Skip to Content

Six Things Businesses Should Do Now to Secure Company Data

A recent article published in The Hartford's Small Biz Ahead explored the issue of cyber attacks targeting small businesses and how they are becoming more frequent and complex.

According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 28% of the breaches in 2019 involved small businesses. And in another terrifying statistic provided by security firm Purplesec, the victims of cybercrime were up more than 600% in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Data security was a huge issue before COVID. And now it’s an even bigger problem because so many employees have been — and will continue to be — working from home. Home computers that are shared with other family members — particularly kids on social media — are not exactly the most secure environment.

Once a device is compromised, your network is compromised. If your network is compromised, your customer data can be breached or files locked down or stolen. The result: potential lawsuits and interruptions or even termination of your business.

So what can you do? Here are six things you need to do immediately.

What can I do to secure my company's data?

Here are six things you need to do immediately.

  1. Buy security software.

    There are plenty of good choices out there like Avast, MalwareBytes (which is what we use), and Bitdefender. But make sure this software is installed on all devices used by your employees, even their home devices. Better yet, hire an outside IT firm to monitor and ensure that the applications are updated.

  2. Setup online backup.

    Make sure your databases — cloud or otherwise — are backed up multiple times per day. Use cloud services like Barracuda, Carbonite or IDrive. This way if you are attacked, you have the option to wipe everything clean and restore from your last good backup.

  3. Get training.

    We need to be able to better identify “phishing” emails and other potential threats. The only way to do this is through regular training. Hire an IT firm to do this for your employees or consider using training software like KnowBe4, Infosec IQ, and Proofpoint.

  4. Re-visit passwords.

    Require your employees to use password management software like Keeper, LastPass, or Dashlane and to create long, complicated passwords. Also, and most importantly, make sure there’s multi-factor authentication to access anything on your network. That way, your employees will have to use a combination of passwords and random codes generated by text messages. The best way to accomplish this is to talk to your IT firm or company hosting your data.

  5. Update everyone’s operating systems.

    This could be the most important item on the list. Why? Because Microsoft, Apple, and Google — the top three makers of operating systems — frequently issue updates to their systems that include the most recent security protections. Unfortunately, people sometimes ignore these updates because they’re annoying. But don’t let this happen. Updates need to be required, and again, you may need the services of an IT firm to make sure this is being done.

  6. Get cyber insurance.

    The sad fact is that none of the above actions are foolproof, and cybercriminals are always going to be one step ahead. So when all else fails, having protection for the liabilities — and potential business interruptions — caused by theft or fraud is your best bet.

Cybercrime: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Data Safe

Attend this FREE RISE Virtual Summit workshop to get specific actions you can take to protect your agency’s and your clients’ private information. Thu., Oct. 7 (10:30 - 11:30 AM)

image description

Angela Ford

Continuous Improvement Director