5 Cyber Security Best Practices to Keep Your Business Safe

Cyber-attacks have the potential to cause long-term harm to businesses. However, following these 5 best practices can help ensure your company's safe.

By Jack Hochstetler

Threats to companies’ cyber security are on the rise. Rapidly. Ransomware, in particular, has seen dramatic increase. The FBI reported that from 2019 to 2020, there was a 69% increase in reported ransomware attacks. Recent attacks on large corporations have filled the news, but it’s important for business owners to realize that their business, no matter the size, is at risk.

Roughly 55% of last year’s ransomware victims were businesses with less than 100 employees. An even more devastating statistic is that approximately 20-30% of businesses don’t live though the 90-180 days following a ransomware attack. It’s easy to watch the news and dismiss the possibility of your business being at risk, but the reality is that all business owners need to understand the risks of cyber-attack and begin taking action to protect themselves from cyber criminals.  

Here are five cyber security best practices to keep you safe and productive:

  1. Determine your vulnerabilities

The first step in making sure you are keeping your company safe is determining your current weaknesses when it comes to cyber security. Running penetration tests, or simulated cyber-attacks, are great for this, as they help to identify potential points of entry for hackers. Once you understand your weaknesses, you can begin to build plans around how to remedy them.

  1. Train your staff

The number one threat to your company’s security is human error. Clicking on a “bad link,” responding to phishing, weak password protection, and much more all lead to cyber-attacks on countless businesses every year. There are a number of great cyber security training programs available, and picking one to enroll your employees in could be the difference between normal business operations and disaster.

  1. Have an incident response plan ready

Having a strong security plan in place goes a long way in keeping a company safe and productive. However, cyber criminals are constantly becoming more sophisticated, and risk of attack remains for even the most secure businesses. Because of this, an incident response plan is a necessity. Many factors go into these plans, such as having cyber insurance, data backups, etc. If victim to an attack, having a well formulated plan could cut your company’s down-time from multiple days to just hours.

  1. Actively monitor your systems and information

Following their breach, the average time that hackers spend dormant without detection in a company network is 190 days. They spend that time researching, collecting information, and waiting for the perfect time to attack the company they’ve infiltrated. By actively monitoring your systems, the chances of catching a cyber-criminal before they can do significant damage increases drastically. “Active monitoring” can include simple actions, like checking for unexplained changes in data, to more complex actions, like running dark web scans for company information.

  1. Take action TODAY!

This one’s simple! Cyber security should never wait. Simply starting the conversation around cyber-security and finding ways to begin educating your employees are great first steps.

Although cyber security can seem like a tall task, following these five best practices can put you on the path to adequately protecting your company. To learn more from the experts at Blackink IT about keeping your company secure, reach out to Cat Edmonds at cedmonds@blackinkit.com.