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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

9 Ways To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Nov 8, 2017 11:08 PM

Cyber attacks are a real threat to businesses of all sizes. Even if you don't have a crack IT staff, there are steps you can take to protect your business. Below are nine of the best ways to provide protection from cyber attacks. 

Get Educated

If you really want to prevent cyber attacks, you must start by education everyone in your company. Outline how the basic attacks work and, more importantly, the warning signs that an attack is being attempted. The average person has a very skewed view of how these attacks occur and a little education can fix many problems. Make sure that your education program continues to provide employees of all levels with updated information so they can be an important part of your solution. 

Encrypt Your Data

Data encryption isn't nearly as scary as it sounds. It's a fantastic way to not only keep your data secure, but to make sure that a breach won't necessarily compromise your operations. If you look at some of the latest major cyber attacks, you'll notice that the real damage occurred after the attackers found that the stolen data was easily accessible. Putting a little bit of time and effort into basic encryption can make a world of difference. 

Update Your Programs

Criminals spend a great deal of time looking at common network programs to find vulnerabilities. Fortunately, so too do the companies that make these programs. Unfortunately, the protections that the companies put in place only work if you keep updating your programs. If you want to make sure your network is safe, you must make sure that you continually update your programs. It only takes a few minutes out a day to get this done, but it can save you hours of recovery time. 

Use Your Antivirus Programs

If your business network isn't equipped with a good antivirus program, it's time to go out and get one. These programs are often a last line of defense against the attacks against your network. While you certainly shouldn't rely on them all the time, they do make for a great automated layer of protection. If you find that your antivirus is causing more problems than it's worth, switch to a different program instead of turning off the protection.

Confirm in Person

If there's something important going on in your business, make it a practice to confirm it in person. This should be the standard operating procedure for anything that involves giving out network access information or personal identification. This might be a bit slower than giving out the information via e-mail, but it can protect you from those individuals who are seeking an easy way into your network. 

Evaluate Your Systems

It doesn't matter how secure you think your systems are. What matters, as always, is how the systems really respond to current threats. It's important that you always have your systems evaluated to see how they stand up to the latest threats. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to only prepare for the previous round of attacks. 

Understand the Human Element

Remember that the weak point in systems is the human element. Everyone in your company should be trained in how to spot a phishing attack, be they a new hire or a member of your board. Forget everything you've seen on television about malicious hackers - most security breaches happen because malicious individuals are able to apply pressure to the right people at the right times. The more you prepare your people, the more attacks you can head off. 

Secure Everything

If you're using a tech tool, it needs to be properly secured. This goes for your company's mobile phones as well as your computers. As more users migrate from traditional PCs to mobile devices, more cyber attacks will target mobile devices. Make sure that your security suite is equipped to deal with every piece of technology your company uses. Don't give criminals an opening into your network. 

Continue to Evolve

Finally, it's important that you make sure your security solutions are continually evolving. The recommendations on this list are evergreen, but there will always be new tactics used by the bad guys. It's your job to stay a step ahead, even if that means finding ways to secure against attacks that aren't yet in the news.

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