If your company experiences a cyber-attack, that cyber-attack is no joke. Many businesses, especially when it comes to small businesses, view themselves as less susceptible to having cyber-attacks affect their company due to the size of their company. This, however, is one of the biggest mistakes that these small companies can make because small business cyber-attacks in 2021 were just as common as they were with larger companies.
When business owners fail to take the proper security measures and enforce them within their company due to the naive belief that hackers won’t want to get into their company, then they pay the consequences. Cyber-attacks seem to be inevitable though; nearly every company has experienced some form of a cyber-attack on their business at some point in time.
There’s some good news though – there are a few security measures that you can take to ensure that your company isn’t the next victim of a hacker. Whether you are looking for tips related to how to prevent a cyber-attack, how to protect a network from a cyber-attack, or how to create a cyber-attack prevention plan, you’ve come to the right place.
How To Protect A Network From Cyber Attack
Below we take a closer look at five ways how employees can prevent cyber-attacks across your company, so you never have to worry about being the top target of hackers again.
- Regularly Update Anti-Virus Software On Computers
Your first step when it comes to ensuring the safety of your company should be installing anti-virus software on every computer used in your company. Although employees may see it as a hassle to constantly be receiving notifications reminding them that it’s time to update their protective software, it must be done. Taking the time to update this is one way how employees can prevent cyber-attacks.
When it comes to anti-virus software, you don’t want to sign up for the first software you find. Instead, compare a few different software and look for these below features:
- The software is from a known brand with a reputable website.
- It includes protection for at least three devices that run on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android.
- There is also malware protection included in the software.
- The software includes a free trial, so you ensure it doesn’t slow down your computer before you commit to that certain software.
- There are valuable extras that are included with the software like VPN, phishing and spam email protection, parental controls, password manager, file backup, and more.
The safety of your company and the protection of your security should be your number one priority. It’s crucial that not only is the software installed on each computer but that it is also regularly updated.
- Be Wise When It Comes to Passwords
When it comes to passwords, you can’t be too cautious. Many businesses address the importance of this when employees first begin at the job, but you can never be too sure when it comes to your company.
That means how to protect a network from a cyber-attack is by keeping your password secure by following these rules:
- Utilize a password manager to keep track of your passwords.
- Avoid using any common words and character combinations.
- Keep your passwords long – the longer, the better.
- Ensure each password is unique and not used elsewhere.
- If your password has been stolen, ditch that one forever (and never reuse it).
- Always use two-factor authentication when you can (but avoid using this with text message codes).
Every password should be regularly updated, and leaders should ensure that only the strongest passwords are used. If your passwords are weak, it won’t take long for a hacker to figure it out and hack your company’s whole database. For your cyber-attack prevention plan, ensure you list out the importance of constantly changing passwords and never using the same one twice for anything, including personal information.
- Raise Awareness About Security
Over time with a company, it’s common to see security lapse as employees and leaders get more confident within the company. Employees must be always aware of security.
If you are looking to improve the awareness about cybersecurity and educate your employees on how small business cyber-attacks in 2021 were common, follow these below tips:
- Incorporate management to deliver the messaging.
- Set up specific rules for employees to follow related to emails, browsing, and mobile devices.
- As employees start with your company, implement cybersecurity right from the start.
- Make cybersecurity training an ongoing, mandatory practice for all.
- Put what employees learn into action by executing regular cybersecurity drills.
- Ensure your cybersecurity practices are supported by your company’s policies and procedures.
- Make cybersecurity a priority for your business.
All employees must be taught how to be safe with what they install on their company devices. This also means educating employees on being aware of messages sent through email or messaging apps that hackers could use to try to hack the system.
- Make Copies of Important Business Data
When it comes to your system being hacked, it’s merely a matter of when not if. This is why any important business data that is important to your company must also have copies saved somewhere secure.
There are many storage options out there that were created with “how to prevent cyber-attacks” in mind. For instance, you can store data on:
- Flash memory thumb drives,
- External hard drives,
- Secure, online servers,
- And on network-attached storage.
Wherever you decide to store your important business data, it’s important to have a variety of storage locations between your original and backup data and files. Having secure backups of information will ensure that when your company is hacked the regular workflow can continue as soon as possible.
- Don’t Lapse on Physical Security
When it comes to badges or IDs being left hanging around, your employees must be careful. Be sure to fully educate your employees on the importance of physical security and the harm that could come to the company if they are careless. Educating your employees on this should be part of your cyber-attack prevention plan.
While physical security may seem as simple as merely educating your employees on not leaving their important items unattended, you can take this a step further at your company. Consider following these tips:
- Ensure employees don’t have any credit cards, financial files, or business phones and tablets left hanging around where people can get to them.
- Have a visitor log or process in place to keep track of who is coming and going from your business.
- Install video surveillance at your company.
- Have access control for certain high-security risk areas or files.
- Hire a security supervisor to manage your company’s physical security.
It’s important that once you give something to an employee to use within the company, they understand the importance of it and how detrimental to the company it would be to lose that item.
Every company experiences the fear of having a cyber-attack made upon their company. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin and how to proceed with ensuring that your company is well protected against hackers.
The first step in how to protect a network from a cyber-attack is to acknowledge your company’s weaknesses; take honest surveillance of where your company’s vulnerabilities are and ask yourself what you can do to make sure it’s more secure. The tips above won’t stop you from ever being hacked, but they can help to ensure that your company is more secure.