Table of Contents
- Step 1: Password and Antivirus
- Step 2: Frequent Updates
- Step 3: Encryption and Backups
- Step 4: Cloud storage and VPNs
- Step 5: Snapshot Boots
In today’s digital age, nothing can be more important to your business’s success than a proper data management and security plan. While you may think you have strong security just by utilizing a strong password and antivirus software, both measures are only a start.
Throughout this article, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide of the top security methods that businesses should implement as part of their daily practices. You may want to consider following each step to protect your business and your customer’s data from hackers and information leaks.
Step 1: A Strong Password and a Good Antivirus
While we did mention this before, it deserves to be repeated as many users can attest their password may not be quite as strong as it should be.
A strong password built of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters to an appropriate length is your first line of defense in the case of an attempt on your company’s data.
Interested in seeing how your password stacks up?
Our friends at Better Buys have created a Password Cracking Estimator to help users determine the strength of their passwords versus a brute force attack.
Also, antivirus software should be utilized from the start of your business.
A good antivirus protects you from being blindsided by a malicious email or rogue attack online, but it’s important to note that not all softwares are created equal…
In particular when judging a service, take into account if they offer anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware capabilities. These can help prevent an attack seizing control of your computer and holding it hostage or from a program snooping on your activities.
DO NOT STORE YOUR PASSWORDS IN PLAIN TEXT ANYWHERE.
No sticky notes. No text files. No notebooks.
One of the most common ways for someone to gain access to your secure files or logins is by finding a carelessly left password in a notebook or scrap of paper.
If the service you utilize has 2-Factor Authentication, turn it on. Even if someone were to get ahold of your password, 2FA could be the difference between your protected data or a compromised bank account.
Step 2: When was the last time you updated your computers?
Updates are critical for a healthy and functioning computer.
From antivirus software to system updates, they should be brought up to date regularly and checked often for the newest version release. With the ever-shifting attacks hackers employ to try getting to your data, updates are made to ensure you stay one step ahead of bad actors.
Many programs will offer automatic update scheduling. Be sure to utilize this feature.
You can set the systems to update when you typically expect some downtime, so they can run without interrupting the time you’ve set for your business. For example, you can set your computers to update at 3AM every night.
That way, your computers will have the latest protection without taking time away from your working day.
Step 3: Encrypt your data and keep backups ready!
Business owners are still on the fence when it comes to implementing encryption for all the wrong reasons.
When data encryption first debuted, it was expensive and difficult to implement. However, with drastic advancement in technology, keeping your data under a digital lock and key through encryption has become easy to implement and utilize with the day to day agility we’ve come to expect from digital services.
If you handle particularly critical data, consider backing it up to a cold storage option such as an external hard drive.
In the event of an attack or critical failure, your precious data is secure because it is off of your computer and away from the damage. After regaining stable control, you can easily plug that drive back in and be up in running in minutes instead of suffering a crippling loss.
Step 4: Keep it secret in the Cloud. Keep it safe with a VPN.
Cloud web services and storage solutions are a hotly debated topic in the business world.
Many fears have been voiced in the past over safety of data and the security they employ. What many detractors don’t consider is that reputable cloud services live and die by the strength of their security.
It’s almost certain that their data security plan is much tighter than what you would be able to manage as a small company and they ensure its kept that way with cutting edge technology and around the clock employees.
With a proper cloud storage option, not only could you access that data anywhere you go, but would-be attackers would be faced with a digital Fort Knox.
If you’re concerned about cloud access, you should also consider using a VPN service.
VPN’s, or Virtual Private Networks, are a method of protecting your privacy from spying eyes by dialing into an encrypted network of servers, then those servers dial to the internet themselves and send back what you’ve searched for under another encryption that only your computer can read.
To prying digital eyes, you look as though you’ve only contacted that server for encrypted data.
Without a VPN, spy programs and hackers would be able to watch your every move from the sites you visit to the ads you click.
If you have employees working from home and connecting to your secure infrastructure or bringing in their own devices, implementing a VPN policy should take high priority.
Step 5: Consider a clean slate boot for your work computers.
If your company uses shared computers for critical tasks, consider setting up computers with something called a snapshot boot.
Snapshot boots allow users to do as they need on a computer while they are utilizing it, but on shutdown the computer rolls back to when the snapshot was taken. This rollback erases any changed data on the computer, ensuring a clean slate each time the computer is turned back on.
While it doesn’t make security foolproof, it can revert many disasters that would typically cripple a company. For example, if your computer became infected with malware, a simple reboot would solve the problem.
There are several ways to set up a snapshot to boot, from the ever popular Deep Freeze software to the Reboot Restore Rx product from Horizon Datasys.
However, keep in mind that unless an alternative data save is used such as a USB device, the data placed on that device will be erased on shutdown. Some programs also allow specific folders to not be erased on shutdown.
Conclusion: Wrapping up your security
The methods outlined above solve many of the critical pain points businesses can experience in their lifetime.
Take some time whenever you have free time to learn more about malicious attacks spreading around businesses and their methods of infecting their victims.
Arming yourself with that information and keeping your team informed helps stop attacks more effectively in the future as digital attacks can come in any shape or form.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you protect your business and protect yourself in today’s digital world. If you’re confused, excited, or anywhere in between and looking to get started, contact us with the form below and we’ll happily help you get a head start in keeping yourself and your business digitally secured.
We’ve helped hundreds of customers make their technology work for them and not the other way around. Get in touch with us today, and learn how our experts can get you the advantage you need.
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