5 Ways You Can Protect Your Business from Cyber Criminals

We at Acropolis enjoy scary stories as the next IT support firm, but there’s one tale that terrifies us every time we hear it. It goes like this: one foggy evening, an employer and his employees locked up the doors to their small business for the night. With facts and figures still dancing around in their minds, they wearily left for home, unaware that someone was lurking in the shadows, poised for attack.

That night, the criminal got just what he wanted: a response to his phishing email from an unknowing employee at the small business. The employee did what the email requested – he clicked on a supplied link and changed his password for “security reasons.” It looked legitimate, so he thought, “Why not? Better update and stay safe.” With the information in hand, the hacker went to work, using the new password to access vital information. The next morning, the crew returned to work with a huge mess on their hands – they had become victims of cyber crime.

While this particular story is a work of fiction, the general idea is a reality for about 44% of small businesses, which have experienced a cyber attack. This doesn’t have to be you. There are some easy yet crucial steps you can take to protect your business from potential cyber crimes. Follow these steps to keep your company safe:

Update Your Anti-Virus Software

When was the last time you updated your anti-virus and anti-malware software? We’re willing to bet that it happened probably about the same time you remembered to flip your mattress. The thing is, hackers are always looking for ways to get past your security. If your software is fresh by 2015’s standards, it’ll be like walking through a massive hole in a wall. While you’re updating your anti-virus and anti-malware, make sure to set up a sturdy firewall security to keep your internal networks safe as well.

Choose Strong Passwords

This is a must. You don’t want to be like that guy who has “12345” for a password (or a combination on your luggage). Put on your thinking cap and create a tough-to-crack password to improve your digital security across all platforms. Oh, and don’t forget to change them frequently. Every few months should work just fine! Can’t remember them all? Consider utilizing a password manager to store and create your passwords easily and securely.

Use a Secure Email Server

An unsecure email server gives hackers the green light to steal all of your valuable data very easily. Don’t let would-be thieves snag what’s yours. Safeguard your email in a secure server. Don’t forget to encrypt your emails as well to add even more layers of protection.

Choose Encryption

Remember when you went through that month-long period in high school when you wanted to be an Egyptologist but chose a different career path because deciphering hieroglyphs was too hard? Think of encryption in kind of the same way. By encrypting your data, you’re forcing hackers to work through layers upon layers of code before they even have a chance at getting their hands on your data. Doing this will help ensure that only approved users can access valuable data.

Create a Solid Disaster Recovery Plan

Sometimes you just can’t prevent a cyber attack, no matter what you do. When this happens, it’s wise to have a strong disaster recovery plan to fall back on. Write out all the crucial steps you’ll need to take, store it in a safe location, and keep your employees in on the plan. Doing so will greatly decrease your downtime following an attack. Oh, and don’t forget to back up your data regularly, too, that way you can recover all the important information you might have lost.

You know one of the best ways to deter thieves? Teaming up with your friends at Acropolis Technology Group. We work hard to detect and protect you from cyber attacks with our response-based technical solutions. Learn more about how we can help you by calling us at (314) 890-2208!

Tech TalkMaria Berra