The many small to mid-size business owners trying to keep things “normal” have a lot on their minds during the current coronavirus crisis. Reduced production, employee safety, import/export concerns, the potential need to lay off a portion of staff—all problems keeping heads of companies awake at night. This is not to add insult to injury, but the importance of maintaining cyber security vigilance is more important than ever.
The sad truth is that cyber criminals will take advantage of this watershed period in our history. With business decision-makers distracted by the many significant issues resulting from this worldwide health scare, they can add increased cyber security vulnerability to the long list.
There exist a number of best practices to help your business avoid falling victim to a cyber attack:
- Make sure your remote work capabilities are thoroughly reviewed. Resist the urge to “open up everything.”
- Use multifactor identification for an extra layer of protection; this simple and no-cost security enhancement is exactly what it sounds like—a required two credentials when logging into your business network.
- Make sure that all employees with access to the company network are trained on cyber security best practices and your security policy.
- Security policies should be reviewed and updated regularly—this is an imperative since cyber criminals are becoming craftier by the minute, particularly during a period of time when businesses are faced with nonstandard concerns.
- Discourage the use of personal computers to remotely access work systems if possible. It is difficult to know what kind of latent dangers to your company exist on the personal computer.
- Back up data regularly—this includes everything from word processing documents to spreadsheets, databases, financial files, HR records and accounts receivable/payable files. And don’t forget to back up data stored in the cloud.
- Mandate safe password practices; passwords are the weak link of cyber security with a majority of data breaches occurring due to lost, stolen or inadequate passwords. A mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols is the way to go…and it cannot be overstated that passwords should be changed every 60 to 90 days.
- Remind users of the danger of phishing and social engineering. With many more people working remotely, take the time to call and verify a suspicious email request or link before proceeding.
Comprehensive security measures are critical to the safety and protection of a business’ financial data, confidential information and productivity. In our current emergency climate, it is more important than ever.
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