Cybersecurity is the protection of systems, programs and networks from unauthorized users or cybercriminals who aim to access, change or destroy information – usually for financial gain or notoriety.
Successful cyberattacks often result in the theft of sensitive electronic data, disruption of business services or both. Cybersecurity relies on people, processes and technology to work together to reduce the risk of a cyber breach.
A good security strategy not only includes proactive software and hardware protections but also establishes a set of best practices team members must follow, as well as a disaster recovery plan should your business endure a breach. This way, even if you become a victim of an attack, you can prevent additional financial loss from excessive downtime.
Nearly every month, another high-profile hack or cybersecurity threat makes national headlines, forever tarnishing its victims' reputations. And because these attacks occur so frequently, many businesses don’t even realize they’ve been breached until cybercriminals have compromised a significant amount of data and cost them millions in damages.
As a business leader, you know you need to care more about your organization’s cybersecurity, but it often feels outside your wheelhouse. And for a good reason – for decades, data protection fell squarely on the shoulders of IT professionals. Today, though, the issue has become so prevalent, it’s time for you to get your entire team up to speed. To help you get started, here’s a straightforward cybersecurity definition, plus several tips to help you boost your company’s safeguards.
1. Work with trusted IT experts: Managing all your IT strategy and mid- to small-business cybersecurity planning needs internally is a massive undertaking. Additionally, your IT pros likely are immersed in granular, day-to-day efforts and might not have the time and expertise to devote to managing your cybersecurity. Outside IT advisors, cloud experts, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and security advisors can provide a fresh perspective and often come with years of experience helping businesses like yours.
2. Provide firewall security for your Internet connection: A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure the operating system's firewall is enabled or install free firewall software available online. If employees work from home, ensure that their home system(s) are protected by a firewall.
3.Make backup copies of important business data and information: Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud.