Before business operations were transferred to networked cloud storage, the primary security challenge facing businesses was virus protection. Malware slowed down and often disabled devices, costing companies valuable time and resources. However, as more businesses conduct their business online or on cloud networks, securing data such as customer identities, login credentials, and browsing activity has become the primary security focus. As a result, working safely and securely over the internet requires companies to both protect their company’s devices from viruses and secure increasingly vast amounts of data.
Malware can wreak havoc on any business by slowing or disabling its computers. Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 58% of malware attack victims were classified as small businesses, making cyber security a particularly large concern for small businesses.
Malware can take multiple forms. Viruses and worms are programs that cause software problems by modifying files and can spread to different devices within a network. Trojan horse malware is designed to appear to be legitimate but in reality contains malicious instructions that harm your computer much like a virus would. Internet habits such as avoiding suspicious websites and not clicking on links from untrustworthy sources can help protect you from these types of malware. In addition, installing the latest operating system and web browser updates can improve your security considerably since many forms of malware attempt to exploit outdated software.
Ultimately, however, anti-virus software is the most effective way to protect your computers against malware. Dymin's Anti-Virus and Web Defense Service provides comprehensive protection against spyware, viruses, and phishing attacks as well as providing IT staff visibility into and control over employees’ computer use.
Passwords are the primary wall of defense between your data and hackers. Online password managers store username and password information in a secure location and provide long, ultra-secure passwords for your accounts. By using a password manager like 1Password or LastPass, you can avoid using simplistic passwords or the same password across multiple different accounts. Additionally, with a secure place to store passwords, companies can change their passwords more regularly, adding another layer of protection.
While passwords are immensely important, they are no longer enough to secure your company’s data. Data breaches have become the norm, with billions of stolen login credentials posted online for even rudimentary hackers to access and use. In late 2017, 1.4 billion stolen text credentials were discovered on a single site on the dark web, compromising the privacy of millions. Two-factor authentication is the elegant, and powerful response to such major data breaches. Two-factor authentication is a security system that requires user to enter a code sent via text message, an app, or another form of communication. Even with a username and password, a hacker would not be able to infiltrate your account without the code sent to your mobile device. Two-factor authentication is one of the best methods of securing your company’s accounts.
Old, unused accounts can often be hacked and used to gain entry into more valuable accounts. From similar passwords, usernames, to matching email addresses, the information from one account can be used to gain entry into the other. Keeping unused accounts at a minimum helps secure the accounts you do use.
Viruses and data breaches are often results of poor email security. Phishing emails bait users into sharing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links by using authentic-looking email messages. Ultimately, employees need training in how to spot phishing emails by inspecting email addresses and attachments, even if they appear to come from a known sender. Companies can emphasize to their employees that they will never be asked to share sensitive information such as passwords over email. Cyber security firms such as KnowBe4 provide online instructional courses to train employees how to use email safely and securely.
How to Keep Up?
Even the best efforts at securing your company’s online activities require constant vigilance and upgrading of security systems. Cyber criminals are continuously developing ever more sophisticated and clever methods of installing malware and stealing proprietary and personal data. As a managed IT services provider, Dymin Systems brings cyber security expertise to help businesses of all sizes stay up to date and secure their computers, networks, and data.