incidences that can simply be prevented by implementing a backup system.
Learn about Cyber Security
One of the best investments that you can never lose out on is investing in knowledge. Information and best practices regarding cyber security in the workplace is easily available online, so you really have no excuse not to learn about what you ought to do. An understanding of how cyber criminals can attack you is all that’s required so that you become aware of how best to prevent such attacks. Also, simple things like using long form passwords that consist of letters and numbers could go a long way towards ensuring all your data stays safe.
Engage with your Employees
Many are the cases where we’ve heard that a company’s security measures got accidentally tampered with by an employee, leaving an avenue for attack open that eventually cost them huge losses in business . This mainly happens when a firm fails to implement training programs where their employees are taught how best to ensure the work in a secure environment, or even when the firm’s management fails to stress how important it is to apply the stated security measures.
Conclusion on Cyber Security in the Workplace
Most firm owners avoid getting software that could help them stay safe online thinking that maybe the software used is too expensive to purchase & operate, without even taking the time to learn about what the market has to offer. There’s a wide range of services available for all levels of affordability, so they shouldn’t really have to worry as much about what they’ll pay. Securing their workspace is an investment that they’ll benefit from for many years to come.