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5 Ways You Can Boost Your Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity can be overwhelming, especially when you’re a small business or startup. There’s a lot of scaremongering going on out there, which only makes it harder for companies to know if their efforts towards being secure are successful.

Today, we’ve rounded up five actionable tips on how to protect your business against online threats.

Written by Adam Bovan

October 2018

Where do I start with cybersecurity?

Check the security settings.

Thankfully, many new apps, software and devices have been developed to include a comprehensive suite of security tools.

However, many of these features must be manually turned on by users in order for them to protect you.

Remember – default settings are rarely your friend. Manufacturers want their products to be as easy-to-use as possible, but this brings with it a number of security risks.

Passwords are frequently set to “admin” or “password”, which isn’t going to be hard for hackers to guess.

If it’s straightforward for you to log in, it’s also going to be simple for cyber attackers to access.

Check your settings on all of your devices and services and see if you can raise the level of security. This includes changing passwords regularly and using two-factor authentication – where you need a second code or a thumbprint to log in.

Set up firewalls.

We’ve spoken previously on this blog about the importance of firewalls.

Put simply, a firewall is a barrier between you and other networks, such as the internet.

It’s an extra layer of security against malicious files you may accidentally download.

You need to have two types of firewall:

  1. A desktop firewall (a piece of software).
  2. A network firewall (a piece of hardware).

Together, they fight the nasties that could damage your network and cause business downtime.

Invest in antivirus.

Of course, quality antivirus software also needs to be in your cybersecurity arsenal.

And yes, we do recommend all businesses invest money in their antimalware.

Whilst there are a few good free versions out there, paid-for software provides better protection and security features against the latest viruses.

We’ve written a whole blog post about how to protect your business from malware and ransomware that can be read after you’ve finished this one.

Refine access control.

One excellent way of bolstering your cybersecurity is controlling who has access to certain accounts and data. However, this is often overlooked.

We’d recommend taking a closer look at the permissions settings on your accounts and changing them so that everyone in your business has ‘just enough’ access to the software and services that they need to perform their roles. Any additional permissions should only be given to those who need them.

Often, a lot of unnecessary privileges are given to admin accounts, when users don’t need them day-to-day. This is very risky if a hacker does happen to gain access to an admin’s account.

By revising which users can use what, you can seriously reduce the potential damage if an account is misused or data is stolen.

Update, update, update.

As with antivirus software, it’s important that all devices, services and apps are updated regularly in order to stay ahead of cyber attackers.

Cybercrime is constantly evolving, with new viruses being released all the time. Manufacturers and developers work hard to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities so that their customers can enjoy their products safely.

All you need to do is click update when they tell you to do so.

Yes, it is a bit annoying to be constantly installing new updates, but that’s where an IT manager comes in. We proactively monitor your network and make sure that everything you use is up-to-date. If something does need installing, we do it overnight when you’re away from your desk.

Want more advice on cybersecurity? Please get in touch with one of our IT Managed Service Providers today.

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