You walk into the office ready for a productive day and are confronted with the news of a data breach of your network. Now, instead of working sales leads and helping customers, everyone is doing damage control, worried about what data was stolen and what the consequences might be.
This scenario plays out too many times in offices across the country and can cause a business to take a major hit financially. Data breaches are especially costly for small and growing businesses and many never fully recover after a virus attack or data breach.
Our Cybersecurity Team at Technical Evolutions is often called out for an emergency cleanup to help a business recover in the aftermath of a network security breach. Clean up can mean removing viruses and malware, data recovery for lost or damaged files, and assisting with any data security notifications that are needed to customers.
One thing we stress to our clients is that beefing up their cybersecurity is the best and most cost-effective way to protect themselves.
So how do you do that? We’ve got our 10 surefire tips for increasing your company’s cybersecurity to prevent dangerous data breaches and the expensive recovery.
First, let’s take a quick look at the costs of data breaches to businesses, so you understand the risks fully.
How Much Do Data Breaches Cost Businesses?
The costs of a data breach are far reaching and include multiple areas of a company’s operations. Typical calculations that go into the total cost of a breach include:
- Lost productivity time
- Cost for virus or malware removal
- Emergency repairs or security measures
- Legal costs
- Regulatory fines
- Lost business & customer confidence
The average cost of a data breach is $148 per record (or 148,000 for 1,000 files). (Forbes)
US companies have the highest data breach costs and identification and recovery times may be longer than you think. On average, it takes companies 197 days to identify a data breach and 69 days to contain the breach.
But, if you work with the right IT team, like Technical Evolutions, you can not only recover faster, you can keep a breach from happening in the first place.
Keep Your Data Safe and Protected with these 10 Strategies
Good cybersecurity habits build strong breach defenses. Here are our top 10 ways to keep your network and data safe.
1. Implement Good Password Security
Many of us fall into the bad habits of using the same password for everything and using weak passwords because they’re easier to remember. It only takes one weak password (like “password123”) to let a hacker into your system.
How do you implement good password security?
- Use passwords with at least 7-10 characters
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols
- Use password managers to remember different passwords for each login
- Don’t write passwords on sticky notes attached to your devices
2. Have Anti-Virus & Malware Defenses Installed
Ensure your network and devices have adequate anti-virus & malware software protecting them, and make sure it’s updated regularly. And don’t forget mobile devices! Office workers are using them more than ever these days, so you want to be sure they’re also protected.
3. Keep Employees Educated about Cybersecurity
When’s the last time you talked with your staff about phishing emails? Knowing how to hover over a link to reveal the real URL before it’s clicked is just one important tip that can stop a breach from happening. Regular and ongoing cybersecurity training is an important part of any strong IT security plan.
4. Back Up Everything Daily
Cloud backups can ensure your data is easily recoverable in the event of a malware attack. They also have the benefit of being able to be accessed from and restored to any internet connected computer.
5. Protect Your Website with HTTPS
A breach of your website can mean a crash, taking down customer access and costing you sales opportunities. Using HTTPS (instead of just HTTP) on your entire website not only keeps it more protected, it also helps your Google rankings.
6. Have an IT Security Monitoring Plan
Working with a trusted IT company can ensure your network security is proactively monitored 24/7 so you know if someone is attempting a breach right away. Technical Evolutions offers an affordable, flat-rate monthly Maintenance/Virus Protection Plan and Elite Business Essentials Plan.
7. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Most business applications allow the option for two-factor authentication, which greatly increases login security by texting or messaging a code in real-time that has to be used along with the password.
8. Use a Mobile Device Management Application
60% of employees use mobile apps for work-related activities, so if you don’t have a plan to manage mobile access to your company’s data, a lost or stolen phone can have a major security impact. A mobile device management app can allow you to set access permissions and wipe company data remotely.
9. Put a Social Media Protocol in Place
Social media has become a powerful place both to market goods and services and to “over share.” As part of your cybersecurity training make sure staff knows what’s okay or not okay to share (i.e. photos of your product development area).
Also include awareness about social phishing scams which are becoming more prevalent and hold the same dangers as phishing emails.
10. Keep Operating Systems & Applications Updated
You may be surprised if you walked around your office how many computers have software that hasn’t been updated regularly. Updates might be annoying to install, but they often include vital security patches to keep your systems safe.
Need Some Help with a Strong IT Security Plan?
Our team of experts at Technical Evolutions is well versed in all types of business security and can help save you from a costly data breach by putting proactive measures in place.
Don’t wait for a breach to happen before calling! Give us a call today for a free security consultation, 708-540-6201.