by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz
Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, but businesses should be aware of the most common types:
Malware—software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client or network.
Viruses—harmful programs intended to spread from computer to computer (and other connected devices), giving access to your system.
Ransomware—infects and restricts access to a computer until a ransom is paid.
Phishing—uses email or a malicious website to collect sensitive information; usually appear as though they’ve been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual.
Businesses can no longer afford to place cybersecurity at the bottom of the budget—not with cyberattacks targeting any business, regardless of size, strict security and privacy regulations surrounding data.
“Every year marks another ‘worst year ever’ for cyberattacks,” said Brett Dering, owner of Kinetic IT Solutions in Lake Charles. “The good news is that it is estimated that 93 percent of all breaches can be avoided if simple processes are put in place. From regularly updating software, training employees on the ins and outs of email phishing campaigns, and implementing multi-factor authentication, there are many effective ways of preventing cybercriminals from getting what they want. But, these are what I like to call the ‘first line of defense.’ Businesses need a full cybersecurity strategy to protect themselves, their customers, and their data from growing threats. That’s where we can help by offering managed services tailored to their business.”
Why managed services? Partnering with a managed service provider is the most effective way to prevent attacks and protect your business from these malicious threats. They include a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around the clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training and more. Because managed services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, you’ll optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. You’ll have faster network performance, a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, as well as minimum downtown.
Need an added bonus? You get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you with any technology problem you may encounter. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having in-house personnel handling all your IT issues.
Dering offers some cybersecurity best practices:
Train your employees. Employees and emails are the leading cause of data breaches and are a direct path into your system. Employees should be able to spot a phishing email, use good browsing practices, avoid suspicious downloads, create strong passwords, protect sensitive customer and vendor information, and maintain good cyber hygiene.
Protect and backup data. Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resource files and accounts receivable/payable files. Try to do this at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.
Control physical access. Prevent access or use of business computer and devices by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be easy targets for theft, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.
Secure payment processing. Work with your bank or card processors to ensure the most trust and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the internet.
Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can secure and benefit your business, please visit www.meetyourIT.com or call 337-513-4272 to schedule your FREE IT consultation.