6 EASY Ways to Protect Your Business From Hackers

As a business owner it is your responsibility to protect the integrity of your data and your client data. All security measures are potentially vulnerable to hackers and threats however it makes your business much less of a target if you have the basics in place.

Hacking can occur in many different forms and is not always personally targeted toward a particular organization or person. Many times the hacking is done by computer software that simply scans the internet and looks for vulnerable devices. These devices can include laptops, phones, tablets, servers, routers, WiFi networks, online accounts, and more. What can you do to prevent your company from being hacked?

Here are 6 easy ways to protect your business from hackers:

  1. Employee Training

    Have a quick bi-yearly or quarterly all-staff meeting hosted by your IT Support Team to keep your employees educated on the latest threats. They will train your users on what to do and what not to do in relation to the current active threats that are popular at the time. User education is the #1 way to keep your business secure. It is great that you read up on the latest threats and vulnerabilities however like the old saying "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link". The same applies for your business vulnerability when it comes to hackers.

  2. Keep Devices Updated

    Install updates weekly on all the company connected devices. This is the #1 vulnerability which allows the most amount hacking to occur. Device and software manufacturers release security updates for known flaws in their products each and every week. So it is important each week that you run the updates on each device. On your desktops/laptops/servers be sure to install the Microsoft Windows Updates (accessible through Control Panel), Adobe Flash updates, Java updates, and Chrome/Mozilla updates. On your cell phones/iPads be sure to update the Apps. For the network routers, firewalls, and wifi devices be sure to update the software on those as well.

  3. Use Unique Passwords For Each Login

    We all know this already but we must continue to preach it. Don't use the same silly password everywhere!! Be sure to use a unique password at for each account you have. Also be sure that it is complex with a combination of number, letters, and symbols. Google has a great article on how to secure your passwords - https://www.google.com/goodtoknow/online-safety/passwords/

  4. Have a Business Class Firewall

    Be sure next to your cable modem or internet service provider router that you have a legit business class firewall device. A firewall protects your entire internal office network from the outside world. It acts as a security guard to check who is coming in/out of your office. Examples of this would be a SonicWall, WatchGuard, Sophos, or Fortinet device. Each of those devices will prominently display their name and should be easy to see in your IT room. If you don't see one of these you probably don't have a business class firewall. If you have a D-Link, Linksys, TrendNet, or any other type of router get rid of it!! Also the business class devices are NOT available at Best Buy, Frys, Staples....they must be bought from your local IT Support vendor or online at places like NewEgg, CDW, or Dell.

  5. Separate the Office WiFi Network

    Just having a WiFi access password is not the best method for security - the WiFi also needs to be on a seperate network. WiFi is very convenient for you to easily connect your phone, iPad, and laptops while roaming around the office. However it is also very convenient for hackers to have direct access to your company network and data. Best practice is to completely seperate the WiFi network from your internal network. This ensures that all WiFi traffic will be protected by the firewall (mentioned above) just like all other outside internet traffic is. How do you know if it is secure? Just ask your IT Department and they will be able to tell you. If they say it is NOT be sure to have them seperate it into the DMZ.

  6. Physical Security

    Lock your network servers, hard drives, and network switches in a secure room with limited access. We often times see businesses with their IT control room combined with their kitchen, storage room, or under the secretaries desk. Stop doing that and lock it up! Do you really want the lifeblood or your organization hanging out in the kitchen next to the bag of Doritos? Do you give your entire staff the password to the payroll files? No of course not - well at least not that you thought - however by having zero physical security in place it makes it just as unsecure as having no passwords.

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See Also - Tips Why Data Backup and Disaster Recovery are Critical to Your Business