Secure Your Business Internet Today
A Gemalto study makes the consequences of failed internet security crystal clear for businesses: 70% of surveyed customers would stop doing business with a company that suffered a data breach. While it’s impossible to silence all threats to a company’s internet security, it’s more than possible to take some simple steps to shore up your cybersecurity and make it safer to do business online – and improve the chances you’ll keep your customer base.
General Ways to Improve Business Internet Security
Since internet security is vital to the health of any business – large or small – there are now many options on hand to help businesses build up their cybersecurity. All that remains is to pick the blend that’s most appropriate for you, taking into consideration your industry, data storage compliance, customer-base and other factors.
Embrace a limited amount of change. When was the last time you changed your passwords? If you can’t remember, it’s probably been too long. Changing passwords occasionally is good practice; you may have heard the Better Business Bureau recommend monthly changes. Others, however, recommend a little less frequency to help prevent hassled employees from employing less-than-secure workarounds. It’s a bit of a balancing act; most employees have a lot of passwords to remember already, even with help like password managers built into browsers. So requiring frequent changes only makes those employees look for a “better way” that doesn’t add to their workload. Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommended lower-complexity passwords (no more “letters, numbers, doodles, sign language and squirrel noises”) and less-frequent changes to improve user experience.
- Consider the following tip: choose a phrase, quote or song lyric that is easy for you to remember, and make your password an acronym of the first letter of each word in that phrase. Sub in some numbers – a ‘zero’ for an ‘o’ and you’re set.
Cancel all outstanding credentials. When an employee leaves for whatever reason, shut down their credentials as quickly as possible. A 2017 study considered “insider threats” to account for almost three out of four security breach incidents. By removing outdated and unneeded credentials, you remove an avenue for unauthorized access into your systems. The fewer ways there are to get into your system, the simpler it is to monitor those remaining access points and thereby improve your overall security.
Make your systems patch-perfect. Are you keeping up with software patches? These little downloads can be some of the best protective measures your cybersecurity can find. Built by design to address security flaws and potential exploits, patches are issued directly from the companies that offer the software being used. By keeping up with patches, you directly address security vulnerabilities that may be widely-known and readily exploited…unless they’re patched, that is.
Add some training. If your employees are thinking about sunny days on the water when you start talking about phishing, then it may be time for a little extra training. Understanding the difference between phishing and spear phishing, and what to look for in each, can help block one major potential security problem right at the source. The difference, by the way, is that “phishing” tends to be broadly dispersed while “spear-phishing” is highly focused and thus has greater authenticity on its side.
Back up your systems right now. Want to know the best way to stop a ransomware attack? Pull its teeth immediately by keeping offline or cloud-based backups. By backing up your systems—and it’s even better if your backups are off-site, especially if there’s a fire or similar disaster at your main location—you automatically remove the biggest problem with ransomware: the loss of your files. Sure, you’ll also lose the PC that’s been infected with the ransomware, but if you’ve turned ransomware into a minor nuisance with offline backups, you’ve addressed a growing and insidious breed of cybersecurity threats.
Consider appliances. One particular system known as a network security appliance (NSA) can really tilt the scales in your favour in business internet security. Sometimes called “thin clients” or “closed-box systems,” an NSA usually contains less hardware than normal, and also focuses on specific functions. One of these functions can be overall data control, which allows potential threats to be more readily spotted and addressed.
Look at a Managed Router service. With a professionally managed router, you can implement a full suite of security tools without lifting a finger. “Managed” means that your equipment and services are pre-configured and optimized to your specific needs – and maintained remotely. iTel offers Managed Security as an option on all managed routers, including anti-spam, anti-virus, data loss prevention, intrusion detection and content filtering as part of the unified threat management (UTM) system. You’ll also have access to a performance dashboard so you can make informed, data-driven decisions about your security policies.
…or consider one new hire. A new hire may not sound simple, but without managed services, this could be one of the biggest steps you’ll take in improving your cybersecurity. To ensure that all your best practices are actually implemented and enforced, consider hiring a dedicated cybersecurity manager. It’s one thing to say you’ll keep up with the latest patches, but another to actually do it – especially when a big deadline is looming or an emergency arises. That one new hire can keep your business internet security resolve strong and running.
Give your business internet security a leg up with better connectivity. Not all internet is created equal – as your network increases in size and complexity, you may want to look at an upgrade. iTel Fibre is inherently more secure as it utilizes L2 connectivity instead of the public internet.
Ready to Level Up Your Business Internet Security?
There are several things you can do right away to bolster your business internet security, but if you want to work with the experts, reach out to us at iTel. Our team has been building secure, streamlined network solutions – including voice, internet, cloud and more – since 2009. Don’t let your business become a statistic.