Best Cyber Safety Practices
As you navigate the brand-new realm of running a startup, you probably have a lot on your mind — training new hires, building a client base, organizing your workplace, etc. We don't mean to stack more onto your already full plate of to-dos, but cybersecurity protocols are another critical consideration for your office.
Cybersecurity helps protect your business' sensitive resources — including personally identifiable information, financial data, health information, client data and more — from the bad apples of the web. Nobody wants to deal with the hassle of a data breach. So what can you do to prevent it?
7 Cyber Safety Tips for the Workplace
You can do a lot to safeguard company data from cyberattackers. The best part is that most of these measures are crazy simple. Practice good cybersecurity in an office with the seven tips below!
1. Stay Far, Far Away From Shadow IT
Shadow IT is as sketchy as it sounds. Also called “fake IT” or “stealth IT,” shadow IT is any software or solution used for work without IT department knowledge or approval. Since your IT specialists haven't secured these, you can imagine shadow IT poses a hefty cybersecurity risk.
Here are some examples of shadow IT.
- Bringing and using your devices for work without approval: Unless your workplace has a formal BYOD policy, leave those personal laptops and tablets at home.
- Transferring corporate data to a personal USB device or cloud storage account: Taking secure information outside your company is a big no-no!
- Using unofficial communication platforms for work: Unless your team relies on WhatsApp, Discord or Slack to stay in touch, steer clear of these apps.
- Using unapproved SaaS: Signing up for third-party software-as-a-service applications without IT department approval is risky.
2. Report Phishing Emails
Have you ever gotten an email that seemed fake but still left you second-guessing? You've been a target of a devious tactic called phishing.
Phishing uses fake emails, texts or social media messages to prompt you to click a link, make a payment, fill out a form — basically, any action that benefits the attacker. And it's more common than you might think. Since March 2020, 81% of organizations worldwide have seen an increase in email phishing attacks.
Cybercriminals use phishing to steal business funds, compromise accounts and breach confidential data. If you're ever suspicious about a message and don't know whether it's legit, play it safe and forward it to your IT department.
Your team should receive training that teaches them how to identify and report phishing attempts. You can even develop in-house phishing simulations to see how well employees respond. Channel your inner hacker and get creative!
3. Password Protection Is Your Friend
Regularly updating your passwords is another handy office cybersecurity tip. We know — remembering all those strings of letters, numbers and special characters can be a headache. If you don't currently use a password manager, it's a lifesaver, trust us!
Keeper Security helps protect users against cyberattacks by generating strong, secure passwords for different websites. Keeper BreachWatch monitors the dark web and notifies you when hackers are using your credentials from a public data breach. LastPass is another valuable tool for storing, securing and autofilling your passwords.
Using tough-to-guess passwords for every platform can help keep those cyberattackers at arm's length. As a rule of thumb, your password should have at least eight characters combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Multifactor authentication tacks on another security layer by sending a temporary code to your smartphone.
Also, try not to use the same password for every account. Your cat's name followed by the same string of numbers might be your go-to password for every site, but remember to mix it up a little!
4. Use a VPN
One of the best cybersecurity practices for employees is to never use Wi-Fi without a virtual private network. A VPN encrypts traffic and protects your internet connection and online privacy. Using a public Wi-Fi network can expose your business' accounts, potentially leaving sensitive data up for grabs to malicious users.
If you call the shots in the workplace, consider requiring your team to VPN into a secure network. That way, any employees who travel or work remotely can rely on VPN security at the base of operations.
5. Educate Your Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices
Training is a critical part of office cybersecurity. Employees should know how to respond when a threat arises. Your cybersecurity training should teach staff how to:
- Recognize and report suspicious emails
- Connect to the Wi-Fi using a VPN
- Create, protect and organize passwords
- Back up important files
- Respond to a data breach or other cybersecurity threat
Remember, training isn't a one-and-done event (as much as we'd all like it to be). Provide annual or semiannual courses to refresh your team about cybersecurity protocols.
Your office's incident response plan should outline where to find data backups, entities to contact, when to reach out to authorities and when to inform the public about the breach, among other details. Consider hiring a company with cybersecurity experience to help you create a watertight incident response plan.
6. When in Doubt, Back It Up
Cyberattackers are often on the hunt for data. That's why securing and backing up files is crucial in case of a malware attack or data breach. You can store these files offline, on an external hard drive or in the cloud.
Be sure to back up any essential or confidential files like personal directories, client databases and financial documents. If you're wondering whether it's worth the extra layer of protection, remember — when in doubt, back it up!
7. Install Virus and Malware Protection
A firewall can help protect your company's network from malware by preventing unauthorized users from accessing websites, mail services and other sources.
One more thing! Be sure to install antivirus software if the firewall doesn't include it already. Antivirus software scans your computer for any malware that penetrates your firewall, then removes it. Antivirus companies consistently update their solutions to respond to emerging threats.
Incorporate Safe Cybersecurity Practices With Eden Data
If you're ready to partner with a skilled team of geeks to provide top-notch office cybersecurity services, look no further than Eden Data. Our monthly, fixed-cost subscriptions can provide the cybersecurity measures your startup needs, from data safeguarding to cybersecurity audit preparedness.
Skip those through-the-roof hourly rates and work with Eden Data to protect sensitive information, maintain security compliance and build customer trust. To learn more about what we can do for you, mosey on over to our contact form or schedule a call with us today!