With the rise of the digital age, businesses need to establish robust security measures to protect their data and identities. This guide walks you through practical ways to increase your corporate shielding from cyber threats. From understanding the basics of internet security to incorporating advanced protective measures, you can expect to learn how to secure your business effectively.
As businesses rely increasingly on the internet and digital solutions for operations, communication, and data storage, ensuring robust cybersecurity becomes increasingly important. However, many small businesses do not take the necessary steps to secure their online presence and sensitive data properly.
Most modern businesses use information technology systems to manage data and operations. This includes computers, servers, websites, cloud storage, emails, and more. While these digital tools enable efficiency and connectivity, they also create security risks if not adequately protected.
For example, customer data, financial records, proprietary information, employee records, and other sensitive content may be stored online or on networked machines. If this data is compromised due to insufficient security practices, it could lead to confidentiality breaches, intellectual property leaks, identity theft, or even full-scale data theft attacks.
The consequences of lax cybersecurity can be severe. A data breach often results in financial losses from costs related to investigation, remediation, legal liabilities, and loss of customer trust. The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million.
Beyond direct monetary impacts, a security failure can cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. Customers expect their sensitive information to remain private when shared with businesses. If a company cannot protect its systems, clients may lose confidence and take their business elsewhere.
Insufficient security measures also make a business more susceptible to ransomware attacks, where hackers seize systems or data and demand payment for its return. In 2021, the average ransomware payment was $570,000.
Team Burkhart provides innovative business internet security solutions for businesses across the Midwest and beyond. From endpoint protection to password management and MFA solutions, we implement changes that secure systems.
Now that you understand the importance of data security and the impact an unauthorized user gaining access to your information can have, let’s explore strategies to help secure your business.
All businesses should have basic protections in place for their website. This includes:
- Using HTTPS encryption
- Installing security plugins like firewalls
- Regularly updating all software and plugins
- Enabling two-factor authentication
- Limiting admin access
- Avoiding weak passwords
Working with a reputable web host that offers robust security features and assistance managing vulnerability is also wise.
Human error is one of the leading causes of security breaches. To secure your business, employees must be properly trained on cybersecurity best practices, including:
- Using strong, unique passwords
- Recognizing phishing attempts
- Securing devices when working remotely
- Avoiding unauthorized use of admin credentials
- Reporting suspicious activity
Policies should establish protocols for maintaining data privacy and outline consequences for violations.
Outdated programs and applications frequently have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to infiltrate systems. It is critical that businesses:
- Install software updates and patches as soon as available
- Upgrade to newer versions of programs regularly
- Replace end-of-life software that is no longer supported
Automating updates where possible is recommended to ensure timeliness.
Securing your business data and operations requires proactive, ongoing measures. However, the threats posed by lax security are far more costly than implementing comprehensive policies, training, and solutions. Wise businesses make cybersecurity a top priority.
Protecting your company’s sensitive data is a top priority as a business owner. With cyber threats constantly evolving, it’s important to go beyond basic security practices and implement more advanced measures. This can help safeguard your business assets and maintain customer trust.
Firewalls and antivirus software provide a critical first line of defense against cyber attacks. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and block unauthorized access. Antivirus software scans for and removes malware like viruses, spyware, and ransomware.
For small businesses, consumer-grade solutions may be sufficient initially. However, as your company grows, you may need enterprise-level products with advanced capabilities to secure your business. Work with an IT provider to determine the correct firewall and antivirus solutions based on your infrastructure, industry regulations, and specific risks.
Properly implemented firewalls and antivirus offer many advantages:
- Prevent unauthorized network access
- Detect and block known malware and viruses
- Provide intrusion prevention and detection
- Filter out malicious website traffic
- Offer customizable security policies
- Generate security alerts and notifications
Beyond firewalls and antivirus, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong passwords further secure your data. MFA requires users to present two or more credentials – like a password plus a code sent to their phone – to log in. Strong, unique passwords prevent easy guessing and reuse across accounts.
Implementing multi-factor authentication provides significant advantages:
- Prevents unauthorized account access if a password is compromised
- Blocks automated hacking attempts that use stolen credentials
- Increases security without major workflow disruptions
- Meets regulatory compliance requirements for data protection
Adopting a company-wide password manager provides many benefits:
- Employees don’t need to remember passwords
- Passwords can be longer and more complex
- Unique passwords are used for each account
- Automated password changes on schedule
- Centralized administration and updates
By implementing advanced security solutions like firewalls, antivirus, MFA, and password managers, businesses can significantly enhance the protection of sensitive data and assets from compromise. While cyber threats evolve, a layered security approach positions companies to better defend their systems and information.
Team Burkhart has a wealth of experience providing business internet security solutions for organizations of all sizes. Our multi-factor authentication and password management expertise ensures your company’s sensitive data is protected. Contact us today to start a discussion about securing your business and employees with our customized security packages.