In the digital age, it’s imperative that you protect your business from cyberattacks. This is true regardless of your industry. Be aware, cyberattacks may not merely interfere with your business internal operations. Depending on the nature of an attack, it can also potentially harm your reputation among customers.
This isn’t mean to worry you! Instead, this general overview will provide you with tips you can apply to guard against cyberattacks early when starting a business.
Keep in mind, some of these tips may be easier to apply with help from an IT team. That doesn’t mean you need to create your own in-house IT department. If your business is very new, you might not have the budget to pay an IT team who may not have much work to do in the early months and years of growth. Instead, consider hiring an outside IT support team to handle this work.
Use Multiple Back-Up Methods
You may already know that backing up your data and documents is critical. If your business is the victim of a cyberattack, having your data backed up will help you more easily recover it.
However, backing up your data isn’t necessarily enough. You need to use multiple back-up methods. For example, you may back-up your data by saving it in the cloud, but you must remember that “the cloud” actually consists of physical servers.
Those servers can be damaged for various reasons. If they are, data backed up in them may be lost. Thus, along with backing up your data in the cloud, you might also want to save your data to portable devices.
Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication
Depending on the nature of your services and products, there’s a relatively good chance your employees need to sign in to various accounts when doing work for your business. If the wrong person were to access an account, they could potentially steal your intellectual property or otherwise cause problems you’d rather avoid.
To prevent this, use multi-factor authentication. This simply involves setting up multiple steps employees must complete in order to access their accounts.
For example, when an employee enters a password to access their account, they might then also receive a temporary code on a separate device which they’ll also need to enter before they can fully log-in.
Train Your Employees to Identify Phishing Scams
A phishing scam involves someone sending a message (often in the form of an email) pretending to be a trusted party, such as a bank or government agency. The message may have a sense of urgency, asking the target to click on a link. The link may bring them to a page where they will then be prompted to enter information a scammer can use to steal their identity, such as their social security number.
Again, phishing scams traditionally involve emails, but some scammers are now more sophisticated. For instance, a scammer might send an employee of yours a message via a messaging app your team uses, pretending to be another coworker.
Phishers often target individuals. However, some target businesses. Thus, an employee could accidentally provide a scammer with information they can use to access your data. Avoid this by training your employees to recognize the signs of phishing scams. Because scammers update their tactics, this may need to be an annual training session.
Just remember that none of this should scare you! You simply need to be aware that cyberattacks are a reality in the digital age. Luckily, you can apply these tips to prevent them.