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Four Simple Ways to Protect Your Business Against Cyberattack

Whether a brick-and-mortar storefront or a totally digital enterprise, a wise business of any size will keep one eye on growth and the other eye on information security. After all, business success rates highly increase with the attention given to the security of IT. The danger of denial is great. In fact, nearly 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyberattack

There is no one quick fix to permanently solve the problem of cyberattacks. The best way to protect your company’s data is to hire a professional company that specializes in managed IT and mobile device management. But there are simple ways to shore up your defenses in the meantime.

Avoid Compliance Violations

If you work in healthcare, education or government you’re already hypervigilant about compliance best practices. The risk doesn’t diminish outside of these fields, however. Small businesses handle sensitive customer data like transactions, email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers. Secure handling of sensitive information takes more than an occasional password reset. Proper handling of data happens just as much offline as it does online, but the basic principles are the same for each:

  • Follow HIPAA guidelines for patient data, or FERPA for student data. For other types of business, limit the movement of data from one place to another as much as is feasible. 
  • Only enter, view or edit client or customer data on secure workstations or approved mobile devices. 
  • Conduct regular risk assessments to pinpoint recurring issues that may be easily solved through education, or security gaps that should be addressed by a professional.
  • Regularly back up your data to secure offsite servers.

Revisit your cybersecurity policies

Your small business may not have an official policy regarding cybersecurity and standard online practices. But with upwards of 43 percent of cyber attacks targeting small businesses, it’s imperative that you know what to do in the event of an attack or hack, and even more important to know how to prevent one. Building a useful cybersecurity policy from the ground up may seem like a daunting task, but the basics are easily attainable in just a few steps: 

  • Update software and systems. Many vulnerabilities can be eliminated just by upgrading to the most current versions of software.
  • Facilitate regular employee training.
  • Conduct security audits of your own company, and request audits from your vendors, too.
  • Commit to performing regular backups of your data.

Backup. Backup. Backup.

Sounding familiar? One of the most effective ways that you can protect your business from almost any kind of unforeseen event--such as fire, flood, tornado or cyberattack --is to have an exact copy of your most valuable data somewhere else. Backups come in a few different forms, each with different advantages and features. Most backups begin with a full backup of your system, with subsequent backups logging only recent changes to your data. Whatever kind of backup you use, there are a few features that businesses shouldn’t go without

  • Alert mechanism: get notified if anything goes wrong during the backup, rather than learn about it the next day. 
  • Performance analysis: a good backup service provides more than just a copy of your data, it should tell you something about the state of your systems--how much data you have, how it is currently being used and where system performance can be improved. 
  • Growth trend: get valuable insights into how your system is supporting your business strategy. Backup reporting can provide rationale for capacity planning and capital expenditures that keep your business on track to meet growth expectations. 

Secure Mobile Devices

Our phones are always with us, and in many workplaces this can be a great benefit to productivity. Since the release of the original iPhone in 2007, many different apps aimed at  increasing productivity have come into the market, and a recent study has found that the overall effect has been positive. On average, productivity increases due to mobile device usage have reached as much as 34 percent--a good thing as 50 percent of employees use their phones to do business. But with this proliferation of mobile devices comes an increase in potential security pitfalls, and managing a wide variety of devices that can access your networks--phones, tablets, laptops, and more--can seem daunting. 

Simple steps you can take to safely incorporate the power of mobile devices into your business include: 

  • Enable two-factor authentication on all devices. This added layer of security greatly reduces the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to your data. 
  • Enable remote wipe. 70 million smartphones are lost every year. Safely securing proprietary data from a distance can save time and greatly reduce the resources needed to resolve issues that stem from missing equipment. 

Context Matters

No one-size-fits-all solution exists to safeguard your company’s data. The best approach is one that addresses current capabilities and accounts for future growth. The uncommonly friendly techs at Gilmore are experienced across a wide range of industries and know how to build and implement technology solutions that support the mission and strategy of clients. To get started with an on-site assessment and consultation call 866-978-3600, or email info@gilmoresolutions.com

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