A Four-Leaf Clover Won’t Cut It: 4 Steps to Handling Your Cybersecurity This Year

You may play the lottery in the hopes of winning. You may even hold back on a new purchase, leaving it in the hands of fortune to give you a better deal on Black Friday.

But your data’s security is never something to leave up to chance – not with today’s huge number of complex cyber attacks.

In 2017 there was a hacker attack every 39 seconds, affecting one in three Americans and 43 percent of those attacks target business such as yours.

That means that, if you don’t take action to protect your data, you are taking a gamble thousands of times per day on your business’ security, your clients’ personal information and, ultimately, your employees’ cyber-safety.

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us – and while it may be an opportunity to dress up in green and celebrate good fortune, it’s important to remind ourselves that no leprechaun, nor four-leaf clover, will save us from cyber-disaster we haven’t prepared for. If you aren’t sure how to approach cybersecurity correctly, read on to find out.

1. Re-Assess Your Position

First and foremost, it doesn’t matter how large or small your business is – you’re still a target for a hacker. From multi-national corporations to SMBs, every company can be affected by cyberattacks in equal measure.

If you own a smaller-sized business and think cybersecurity isn’t a threat for you, think again. Re-assess your position in relation to cybersecurity. You do need to keep your company’s data secure and out of hackers’ reach. Otherwise, you risk facing tremendous consequences later on.

2. Learn the Basics

Of course, it would be difficult to learn cybersecurity inside out in time to implement a strategy, and not everyone knows how attackers steal information. However, getting acquainted with some of the basic techniques cybercriminals use is essential:

  • Stay away from dubious emails – even when they appear to be coming from an official sender (e.g. your bank).
  • Don’t click on links until you’re completely sure they’re harmless – whether they’re in your email inbox or on social networks.
  • Avoid downloading software from unknown or odd sources.
  • Stick to well-known, reputable anti-virus vendors. Sometimes, fake anti-virus applications can cause even more damage than not having an anti-virus at all.
  • Choose services that offer double-authentication. They are safer in general, and pose less of a risk from a cybersecurity point of view.

3. Share Your Knowledge

Considering each of your employees can be subjected to cyberattacks, it’s of the utmost importance that you train them to surf the Internet safely at work. All it takes is for one person to click on a malicious link to jeopardize their own, or your company’s, information.

Moreover, it’s vital for employees who work remotely, or bring their own device to work, to be “double-trained”. Imagine what would happen if someone lost a laptop that contained personal information – and imagine it fell into the hands of a data thief.

Also, it is more than worth keeping in mind that the software your remote workers use should be completely secure as well (regardless of whether they are permanently remote or just temporarily remote). According to Proxy Networks, cyber dangers can come both from within the cyber world (e.g.: a virus that infects a software you use and leaks important data) and from outside of it (e.g.: your employee’s work laptop is stolen with all the data stored on it).

So, sharing is caring!

4. Hire Professionals

No matter how amazing your anti-virus software may be, it’s still crucial to hire people who could deal with a potential cyberattack effectively. Your anti-viruses are perfectly fine, but if your business relies heavily on data you store in your computers and devices, having it all stolen could be catastrophic for you, your clients and anyone in between.

What’s more, you or your hired professional should create a solid risk management plan. This way, even if you do get attacked, you’ll already be prepared to manage everything as safely as possible, and how to get your business back on its feet.

McAfee estimates that more than $400 billion are lost every year at the hands of cybercrime. Don’t become one of their victims by allowing your entire work to rely on pure chance – be proactive in protecting against threats before they happen.

Stay safe out there.