With 2020 just around the corner, we begin to reflect on the year we’ve had and look forward to the year to come.
A whole new year and a whole new decade! It’s almost hard to believe.
This time of year, we often begin to set goals to try and make the new year a successful one.
If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely set some goals for what your business hopes to achieve over the next year. If you’re looking for something to add to the list, improving your cybersecurity should be at the very top of your options.
Cybersecurity issues are becoming a daily struggle for businesses. In fact, data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019. Hackers attack every 39 seconds and were found to occur, on average, 2,244 times a day.
It costs businesses a lot of money, too. As of 2019, the average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million.
Let’s get into some strategies that will help improve cybersecurity for the new year.
Password Protection and Multi-Factor Authentication
Protecting company data involves securing who has access to the information. Restrict IT admin and access rights to a small number of people in order to limit the number of people who have full access.
Although it may seem to be common sense, you’re probably aware of how important it is to create strong passwords. Make sure your passwords aren’t these common passwords and aren’t easy to guess. The best passwords are longer than 8 characters and have a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters as well as symbols. Don’t share your password with other employees. Changing your password on a regular basis is important as well. Remembering numerous passwords can be challenging, but it’s worth it.
Multi-factor authentication combines two or more independent credentials. For example, when you log in to your email from a new device, multi-factor authentication sends a notification to a back-up email or a text to let you know that someone has logged into your account. For a business, it’s useful because it provides a back-up measure in case someone tries to hack your account.
These days, most people have a social media account. If you own a business, you may even have social media accounts to promote your business and have employees that manage your social page. You must be careful when you post on these networks, especially when it comes to photos or sharing personal information. Sharing too much information, such as compromising company or client information (without even realizing it sometimes), can have negative ramifications.
Use Security Software
Investing in security software when you’re the owner of a small business may seem a tad paranoid, but it’s a step that can produce significant savings in the long run. Strong antivirus and malware protection, external hard drives that back up essential documents, and software that runs regular system checks are useful tools to protect yourself. Backing up your data on a regular basis is also important in case of a security breach. It’s worth it to spend the money on security measures rather than lose valuable data to hackers.
After you have security software implemented, make sure you proceed with any available updates immediately.
Secure Web Browsing
If your business does a lot of work online, as a lot of companies do these days, it would be beneficial to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN funnels your web traffic through a private channel. It helps avoid location-based blocking and hides internet traffic from internet providers and other agencies.
Hard Drive Destruction
Throwing out unused or broken electronics, even after erasing your hard drive, is risky. The most effective way to destroy any chance of data retrieval is hard drive destruction. Erasing your hard drive does not guarantee that the information has been erased. Throwing your electronics in the trash is not only bad for the environment, but it’s bad for you.
Shredding your documents on a regular basis is crucial, especially confidential documents that have account numbers, credit card information, addresses or any other sensitive data. Adopting good shredding habits will help protect your business from fraud or identity theft.
Whether you’re looking for on site, off site document shredding or you prefer to schedule your document destruction, we can help. Give us a call at (717) 233-5606 to start shredding today.
Here’s to making 2020 an incredible year!