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5 Cybersecurity Tips Every Business Should Know

Cybersecurity has become an extremely essential thing for businesses around the world. The prevalence of hackers and hacking attacks has made this sort of thing non-optional. 

So, take heed of five simple tips that can help you to improve the cybersecurity of any business, whether large or small.

1. Use an Encrypted Network

An encrypted network, which usually takes the form of a VPN server, is one of the best ways in which to guard your data. Your network is the point at which your internal systems connect to the rest of the online world, so that is the direction from which any attack must come. For those who may not know, encryption works by scrambling data in transit, making it impossible to read.

Encrypted networks are not wholly impenetrable, but they are much harder to circumvent than regular networks. As such, you should not fail to make use of them. The simplest solution would be to purchase VPN services through one of the many providers out there. However, if you need a higher level of security, you should have your IT team create a dedicated VPN server.

2. Implement a Password Policy

Ordinarily, people do not share their online passwords. However, when it comes to the passwords that are used for work purposes, management needs to know those. Obviously, you don’t want a disgruntled employee locking you out of your own resources, but that isn’t the only reason. Maintaining visibility of employee passwords will also allow you to implement a strong password policy.

There are programs that can crack simple passwords in hours or even minutes. However, these kinds of “brute-force” attacks can be prevented easily. You need strong passwords that can overwhelm the limited ability of the hacking program. A good password should have the following:

  • 18-20 characters
  • Both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • At least two numbers
  • At least two symbols

In addition, it’s good to avoid obvious things like birthdays, people’s names, etc. The more unique the password is, the harder it will be for an automated program to guess.

3. Beware of Ransomware

Ransomware is a very common method of cyberattacks. Ransomware is malware that uses encryption as a weapon against the victim. 

After using simple con artistry to get the right credentials, hackers install the malware, which then encrypts the entire contents of the device or network. After having consequently locked you out of your devices or network, they will then demand a ransom payment for the password.

First of all, never pay these people. You will only be encouraging their crimes and inviting them to attack you again. Besides, there is no guarantee you will get your data back, or that they won’t retain certain key pieces of data for later use. 

Instead, talk to your IT team. You could also get into contact with cybersecurity consultants to further protect your business against ransomware attacks.

4. Educate Your Employees About Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are the most common means by which hackers initiate their attacks. Instead of trying to hack their way through encrypted networks or firewalls, they can simply con someone into giving up their login credentials. The most frequent tactic is to use shady links embedded in text messages or emails.

Phishing works by impersonating legitimate sites. They send you a link, which takes you to a page that they created. It will be made to look like something legitimate, like an employee login portal or something like that. Of course, once you type in those login credentials, they are captured.

Here’s the thing about phishing: it’s a tactic that is meant to prey on those with little to no tech knowledge. The average person would never think about this, so you need to make sure that all your employees are educated about the threat of phishing emails. Once people are cognizant of the danger, it becomes a lot smaller.

5. Don’t Forget About Firewalling

Last but not least, you need to know about firewalls. These are programs that can be used on a computer or a router. These programs set rules regarding who can connect to the network and who cannot. 

Thus, you can blacklist any IP addresses that are known to be suspicious. If you really want to be thorough, you can use your firewall for total IP exclusion so that only approved devices will be able to connect to the network.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a big subject, and there is no way to cover everything in a single article. However, these five tips can help you to make huge improvements to your cybersecurity efforts and make your business much more resistant to cyberattacks.