Russian spies, data breaches, cyber bank robbers and novice hackers. This is just a short list of the popular cybersecurity breaches that happened in 2016. Unfortunately, attacks making headlines are not the only threats you should be worried about: 60% of small businesses that have experienced an online attack go out of business within six months. Whether the business is large or small, hackers have shown they do not discriminate when there is money to be made. Working closely with my company’s Senior Security Engineer, we’ve developed nine actionable steps you can take to help reduce the risk of cyber attacks on your business.
Back It Up
Set up automatic backups of your data on your computer. This will this help you get a photo or document back if you mistakenly delete it, as well as protect you against a new form of malware known as ransomware. With a ransomware-based attack, a hacker will encrypt all of the data on your computer and demand payment from you in order to decrypt your own data. By regularly backing up your data, you won’t need to worry about paying the ransom to unlock it down the line. You’ll simply restore it with your most recent backup.
Use A Safe Web Browser
Use A Password Manager
The majority of password managers save and generate strong, random passwords for each of your web accounts. This is great not only for your online security, but will ease the stress of relying on your memory. You only need to remember your master password to the vault holding all your saved and secure passwords. Popular password managers like LastPass and Dashlane are intuitive and the basic versions are free to use.
Use Two-Factor Authentication For Everything
Enable two-factor authentication on any website or system that supports it. Sometimes called multiple-factor verification, this is a way to confirm whoever is signing onto your accounts is really you. Some of the common verification factors (which require two of the three) are: something you have, something you know, or something you are. This process could look like entering your password, receiving a text, entering a code from an RSA token, or using a fingerprint to unlock the account you are trying to access.
Get Notified When There’s A Breach
Register your email address on haveibeenpwned.com to be notified of any security breaches tied to your email address. This will keep you up-to-date and aware of any compromised website that has publicly lost your information. It’s important to know when your stolen account details have been made public, and being notified allows you to respond by changing your password on the compromised website, or even shutting down your account.