The internet has become an online arena full of hackers, scammers and other cyber criminals battling each other out in hopes of being the first to harm your company. In order to combat them, companies need to take necessary precautions that will ensure their online safety. Here are 9 ways you can keep your company safe from any potential cyber crimes:
1. Educate your Staff
There are many threats out there your staff might not even be aware of. Educate them on all the potential threats (malware, ransom-ware) that they might come across and how best to avoid them. Let them know how much online privacy is important. The last thing you should forbade them to clicking compromised links as they might be vulnerable to viruses and malware on their computers.
2. Set Clear Rules
Make strict rules regarding the use of computers for your employees – which sites are allowed and safe to use and which ones aren’t; no touching of unusual or unknown links and content. Limit downloads to only necessary things, never write the passwords on the computer, and so on. The idea is to minimize the threat of an attack as a safety precaution against cyber crimes.
3. Software Installation Control
Put a few people in charge of softer installation, so you can better control what gets installed on your computers. Namely, this way you will make sure people are not installing illegal or pirated software that could potentially harm their computers. Even though you may have strict rules regarding this, some might choose to dismiss them. Better to be safe than sorry.
4. User Access
Limit the permissions of each user and what they can access. Providing too many random people with access to absolutely everything can, in turn, cause more damage. It takes only one infected computer with limitless access to corrupt the whole system and steal your valuable data. By limiting the user access, you mitigate the damage dealt by a security breach, and make it easier for the repair crew to pinpoint the exact source of the problem.
5. Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is used to test your defensive capabilities and keep your company safe against cyber attacks by making sure you are prepared before an actual attack occurs. It is an authorized attempt that seeks to breach and gain access to your system in order to identify all the weak points of your cyber defense. After which you can use the results of the test to further enhance your defenses and plug any potential holes in your system.
6. Set Up DDoS Defense
Today, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are more and more frequent. DDoS attacks are when multiple infected computers are used to flood one targeted computer with information, either in queries or some other form of useless info. They will cause your websites and servers to go down which, in turn, could end up costing you money. This is why it’s important to invest in more secure Firewalls and a stronger defense system.
Stopping the DDoS at its source is almost impossible. The best way to deal with them is as you would with an actual flood; you need to build a bigger dam. Increase your overall bandwidth so your system can withstand a larger flood of data. Also, try using cache servers to reduce the lag DDoS may be causing. Finally, it’s hard to distinguish relevant traffic from DDoS but you can block the obvious junk packets and error messages from spamming your routers to absorb the brute force of the attack.
7. Encrypt Data
If you followed all the previous steps and you still get a security breach, you need to make sure your data is safe. Encrypt all valuable data, such as e-mails, passwords, client information, product data, and so on. Getting some sort of breach is almost inevitable. It’s only a matter of time before it happens, so it’s important that you set up a last line of defense against cyber criminals. By encrypting data you make sure nothing relevant gets stolen or corrupted.
8. Do Regular Backups and Updates
Again, even if you followed all of these steps, you should still create some kind of backup for your computers, in case your data gets stolen or you become a target of ransom-ware. Make employees do a weekly backup of their computers. Also, make sure to always keep updating your software to the latest patches. Especially, in the case of anti-virus programs, it’s crucial that they are up to date so they can deal with all the possible threats out there.
9. Report Attacks
Finally, if you do become a victim of cyber crime you should report it to the appropriate authorities immediately. Depending on your country, the process might be somewhat different but in the U.S. it is the FBI that deals with these kinds of threats. Contact them as soon as possible so they can track the cyber criminals more easily.
In conclusion, combating cyber criminals might look like an uphill battle but surrender is not an option. Finding new ways and upgrading old ones is essential to overcoming them and keeping your company safe from any future attacks.