Running a successful business means more than just making sales and outgrowing your space. In fact, if you aren’t doing your part to protect your business from IT vulnerabilities, all the hard work you’ve been putting in could vanish in the blink of an eye.
To help you keep your business thriving, Brooks IT Services lays out the 7 key tips to keep your business safe from IT vulnerabilities:
- Keep all operating systems and software up to date.
- Use strong and unique passwords.
- Train employees to identify phishing attempts and other threats.
- Only use secure WiFi networks.
- Encrypt sensitive information.
- Implement a “no USB flash drive” policy.
- Monitor use of your network.
Protect Your Business From IT Vulnerabilities
Follow these tips to avoid your business falling victim to IT vulnerabilities.
1. Keep All Operating Systems & Software Up To Date
Your computer likely has a firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware, and maybe even anti-malware. That’s a great first step to protecting your business against IT vulnerabilities. However, if you are not updating them regularly, your protections are severely limited.
Any defensive software is only as strong as its latest update. The updates send the latest knowledge the company has acquired so its software can stay up to date on the latest threats, tactics, and viruses. To keep your business safe, make sure to update all operating systems and software on a regular basis.
Need help keeping your IT up to date? Brooks IT Services can help! Contact us today to learn how we can keep your small business safe and thriving.
2. Use Strong & Unique Passwords
First of all, all of your devices need passwords. Even if you’re the only one who uses your phone, iPad, laptop, etc., passwords are important. What if you were to leave it in a restaurant, Uber, or even worse – what if someone were to steal from you?
Secondly, every program, software, website, or anything else that requires a login needs a strong password. Without good passwords, you leave everything you’ve worked so hard for up for grabs for any hacker to steal.
Additionally, you need to be using unique passwords for every login. That means don’t reuse passwords ever. Just don’t do it. Plus, each password should contain an upper and lower case letter, number, and a special character. For instance, 3r00kz!T contains a good mix. However, we would never use a password that so closely resembles the name of our business – that would be too easy for a hacker to guess!
3. Train Employees To Identify Phishing Attempts & Other Threats
You can’t really blame someone for not knowing something that was never taught to them. Right?
Keep that in mind when you expect your employees to use best practices to avoid business IT vulnerabilities. They need training to fully comprehend what to avoid, what looks suspicious, and how to report these issues.
Brooks IT Services will train you and your employees to always be at the top of your IT best practices game. This way, even if hackers do creep into your system, everyone will be aware that something is off. The sooner you bring it to our attention, the more quickly we can resolve any threats.
Interested in learning more about Brooks IT Services client training? Contact us today to ensure your business is secure against all threats.
4. Only Use Secure WiFi Networks
It’s important to be serious about your WiFi network security. To keep your network secure, here are the WiFi best practices to follow:
- Don’t share your primary WiFi password
- Create a separate guest WiFi network
- Avoid connecting to any unsecured WiFi networks
By creating and following safe WiFi protocols, you and your employees can keep your business safe.
5. Encrypt Sensitive Information
To add another layer of security to your network and data, utilize encryption tools. For example, when you send an email, there is a possibility of your message and any attachments being intercepted by a hacker during transmission. However, if your data is encrypted, the hacker would only have access to a jumble of content they wouldn’t be able to decode without a key.
Furthermore, when emailing or uploading important documents, be sure to password protect them in case they get intercepted. For instance, if your tax professional emails you, they probably send you a password to unlock any important documents.
Take your security a step further by only using messaging apps with end-to-end encryption. The same idea as above, the message will be scrambled during transmission with only the sender and receiver having access to the actual content.
Additionally, think about when it comes time to retire your computer. If it ever ends up in ill-intentioned hands, you could be dealing with a data breach. However, if you use encrypted file storage, then the hacker wouldn’t be able to access your data without your password.
6. Implement A “No USB Flash Drive” Policy
More and more companies around the world are banning the use of USB flash drives, and for a good reason. Even if you have the best intentions, too many USBs contain viruses that could disrupt a company’s entire network.
Furthermore, the series Mr. Robot taught us all the dangers of a USB Rubber Ducky. Don’t let the cute name fool you because it’s a real threat that could eliminate any progress your business has made.
The Rubber Ducky looks like a regular USB flash drive used to store documents. But really, it acts as a keyboard. Even worse, it can type over 1,000 words per minute and can extract all the passwords on your computer in under 15 seconds. Additionally, the Rubber Ducky can launch malicious code into your computer and even open a backdoor for other hackers to access in the future.
7. Monitor Use Of Your Network
Another way to avoid business IT vulnerabilities is to always monitor your network. This means knowing who has access, who has accessed, and what they are doing on your network.
If you notice something out of the ordinary, let your IT professional know right away. The sooner we can remedy weak spots, the quicker you can get back to confidently running your business.
In addition to monitoring your network, you can implement steps of your training to see how your employees react to suspicious activity. For instance, you could send an internal email to only your employees with a common phishing attempt. Then you will know who clicked on the link, who ignored it completely, and who reported the possible threat. Take advantage of this learning opportunity for your employees. Consider rewarding those who take the proper steps and continue training the employees who clicked the link.
Bring In Brooks IT Services To Identify & Remedy Your Business’s IT Vulnerabilities
You can have all the locks and alarm systems available to protect your small business. But if you’re not keeping an eye on your business’s IT vulnerabilities, you’re a sitting duck. It’s a matter of when not if a hacker will find your weak points and infiltrate with full force.
Small business owners like yourself need comprehensive IT services to keep their businesses safe and thriving. Learn how Brooks IT Services can keep your business safe and under budget. Contact us today.