To most people, the internet just exists. Information gets sent out into the void, your website just runs, and you use it daily to send a few emails. When it comes to the cybersecurity side of things, the usual tactic is to send any issues along to the IT department and forget about it. But that’s not good enough.
All business owners and employees need to be educated on internet data. There are inherent risks in taking part in the online community. In order to avoid these risks, you need to know exactly what they are. Let’s explore cybersecurity risks and why you should care about them.
It happens in every movie where there’s a mean principal versus a cheeky teenager. By the end of the movie, you know someone will have drawn a funny (but mean) thing on the principal’s property in some capacity – maybe their picture, maybe the school. It’s funny – when it doesn’t happen to you.
When someone hacks your website, it’s relatively easy to deface your website with graphic images and harmful slogans, and to generally smear your business’s hard-earned reputation. Your website is the first place people go to find out who your company is. Imagine what they’d think if their first impression is a rude defacement of your website.
However, defacement of your website is a relatively tame consequence compared to what could happen to your data.
An inappropriate home page is a piece of cake compared to what could happen to your data if a malware or ransomware attack occurred. A ransomware attack occurs when hackers infect your system, encrypt your data, and demand payment in order for the data to be released. Because of situations like this, low system security can cost you thousands.
When a computer is compromised, not only could you lose money, but your company’s entire data network could be at risk. Oftentimes a hacker will use one infected computer to enter a company’s network and place sensitive client information at risk- including billing information, personal information, maybe even social security numbers depending on your line of work.
A real reputation killer is when your client’s data is left out in the cold.
While you can’t protect against every cyberattack (especially as they continue to evolve), there are best practices your organization can use to prevent cyberattacks from happening and getting out of hand.
Ensure that each user only has the least access that they need. Don’t fret about looking as though you don’t trust your employees. Instead, consider the cybersecurity risk of one infected computer with high-level clearance. Limiting privilege ensures that if a user is hacked, the hacker only gets access to the least amount of data possible.
Make sure your company has excellent user access control. Do you use multi-factor identification? How often are employees’ passwords changed? Do you use a password or a passphrase? Implementing best practices with passwords lowers the likelihood of a hack.
Keep records on your cybersecurity practices. Having a checklist of all necessary cybersecurity protections means that nothing gets missed. Keep track of how often computers are updated, stay on top of new system patches, and don’t leave any openings for a hacker to enter into your data system.
Have the right resources available. DoS attacks spam your website with high amounts of traffic until it shuts down. Having the right resources available protects your website from shut down when an attack occurs. These resources can include having a dual power supply that keeps your servers running and a recaptcha to prevent bots from filling out forms repeatedly.
Protect your assets and know where they’re stored. Do you have highly sensitive data on your server system? Consider removing it from the system and instead keep it in an on-premise data center with SSAE-18 certified security. Be aware of where your assets are stored and what you can do to keep them secure.
Keep up with your cybersecurity good hygiene. Just like washing your hands, there are little things you can do every day to protect your company and your clients. Run dynamic and static security scans on both your website and IT network. Keep your firewalls active and updated. Be prepared for the unexpected by following cybersecurity trends and watching the news for new malware.
The world of cybersecurity is complicated and frightening and it’s only getting more so every day. When you work with Swift Systems, you’re working with a dedicated cybersecurity professional who knows what’s out there, what the risks are, and how you can prevent them. We’ve worked with top-level security certifications such as HIPAA, SSAE, DFARS, NIST, and SOC. We provide 24/7 IT support with managed IT service provider contracts.
When you choose Swift Systems, you choose stress-free IT. Contact us today.
IT systems are foundational to modern businesses. Too often, that foundation is unsteady. Unpredictable outages, insecure networks, and unreliable performance from mission-critical systems can jeopardize your entire business.
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