The internet has completely changed the way we work. In today’s business landscape, many companies have come to rely entirely on online technologies for their internal communications and business infrastructure.
Unfortunately, as our use of the internet has increased, so has the risk from online cybercrime. A recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures suggests that by 2021, online security breaches could cost companies more than $6 trillion (doubling from $3 trillion in 2015).
Contrary to popular opinion, hackers don’t just target large corporations. Rather, online security breaches pose a considerable threat to all companies – big or small – including startups.
Nonetheless, while the statistics are undoubtedly worrying, there are several tried and tested preventative measures you can take that will significantly reduce your risk from cybercrime.
Passwords remain the most accessible gateway for hackers – both in a business and personal sense. We’re forever being told to update our personal email, store accounts, and other online credentials. The same applies equally (if not more) to our use of passwords for work.
To achieve the best security levels, always use passwords with alphanumeric combinations comprising letters, numbers, and symbols, and be sure to change them regularly. Likewise, insist all employees in your company do the same. It’s also a good idea to train staff in online security to avoid accidental security breaches.
Remote working and access
Allowing staff remote access to sensitive company data has become increasingly common for many businesses. Indeed, the recent Coronavirus outbreak forced many employees to start working from home and with no end in sight for the virus, it’s a practice that is likely to continue for some time.
Unfortunately, remote working also brings significant threats so you must employ bulletproof security to protect your internal and external networks from malicious attacks. At a minimum, look at setting up firewalls, antivirus software and other security measures.
Partner with an IT security expert
By far the most effective way to reduce the risk of a cyberattack is to partner with a specialised IT security company. Internet technologies and connection speeds have improved considerably over recent years, and these days, it’s possible for your entire IT network to be handled remotely 24/7 by a cybersecurity expert.
Dedicated IT security companies like Firstsolution.co.uk offer unrivaled support setting up and maintaining IT networks, giving you complete peace of mind that your company is fully protected against malicious attacks.
Indeed, as a new company, you have the perfect opportunity to hit the ground running by working with an IT professional to design and set up your network from scratch. In most cases, this is easier than trying to shoehorn security into existing systems.
Keep software up to date
Alongside poorly formatted passwords, out-of-date software is one of the most common methods hackers use to gain access to IT networks. Most modern apps send prompts when an update is required and you must ensure you’re running the very latest version. You should always apply new security patches to your Operating System and other software as soon as they’re released to maintain protection.
Install antivirus software
You should install antivirus and anti-malware protection on every device you use to access your network, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and cellphones. You should also insist all employees do the same.
There is an increasing trend among employees to use personal devices for work and the problems with security are growing considerably. You must ensure anyone who has access to your network also takes adequate precautionary measures.
Online security is a growing problem globally, but by following a few common-sense steps, you can dramatically decrease your risk of attack. Nevertheless, if you’re in any doubt about your protection levels, you should look at bringing in external expertise.
Compromising your data — or that of your clients — can seriously damage your reputation and your business. Worse, it could lead to costly lawsuits or even result in your company folding.