June 18, 2020
Running a business in 2020 is no small feat. Over the past few months, the entire world has been through some of the most frightening and challenging experiences as we face a global pandemic and growing civil unrest. Everything is in flux and while nothing is ever truly a sure deal, things feel even more uncertain right now. And this makes it that much harder to make decisions that will benefit your business long-term.
There is one decision, however, that is sure to positively impact your business today and into the future. Cybersecurity is now more important than ever as cybercrime is on the rise and businesses across industries are being targeted in cyberattacks. We’re seeing this rise in cybercrime for three main reasons:
1) More people than ever before are working from home, accessing sensitive company data often from a personal, poorly secure device and internet connection.
2) Online shopping has gone up in many sectors, providing more opportunities for bad actors to intercept transactions and gain access to credit card and bank information.
3) The pandemic has given cybercriminals an opportunity to target a large number of vulnerable people through emails impersonating trusted organizations like the World Health Organization.
Cybersecurity is not only essential for protecting your own sensitive information from an attack, but for protecting the information of your loyal customers, as well. By investing in a secure network now, you can prevent potential future loss in revenue (and customer loyalty) due to a cyberattack. Here are 5 tips to improve the cybersecurity of your business:
1. Set up a secure home office
Making the switch from working at the office to working from home requires more than just clearing out a space for yourself in the spare bedroom. When you access company data from a personal device or using your personal Wi-Fi, it’s important to take a few steps first to ensure your connection is secure. (It’s important to note that accessing company data includes checking your company email.) This includes securing your Wi-Fi router, ensuring your Wi-Fi network is password protected, and ensuring all company accounts are effectively secured using best password practices and 2FA. (See tips number two and three below.)
2. Store account information in a password management service
There’s no reason to get locked out of one of your business accounts because you can’t for the life of you remember the password. There’s also no reason to use the same, weak password across accounts to reduce the chance that you’ll forget. (Plus, if you do forget it, you then have to reset the password on every single online account, wasting valuable time and brain power.) A password management service securely stores all your login information in one place and makes it easy to provide access to your employees. We recommend Passportal for its security practices and convenience for you, your employees, and your IT provider.
3. Set strong passwords and use two-factor authentication
For optimal security, you should be using a unique password for each account, and this password should either be auto-generated using your password management service or a long, memorable passphrase. (Your passphrase should be memorable only to you, of course, and include at least 15 characters.) Other 2020 security guidelines include not to overly rely on the use of special characters and to screen your passwords to verify they’re not weak or compromised.
4. Secure your video calls
Video calls have become the go-to for business meetings, leading to a huge spike in downloads for software like Zoom. With this rapid increase in users, we have unfortunately seen some bad actors take advantage of the platform’s security flaws and send phishing emails from fake Zoom addresses. This has led to uninvited guests on private business calls and to people sharing sensitive information with a nefarious third party or downloading a virus onto their device. To keep your calls secure, always keep your conference call software up to date, use the platform’s customizable privacy settings, and accept Zoom email invites with caution. Here’s more on video conference call security, plus some etiquette tips.
5. Train your entire team in cybersecurity
Phishing emails impersonating an official Zoom invite is just one example of a cybersecurity threat that could target anyone on your team. All employees, across departments, need to be informed of the latest cybersecurity threats, how to identify them, and what steps to take should they find themselves a target. Ongoing cybersecurity training designed for non-tech experts is essential to keep company data, which includes sensitive information about your employees and customers, safe. Fortunately, KnowBe4 offers this type of training online, including simulated phishing attacks to ensure everyone on your team is fully prepared.
Need further assistance managing your business’s cybersecurity? We can help ensure you have all the safeguards in place so you don’t have to deal with a data breach in addition to everything else on your plate. Get in touch for a free IT consultation. Interested in hiring an IT provider? Learn about the best type of IT support for your business here.
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Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.
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