Now that we know the importance of effective cybersecurity measures in our businesses, and the methods used by cyber criminals to make attacks a success – it is time to learn what you can do to keep your organization safe.
The technical measures
Firewalls filter traffic passing across a network boundary. The IT professional in your business – or more likely your provider – will manage pre-determined ‘rules’ regarding what can and can’t cross that boundary, this is always judged based on what risks it poses.
Multi factor authentication
With Multi factor authentication (MFA) you can know who is trying to access your system is the person they say they are. Once having written in your password you will be prompted to prove your identity via another device, this is the best way to ensure identification – if a cybercriminal has access to your systems, it is unlikely they will also have access to your device too. MFA bolsters an already capable security system, whilst placing responsibility on your team’s head.
Passwords are – by some way – the most important of all security measures. If you have used a smartphone or any device you have used passwords, it is this fact that makes it baffling as to why so many of us overlook them as the valuable asset they are to our security. Passwords are at their best when they are completely random – a random array of letters, numbers, and other characters makes for a difficult password to remember, no part of it should have any relation to you, your interests, or anything that can be guessed.
This – unfortunately – makes them hard to remember, this is the main reason that people make them not as effective as they could be, they must be long and complicated or what is the point in making one in the first place?
Follow these rules when creating passwords and you can be sure that they are as secure as they can be:
- The longer it is the harder it will be for a criminal to guess. Your passwords need to be a long combination of letters (in both cases), numbers, and characters.
- Don’t make it easy, it is there as the first line of defence to your system so it needs to be capable. There is no use making your password easily guessable like FootballTeam1234, because the attacker need only do a small amount of research to find out that is the team you support, and adding 1234 is a matter of trial and error.
- Change your passwords as often as possible, of course we don’t mean every single day going through the laborious process – but your account may have already been hacked with the criminal already inside, changing your password will automatically kick them and ask them to use the new password to sign back in.
As we said, passwords aren’t taken seriously for the asset that they can be to your systems. Effective passwords can stop a cybercriminal in their tracks at the gate, rather than once they have already gained access – take passwords seriously!
Anti – Malware Measures
Anti-malware measures need to be installed on every system you have – and that goes for your home devices and those that you use on-premise. Practically all good systems come with a free version from the manufacturer, as good of a gesture it is, rarely is it capable of defending your system against even the weakest of attacks, and even if it can, it isn’t designed to work for businesses – your standards of business security must be higher than that.
This one can be a little confusing, cyber criminals are looking to encrypt your data – so you have to do it before they do. You need to beat them to the punch and voluntarily encrypt your own data. Data encryption is the process of scrambling the readable text of your files and documents so only the person/people that hold the ‘key’ (with authorised access) can read them – doing this makes it very difficult for cyber criminals to gain access to your systems.
We hope that this blog series has enlightened you to the importance of cybersecurity, the threats that cyber criminals are using to attack businesses, and – most importantly – what you can do to defend your systems from a potentially business defining cyber-attack.
If you want help ensuring your cybersecurity stack is capable of defending your systems, please get in contact with our expert team and we can organise a cybersecurity assessment to identify gaps and work out a solution that is best for you and your team.
IT Support the right way
By trusting us with your IT needs we can guarantee that your organization is ready to succeed in the modern digital workplace. Our experience in working with small businesses in Ontario and the Great Toronto Area allows us to ensure that you can increase revenue, secure your data, and always operate at peak performance in the most secure way possible. All these abilities can be achieved at the very highest standard. Contact us now to find out what else we can do to improve your IT landscape and bring you even more benefits from your IT going forward.