When it comes to cybersecurity, the modern-day business has a lot to think about. With the accelerated rise of cloud and mobile technologies, the areas where businesses are most vulnerable to cyber threats is expanding. There is now even more pressure on organisations to ensure that they meet business objectives, while at the same time keeping their security measures up to date.
The 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report (ACR) reveals that one business falls victim to ransomware attacks every 14 seconds, and one of the scariest aspects is that it could happen to anyone. While high-profile incidents make the headline news, according to CPO Magazine, half of all cyber-crimes are targeted at small businesses.
This means that it is vital for businesses of all sizes to remain proactive when it comes to keeping data and documents safe. But rifling through the endless supply of articles about the best security procedures can be painstaking, so here are three lesser-known tips that you can implement right now.
It may seem basic, but it’s the first place to start. Cybercriminals are becoming more and more active and intelligent in how they try to trick us, so users need to be more aware of how we use the internet.
One way to do this is to only click on links which you trust. Even on social media when receiving messages or browsing, you should be careful about opening links. Just when people think your guard is down, you could be redirected to a fraudulent website which could give you a virus or steal your information in a matter of seconds. In these cases, once you’ve clicked, it’s already too late to go back. Only trust sources that you recognise and trust.
You must also be careful not to provide confidential information online. Just like you wouldn’t give out your financial details over the phone to a stranger, don’t do so online simply because you recognise a brand image on the screen. No company will ever request your data without the relevant security measures. In the case of doubt, reach out and contact the organisation concerned. With so many fakes in existence, you’re better off safe, rather than sorry.
Some people fear that storing their data online could put it at risk. Actually, the complete opposite is true. Encryption through cloud storage means that your files are safe and cannot be accessed by cybercriminals or hackers. When considering where to store your files, this is a factor worth keeping in mind. If your files are encrypted, they are harder to access and better protected.
One reason why storing data online should be a starting point for any internet user is that many cloud platforms provide an automatic back-up. This means that your data is almost guaranteed to be protected. It cannot be lost, it cannot be hacked and it’s safer even than keeping a slip of paper under your bed. Recovery can be completed in just a few clicks and is quick and simple.
By sharing the access with other trusted users, you also have greater accessibility. You must always be cautious about who you share such data with, but relatives or close friends may be able to access this data in the case of an emergency, or even something as simple as if you were to forget your password to access your cloud storage solution.
It sounds simple but it’s arguably one of the most effective tactics you can utilise to defend against cyber-attacks: Never reuse old passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
In a 2018 study, Verizon found that 81% of hacking-related data breaches in the US were the result of stolen and/or weak passwords. This stat is made even more stunning by the fact that in the same study, they found that 59% of people reuse their passwords even though they know it is not best practice.
This makes it one of the most common methods for hackers to gain access to companies, especially when you consider how increasingly interconnected the modern-day person’s online presence is.
Your old passwords are going to be stored in databases, and while these databases are encrypted, data theft is so common that hackers could easily gain access. If they gain access to old passwords, this means they are more able to access your online profiles and work accounts. It is recommended to change your password every 90 days. Setting reminders helps with this, and you should avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
Your company and personal data are too important to be taking any chances with, so while some of these tips may be simple, they are extremely effective. Lastly, although following this advice will go a long way to ensuring your cyber-safety, the landscape is constantly changing. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest cyber security trends in your industry in order to dodge the malicious glare of hackers and safeguard your data.
When it comes to cybersecurity, the modern-day business has a lot to think about. With the accelerated rise of cloud and mobile technologies, the areas where businesses are most vulnerable to cyber threats is expanding. There is now even more pressure on organisations to ensure that they are keeping their security measures up to date.
Protecting your data has never been more important.