It feels as if data breaches, even of seemingly secure networks, are a daily occurrence. While advancements in information technology have made it easier than ever to run a business, organizational and customer data may be at risk unless proper cybersecurity measures are in place. Consider these cybersecurity best practices:
- Conduct an initial audit to determine potential exposures for your organization as well as to establish an action plan for identifying and implementing proper controls.
- Establish written policies detailing your organization’s cybersecurity safeguards, including topics such as password protocols, guidelines for internet use, customer data control, and penalties for policy violations.
- Keep hardware and software up-to-date to decrease risk from the latest malware or other security threats.
- Secure your internet connection, including implementing a firewall and assuring that Wi-Fi signals are secure and encrypted.
- Manage employee access to the internet or customer data by creating separate, password-protected user IDs for all employees and only granting employees access to systems needed to perform their job.
- Keep systems used for payments separate from other potentially less secure systems.
- Work with banks to make sure that the payment systems and services in place are trusted and secure.
- Make regular backups of vital data, including internal documents and customer information.
- Store data backups offsite, either at a remote location or in the cloud.
- Implement physical security measures, such as keeping network equipment, servers, and other hardware in locked or restricted-access areas.
- Secure mobile devices by requiring password protection and installing trusted security and anti-fraud systems.
- Require employees to change their passwords at regular intervals, and consider implementing multi-factor authentication systems.
This is not an all-inclusive list, but it’s a great place to start evaluating your business for cyber vulnerabilities.