Is Your Business Protected Against Hacking?

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15 July 2016
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Hacking and cyber security issues are of concern to many modern businesses. Even a small hack can leave a long trail of damages. Also, hacking can make customers distrust your business, and your sales will drop too. Therefore, regardless of the size of your business or the industry you are in, you should be worried about cyber security.

There are simply ways to test if your company is protected against hacking and similar attacks initiated from remote locations. Hackers don’t have to break into your office physically to conduct an attack. Instead, hackers will use the internet and similar networks to get access to your sensitive business data.

If you want to know if your business is protected, consider the following:

Does Your Company Have a Password Policy?

You must have all employee accounts password protected to prevent some amateur hacker from getting in. However, having just any password is not effective. Your business should have a policy where there are rules for setting up strong and secure passwords. For example, you should demand long, 8 characters or more, passwords. They should not be easy to guess for an outsider. Don’t allow employees to reuse old passwords, or use the same password across different accounts. Ideally, your company should have password management software for business.

Do You Have Antivirus Software Installed on All Computers?

All electronic devices at your office should have antivirus software installed and regularly updated. Automate security updates for these programs so that your employees don’t forget. Buy a professional-grade software pack instead of relying on free online versions. Antivirus software provides protection against malware and spyware. It will also prevent hackers from installing malicious software on devices without your knowing.

Do Your Employees Know What Phishing is?

Hackers often use phishing attacks to obtain passwords and usernames to gain access to private networks. They do so by sending spam emails asking for usernames and passwords. These emails often appear as if they have been sent by a trusted party. For example, an employee can receive an email from an address impersonating an ISP or a bank asking for such information. If a hacker gets access to even one account, then that account can be used to send similar emails to other contacts in the office. Then the security vulnerability will spread. Therefore, warn your employees against falling for such tactics. Tell them never to send their private information via email, even if they think they know the recipient.

Is Wi-Fi Encrypted at Your Workplace?

Most businesses think that having a private Wi-Fi connection is enough to prevent attacks. It’s not. It’s easy to hack into a Wi-Fi network that is not encrypted.  So, make sure your Wi-Fi is protected by a firewall and 256-bit data encryption. A hacker will never get access if data is encrypted in this manner.

Do You Allow Employees to Download Files from the Internet?

Employees are more likely to download files from the internet onto office computers than home computers. If something gets infected, it will be the office files. Obviously, this practice can lead to serious vulnerabilities in your network.  So, ban all such downloads, and use a cloud platform to transfer files.

If you answered yes to all the above questions except for the last one, your business or home network is mostly secure against hackers. However, always keep upgrading your system just to be safe.

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