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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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5 Ways to Prevent Business Data from Being Hacked

 

Nearly 70% of businesses surveyed by the Ponemon Institute have experienced cyber breaches.  However, you can protect your digital assets from hackers by following a few simple cybersecurity best practices.

 

Data breaches that involve sensitive customer and employee information increased 4% compared to the previous year, according to Ponemon’s “2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium Size Businesses” report.

 

Network intrusions cost each affected company an average of $1.43 million, plus an additional productivity loss of $1.56 million. By learning the following five tips, you can prevent your business data from being hacked.

 

1. Upgrade Your Password Manager

Consumer grade password managers are the root of many successful data breaches. Business password management solutions, such as LastPass Enterprise, can help you keep your data safe for a nominal fee. The business cybersecurity solution comes with features designed especially for keeping your business passwords safe in a multiuser environment.

 

2. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Hackers succeed in compromising data even when businesses manage their passwords properly. As an example, malicious actors use social engineering to reconstruct passwords from business email addresses and employee social media accounts. Two-factor authentication is a second line of defense that prevents this workaround.

 

3. Make Sure Basic Precautions Are in Place

Many business owners fall prey to malicious actors just because they forget to secure their networks.  Always make sure that you use basic protections such as antivirus software and a firewall.

 

Furthermore, limit employees’ access to company accounts. They only need access to accounts that are necessary for completing their work.

 

Also, your staff members should never use a public Wi-Fi network, but sometimes it’s necessary. Compel employees to use a paid virtual private network (VPN) service when accessing public Wi-Fi.

 

4. Take Advantage of the Cloud

With data, as in life, things go wrong. To protect your data, you can backup files to recover from unforeseen events. If you back up your data on-site, however, you can still lose your information if a hacker compromises your network.

 

Use a cost-effective cloud solution as an off-site backup. A cloud-based backup service will protect your data from loss due to events such as cyber breaches and natural disasters. If you use a service such as Google’s G Suite application, cloud storage is included in your subscription. If not, an entry-level subscription is relatively inexpensive.

 

5. Train Staff Members in Cyber Safety

According to the Ponemon report, 54% of data breaches in 2018 were the result of employee and contractor negligence. Often, hackers compromise human targets using phishing attacks which involve tricking individuals into divulging sensitive company information.

 

To keep your company data safe, employees must understand and comply with cybersecurity practices. Cybersecurity training involves simple lessons, such as reminding organizational stakeholders to always safeguard company devices, change passwords regularly and never give out their passwords.

 

Small-to-medium-sized businesses are now subject to the same threats faced by large corporations. Among companies that report cyber breaches, executives express that the attacks were sophisticated and costly. Despite this, only 28% of SMEs surveyed by Ponemon believe that they take proper precautions against cyber threats.

 

Hackers are relentless. If you give them a chance, they will break into your network. Accordingly, SMEs must learn how to mimic large corporate enterprises in maintaining the safety of their business information.

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