[This article was written by Kara Masterson.]
Cyber crime is a huge drain on business profits. It has been estimated that cyber criminals will create $6 trillion in losses by the year 2021. If you own a business, one of your number one concerns should be preventing your company from getting hacked. If you don’t take the right precautions, your business may never be able to recover from the damage that can be done.
Keep Important Data Encrypted
The best, and perhaps the only foolproof, way to stop hackers is by encrypting data. Without the encryption key, that data will be worthless to whoever manages to steal it from your networks. Your most sensitive data should always be encrypted both while in transit and while in storage. This includes the personal and financial information of customers.
Keep Your Cyber Security Updated
The threat posed by hackers, malware, viruses and cyber criminals is always evolving. New exploits in software are constantly being discovered. New viruses are created every day. New malware is launched all the time. Staying ahead of the curve requires continually updating and patching your networks for the newest vulnerabilities and threats.
Perform Cyber Security Audits
Every so often, you should have your computer systems and networks audited by cyber security professionals. They might be able to discover exploits you weren’t even aware of that hackers could take full advantage of. Work closely with an IT consultant to find out exactly what needs to be patched in your network.
Scan Everything that Enters Your Network for Threats
Your cyber security should also involve constant monitoring. This includes all traffic into the network. It also includes other things like the internet access of employees. For example, every e-mail opened on a company computer should be scanned for threats. E-mail attachments are often how malware makes it into a business’s systems.
The more people that have access to the network, the larger the threat is that malicious traffic will somehow be let in. Overall, you need to limit access to the network to the absolute minimum number of people necessary. Lower level employees, for example, should have far more access restrictions to certain kinds of data than middle management.
Every business, whether large or small, is at risk of being hacked. Hackers could steal your data, defraud your customers and then force you into a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Take the threat of hacking very seriously and do everything you can to guard against it.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.