Avoiding Cyberattacks: A Brief Guide

 

For the most part, the days of criminals pulling off dangerous heists are largely gone. And why should they continue? There’s plenty of inherent risk – the criminals could be identified on camera, or face a gun battle with a guard or twenty.

Forget about criminals doing things the old fashioned way. The new era of criminals prefer to steal and sabotage businesses digitally. That means anything from brute-force hacking methods to sly social engineering tactics.

All hope is not lost. Here’s how to mitigate your cyberattack risk.

Stoic Software Guardians

Simply put, antivirus (AV) programs prevent, detect, and remove malicious programs and code from your systems. They help you catch the minor stuff that you don’t even think about. With a robust AV program in place, your network is protected from cyberthreats roaming freely about.

Knowledge is Power

55% of organizations have had a security incident or data breach due to a malicious or negligent employee. After all, users are typically the entry point for many modern cyberthreats, such as email viruses and phishing attempts.

Training users on IT security matters entails keeping them up-to-date with the emerging threats. That can be done as a mass email sent out to everyone in the organization, or as regularly hosted training seminars.

Open Sesame

There’s no point in jumping various security hurdles if your password is readily accessible to cybercriminals. You may think that people have realized this, and adjusted their passwords accordingly.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. “123456” and “password” topped the list of leaked passwords for four consecutive years. We’re still waiting to see what this year will bring us.

A good password means mixing capital letters with lowercase letters. Add in some special characters and throw some numbers in there, too. A major component of password security is having different ones for each account.

If that’s too annoying to handle, consider getting a password manager to safely handle it for you.

Under Lock and Key

Not all cybercriminals are trying to access your data through the internet. Many times, cybercrimes happen because the wrong people have access to important devices and software.

Keep your server room under lock and key. Install physical security systems, such as badge readers and video cameras. Make sure to routinely check on these to make sure only people who are supposed to have access to critical IT components are using these things.

What’s the Secret Password?

Sending files through unsecured channels means that data is ripe for picking. Encryption, in its simplest form, adds a digital lock to your files. Only the intended user gets a key.

Even if you were to suffer a data breach, your encrypted data would be functionally useless to cybercriminals. To guarantee maximum protection, you’ll want to encrypt your data at rest, as well as your data in motion.

Update, Update, Update

Security breaches often occur as direct result of unpatched devices and software. Software vulnerabilities change over time and give cyberattackers security pockets to exploit. However, keeping your IT infrastructure fully updated gives you the best chance at defending your data.

It can quickly become tedious to keep everything updated, so it’s important to automate your updates. Automation can free up your time and resources that can be better spent elsewhere in your business.

Get Professional Cybersecurity Help

Cybersecurity best practices constantly evolve and shift over time. Though you can keep up with them on your own, you may not have the time or overall knowledge.

Partnering with a security specialist can keep your organization protected and give you peace of mind.  Reach out to us at 770.569.4600 for a stress free consultation.

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