Two Basic Means of Keeping Hackers Away
While many small businesses shrug off cybersecurity needs as too expensive an investment for an organization of their size, this is a potentially catastrophic mistake. The fact of the matter is that small businesses are regularly targeted by cyberattacks, making the aforementioned cybersecurity needs even more needed.
Look, we’re just as sick of talking about hackers and such as you are sick of hearing about them—we’d much rather spend more time discussing how you could make your business better instead of warding off the leeches who are just trying to steal the spoils of your hard work. Unfortunately, here we are.
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help protect your small business, its data, and its infrastructure.
Put More Effort Into Using Quality Passwords
It’s pretty standard for computing systems to require a username and password login before access will be granted, giving you your first opportunity to tighten your defenses. Make sure that your team both understands how to create a secure password, and how important it is that they are diligent in doing so. Developing a unified password strategy will help to do this. The three elements of this process are as follows:
- Password creation - First, it is important that the passwords being used are secure. Best practices dictate that the best passwords and passphrases are those that are easily remembered, but wouldn’t necessarily be guessed. Your secret code can be further strengthened by sprinkling in different cases and alphanumeric switching.
- Password management - The average user—provided they are following best practices—will ultimately need to remember dozens of passwords. This practically impossible task becomes far easier to manage with a quality password management system—an encrypted vault that allows you to securely store your passwords behind a singular credential.
- Multi-factor authentication - Many modern accounts feature multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication) as an additional means of protecting verified access. With MFA enabled, anyone trying to log into one of your accounts will need to provide the correct username, password, and additional proof of identity, whether that’s a generated code or a biometric scan.
The point is, improving how effective your identity authentication measures are, the more of a challenge for a cybercriminal to overcome.
Maintain Your Software
Secondly, you need to make sure that you are attending to any vulnerabilities that present themselves via the software your business utilizes, primarily because the software hasn’t been updated and patched appropriately. While zero-day threats may not have a patch released yet, this is just a fraction of the vulnerabilities that hackers regularly utilize.
Whatever size it may be, a security-focused company will always prioritize patching and updating their software—and that’s inclusive of every piece of software a company uses, from productivity to security to communications. Naturally, this takes some time, which is why it is an integral part of the managed services provided by White Mountain IT Services as a part of our professional agreements. Not only is it important to do for your security, it also makes it far easier for us to do our jobs. Effectively, it’s a win-win.
Patch and Update Software
Another frequent form of infiltration into any network is accomplished through exploiting vulnerabilities in the business’ infrastructure. This happens when the software that a business depends on is not patched and updated promptly. Sure, there are situations where no patch is available for a vulnerability (known as zero-day threats), but these are much less likely than cyberattackers using known vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched yet.
There are dozens of steps that can be taken to prevent hackers from wreaking havoc on your business, these being just the start. We can help you carry out each and every one of them, adding our network monitoring and maintenance to further benefit you. Learn more by reaching out at 603-889-0800.