Cybercrime is more than a dark web threat; it touches anyone and everyone who operates their business online. Cybercriminals can steal confidential information and infect online systems with network and software viruses. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to keep cybercriminals out for good. 

Here at Techinc, we have over a decade of experience in information technology services, and we understand the threat that cybercrime poses. In this article, we share some key tips on how you can defend your business against cyber attacks in 2021. 

6 steps to protect your business from cybercrime

Cyber attacks on your business network can have drastic consequences. However, there are fortunately several steps you can take to ensure your business is protected from potential hackers. Below you can find six steps on how you can protect your business from cyberattacks:

1. Make your passwords rock-solid

We know, we know: no one wants to remember ten different passwords. But, you need to diversify your passwords across your accounts, from your bank account to your network key. The more complex your password, the better. Consider using more than 12 characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. 

Luckily, there are several password manager applications on the market for those who don’t want to mentally keep track of every password. At the very least, you should “stratify” your re-used passwords. This can mean re-using a password for “low-risk” log-ins (forums, social media) and using different passwords for applications that store your sensitive information (banks, government log-ins, and other private information). As a result, if one group is compromised, the others are unaffected. 

2. Check if your accounts have been in a data breach

Data breaches aren’t always front-page news; your data may have been leaked without you even knowing it! You can visit sites like haveibeenpwned.com to see if your company has been compromised. If you DO see anything to worry about, change your passwords immediately. 

3. Keep devices automatically up to date

Your computer’s updates often include essential security updates. As cybercriminals continuously evolve their strategies, your software needs to keep up, and that means continuously bolstering your computer’s defences. 

What does that mean for you? If your computer’s updates aren’t automated, don’t put them off any longer. Schedule a time regularly (once a week is sufficient) to update all of your devices, including your phone and tablets. If you can automate the process, then it may help put your mind at ease!

4. Invest in security tools 

You may need more than the standard anti-virus software that comes with your computer. The more obstacles you can put in front of cybercriminals, the better! Thankfully, some stellar products on the market keep your data safe from those who would do it harm. These products include:

VPN-capable firewall: This is a physical piece of hardware that encrypts your messages and data, no matter where you are. These keep remote ransomware at bay. 

Multiple networks: As easy as it is to connect all of your devices on one network, that can spell disaster if that network is breached. You can set multiple networks (for example, one for your phone and one for your computer) to help your appliances still communicate with each other, all while keeping your computer data safe and secure. 

Security keys: Tools like YubiKeys ensure that only designated employees have access to your sensitive data files. Because each employee has a different key, it’s more difficult for attackers to guess the correct log-in information and gain access to your network. 

5. Back up your files

Even tech-savvy companies can become victims of ransomware. This is why backing up your files is critical. The “3-2-1’ rule is a good guideline; this is where you keep three copies of your data on hand (two in different storage media, and one off-site, either physically or in the cloud). So, back up often, and ensure that you are regularly auditing file recovery procedures to ensure they are up to date. 

6. Educate team members on phishing and email scams

Don’t fall for the lie that only “dumb” people fall for phishing and email scams. These have seen dramatic evolution over the years, and some of these attacks are now boasting incredible sophistication. So, it’s important to stay proactive by educating your employees on what compromising emails and web pages may look like, and encourage them to report anything suspicious immediately. 

Get an IT team you can trust.

Your IT provider isn’t just there for quick fixes. They should be your go-to every step of the way, from creating a contingency plan to recovering from a breach. Here at Techinc, we have been providing IT services to businesses across Denver for over a decade. We specialise in network security and provide security assessments to help protect your business from potential cyber-attacks.