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The Ultimate Checklist for Securing your Company Data in 2021
Do you want all your company records, client data, and intellectual property to be safe? Are you overwhelmed with everything it seemingly takes to secure your company data? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a single clear checklist? If yes, we got you covered. Bookmark this page for the ultimate checklist for securing your company data in the year 2021.
Remote workers remain the easiest target since the surge of telecommuting in March 2020; coincidentally, cloud breaches, ransomware and phishing are more prevalent today than they were even three years ago. Accenture report indicates that 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. With the average cost of a malware attack on a company being $2.6 million, there cannot be a better time to get very clear on the steps required to prevent and address cybercrime. Many steps like securing your networks, emails, workstations and installing a firewall can do the job if you aim to not become the next victim.
1. Up Your Firewall and Antivirus Game with EDR
One of the most obvious steps towards securing your company’s data is to install an antivirus and a firewall. A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to your network, protecting both your hardware and software from unsanctioned intrusions. An antivirus adds another layer of protection by removing malicious files from your system after detecting them. However, off-the-shelf firewalls and antiviruses are limited in their capabilities, primarily because they generally follow the same scenarios and lack predictive and adaptive features. Enter Endpoint Detection & Response, aka EDR. Not only does it forecast and adapt to evolving cyberthreats using AI, it also offers rollback to pre-infected state and real-time monitoring, making EDR the most advanced and reliable solution on the market. Read more about EDR and why it is worth it here and here.
2. Get Your Team a Virtual Office for Remote Work
If you aim to secure your company’s data, you may want to replace an assortment of remote collaboration tools with a virtual office. A virtual office acts as a protective layer to all your work-related digital activity just like a secured network would within your physical office. This means fewer (or none at all) hardware requirements to sweat over, more secure and reliable prevention and backups, and fewer human errors. Getting clued up on how your virtual office uses and storing your data is a wise option to protect your company data from cyber-attacks.
3. Make Your Cloud More Secure
More and more firms are choosing cloud computing for its superb flexibility and ease of access to data and work from anywhere. But similarly to any other data sharing and storing method, cloud computing comes with its own set of data privacy issues. This is why an added layer of security is needed, and an expert managed service provider will provide it for you by default. Encrypting your company data files in the cloud and on your computer is an important step in defence against data loss or breaches. Also, install robust anti-virus software and use two-factor authentication. Avoid sharing personal information.
4. Encrypt Your Network
Once you have encrypted your wireless authentication mechanisms, it prevents any unauthorized access to your network. One of the best encryption protocols available includes Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), WPA2, and WPA3. Some of the home Wi-Fi networks are encrypted by default while others require the encryption to be set up separately. It’s a good idea to advise your team to check and update their network settings if needed and to never use public Wi-Fi which is often not encrypted. Even a mobile hot stop is more secure.
5. Secure Your Emails
Since email is considered one of the most effective means of communication, it is, at the same time, one of the most sensitive areas vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, it is imperative to take precautions to secure your team’s emails against malware and impersonation attacks. The effective solutions include a modern firewall, alerts about the emails from external senders, spam filters, and ways to report questionable emails, in addition to strong password and general awareness about the signs of a potentially fraudulent email. Educate your company employees on how they can secure their emails and enforce all the protective measures. Read more about email security here and here.
6. Install Software Updates
Software makers regularly release critical updates aimed at addressing and preventing the newest cyberthreats. To avoid any cyber loss, you need your company’s operating systems, applications, software, and security suite, in other words everything, to be up-to-date. Microsoft, for instance, releases patches on the second Tuesday of each month. Set up a calendar to remind you about the updates. Just like any other security measure, getting your software programs updated is a crucial step to be taken while avoiding online security threats to your company.
7. Never Leave Your Devices Signed In & Unattended
Whether you are working at a physical office or from your couch or a coworking space, never leave your system logged in while it is unattended. Always sign out when leaving a device with your company data on it out of your sight. Configure your sistem to sign you out automatically after a few minutes of inactivity. A protective screen that makes it much harder to see anything on it by simply looking over your shoulder is another protective layer to your everyday work.
Software systems, especially those storing company data, are vulnerable. Give yourself peace of mind and minimize the risks of losses with firewalls, virtual office, data encryption, and best practices, and get a free consultation with a leading MSP with 25 years of IT experience if you need a guarantee your systems are protected at all times.