07 Jun Practical cyber defences for small businesses – The Defenses
As we already know from the last blog in the series, cyber attacks are on the rise and, with the modern world changing into the ever more digital landscape that it is becoming, they are projected to rise even more so. We also highlighted some of the most common methods cyber criminals are using to attack businesses just like yours, and some of the measures you can take to defend your systems from an attack – let’s explore one of these in more detail now.
Easily one of the most important technical measures is the security of your passwords. You would be hard pressed to find someone in the civilized world that hasn’t got a password on at the very least one device – this is why it is unfathomable why so many don’t use passwords to their full potential. When making a password it should consist of a random collection of letters, numbers, and other characters, all of which should have no meaning or relevance to the user. ‘But how am I going to remember that?’ is a common response to the password needing to be completely random, but none the less they need to be as long and as complicated as possible.
On the market today there are many password management tools to choose from that will allow you to generate, store and manage all the passwords in your organization. The password manager will generate complex passwords on demand for you and your users, allowing you to place full trust and your full password management onto it.
Multi-factor authentication is a way of knowing that the users gaining access to your system are your users. This is done by requesting authentication through another device via text message or email where only the individual concerned has access. Multi factor authentication acts as great ‘icing on the cake’ if you are trying to bolster an already strong defence.
Firewalls act off a set of predetermined rules, they filter traffic passing across a network boundary. You must appoint a Firewall administrator in your organization (or take on the role yourself) and set the ‘rules’. Then configure the Firewall to block any high-risk actions, whilst permitting access to online services that the users need to complete their job.
It is essential that Anti – Malware measures are installed on every computer and laptop at home and on-premise. The free one you get from your manufacturer just won’t cut it, unfortunately – it will do the job up to a point, but it is worth purchasing one that can handle the strain of your entire IT landscape and leave you feeling secure.
The importance of managing permissions – to people both in and outside of your business – is essential in order to stop unauthorized access to your organization’s sensitive data and system settings. If someone gains access this can be the doorway for Malware to infect your systems and allow the attackers to make deliberate changes to your security settings with the intention of facilitating future – potentially more damaging – attacks to your system.
This is the method that confuses most as a criminal’s intentions are to encrypt your data, but the best way to beat them is to encrypt your data yourself and become the key holder. Understandably, this can be confusing to wrap your head around, as voluntarily encrypting your own data sounds like a stupid thing to do. Data encryption is the process of scrambling the readable text of your files and documents so they can only be read by the person who holds the ‘key’ – by doing this you are essentially creating another layer of protection for your systems and creating further problems for cyber criminals when they try to gain access.
Since 1996 we have prided ourselves on providing professional IT support for businesses in and around Salinas, California. We excel in giving our clients enterprise-level services and solutions at prices that work for small businesses. We can recommend and provide the tools needed to enable your business’ operations to be undergone safely and mitigate the risk of cyber threats. This may seem a daunting and somewhat expensive process, but we will work alongside you to find a solution that works for the way you do business as cost-effectively as possible. Book a free consultation call today and find out what improvements you can make to your systems.