Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly bolder and more sophisticated in finding ways to infiltrate computer systems for public agencies and private businesses. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said recently that state agencies detected 10,000 attempted attacks per minute from Iran over two days in early January.
Despite these attempts to access government information and infrastructure, a key to the survival of any business depends upon its ability to safeguard sensitive information for customers, such as personal and financial records. As a result, most are stepping up their efforts to increase cybersecurity measures.
Practicing good cyber hygiene is essential
When securing your business and customer data, focus on the things that matter the most – namely confidentiality and integrity. Implement best practices that include:
- Delegating responsibility: Assign an employee with expertise on up-to-date cybersecurity techniques and policies to lead the charge. If you are a sole proprietor or small business owner, consider hiring a consultant.
- Installing firewalls: Make sure firewalls on modems and routers exist and are working properly to prevent malicious intrusions or have your internet provider install them.
- Use safe password practices: Implement policies that ensure employees do not share passwords and utilize a password manager for critical systems holding sensitive information.
- Turn on automatic updates: Make sure all servers and employee computers automatically install updates containing security patches and other fixes.
- Embrace encryption: This step keeps bad actors from accessing your network and vital infrastructure, even if they steal passwords.
- Avoid Wi-Fi weaknesses: Use encryption as well on internal wireless networks. If you allow visitors to access your Wi-Fi, set up a guest network that is not connected to your internal systems.
Show hackers you are not an easy target
Lax cybersecurity policies and practices not only make you and your customers more vulnerable to cybercriminals, those shortfalls also open you and your business up to potential legal action. Taking proactive steps to keep your technology and policies up to date is your best defense.