Simple Ways to Improve Your IT Security 

Simple Ways to Improve Your IT Security 

The past year has been one challenge after another for all businesses. Major changes have been necessary just to keep a business alive and operating. The move to digital and working remotely have been challenging for many SMBs but have been a goldmine for cybercriminals. 

Cybercriminals have found ways to increase their attacks, which has led to more data breaches and cyber attacks in the last few months. The main reason for the increase in attacks is that many businesses have struggled to manage their IT security, especially with so many employees working from home. 

On the other hand, there are still many companies that have not implemented security measures to keep their data safe. 

As cyber-attacks continue to grow in number, now is the time to improve your company’s IT security. We’ve put together some fast, easy ways to protect your business and improve IT security. 

MFA & Passwords

Passwords are still essential when it comes to login credentials. However, many employees still rely on one simple password for all their online accounts and services. This is like handing the keys over to the crooks, giving them easy access to company and personal data. 

For this reason, security experts recommend creating one unique password for each online account and service. The password should be at least 18 characters (more is better!), which includes upper & lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. What’s more, passwords should be changed every few months. 

Because it’s not easy to remember so many unique passwords, it’s recommended that everyone use a password manager. The password manager stores and encrypts passwords for each account—you only have to remember the master password to access passwords. The password manager also helps create new passwords and alerts you when it’s time to create new passwords for each account/service. 

Next, the use of MFA (multi-factor authentication) adds another protective layer to accounts and services online. MFA uses a text message to send a code to your phone. The user then types the code into an online form and waits for confirmation the code was verified. Once the code has been authenticated, the user can then access their account. Another form of MFA is to use an authentication app, which provides the MFA code, rather than using a text message to send the code. 

Install Updates Regularly

One of the most often overlooked security methods is installing updates on a regular basis. Studies have shown that many companies have suffered data breaches merely because they didn’t install updates and/or didn’t install updates when notified these were available. 

Updates are extremely important, as many of them involve security updates that fix vulnerabilities and other issues. 

Failing to install updates leaves your business wide open to hackers. It’s been more challenging the past months, with everyone and their devices working remotely, which brings up another issue. 

Many companies had no choice but to let their employees use their own devices for work. This has been another security headache, especially if the devices are not secure and updated. 

Backup Data

The next important issue is to keep company data backed up regularly. What would happen to your company if it was struck by a major data breach? Many businesses in the same position don’t survive. Backing up data gives the company a chance to recover quickly after such an event. 

When data is backed up properly, your business can access the backed up data to quickly get back up and running again. Downtime is kept to a minimum, and the company experiences less damage and interruption. What’s more, the company is able to maintain its reputation and credibility at the same time. 

Antivirus & Antimalware Software

Another sometimes overlooked area of protection is the use of antivirus and antimalware software. Antivirus software is another valuable tool to keep your IT network and connected devices safe and secure from malicious attacks via email and from other sources. 

Antivirus software also protects employees’ devices, even when they’re working remotely. There are many different antivirus and antimalware tools available to choose from. They also come in a wide range of prices that will fit any budget. 

Staff Awareness Training

It’s a fact that employees are another big problem when it comes to keeping a company secure. This because employees may unwittingly open and click on emails and malicious links. These are tools used by cybercrooks to install malicious software on devices and networks. The goal is to gain access to the company network to steal data and more. 

For this reason, security experts recommend conducting staff awareness training about cyber threats. Trainings involve making employees aware of the various security issues they face each day. Through the training, employees can learn how to spot a potential cyber attack and report the issue to the IT department right away. They also learn how to avoid clicking on malicious emails, links, and more. 

Staff awareness training can include the following: 

  • Employees should never share passwords
  • They need to learn how to use MFA
  • Teach employees how to spot a potentially malicious email and not to open it or attachments
  • Keep work backed up
  • Update antivirus and antimalware software regularly
  • Turn off work computers when work is completed each day
  • Don’t share company hardware or software with anyone outside the company
  • And more

Making employees aware of the dangers and potential problems can go a long way to improve company security. 

Regularly Review Policies & Procedures

Through the creation of policies and procedures, companies can help employees understand and comply with security obligations. Regulations and procedures, which are written out, provide clear guidelines on what is allowed or not when it comes to the company network and company or personal devices. 

Technology changes quickly, so it’s crucial to regularly review company policies and procedures. Doing so keeps you ahead of the cybercrooks and their methods. As vulnerabilities are found, they must be quickly fixed and procedures/processes updated, too. 

Summing It Up

Staying ahead of cybercriminals means keeping your IT security updated and reviewed on a regular basis. It’s essential to maintain IT security. 

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to improve your company’s security right away. Even so, it may be advisable to consult with an IT security expert. They can provide you with additional insights and methods on how to improve your company’s IT security.