Tech Info

A Guide To Cyber Security For Businesses

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Last time, we talked about business security as a whole, but this month, we’d like to focus on cyber security. Every business will likely have something they need to protect, whether that is employee information or client data. Our guide can help you get started on cyber security no matter the size of your business.

Start by thinking about your data safety

You should assess your cyber security (or lack thereof) first. This is because the safety of all the data you store must be taken into account by everyone you employ. Be sure to evaluate every step of your security, including who has access to what and which products you are using that might need upgrades. Here are some tips that can help you evaluate your cyber security practices.

Only keep what you need

Many times, businesses store every bit of information they think they may need. Even if company policy says to save EVERYTHING, this is no longer considered safe. If you don’t need something to conduct your business and serve your clients, don’t ask for it or keep it. Be sure to regularly go through your digital files, emails, networks, and paper files to make sure you aren’t putting yourself or your customers at unnecessary risk.

Place time limits on how long your store data

Not every business is required to follow laws and regulations on data storage, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. For example, if you sell a product, you should not keep your customer’s payment information longer than is necessary to process it. Once the transaction is complete, get rid of that information securely.

Control who has access to your information

This step isn’t just about keeping purchasing information or social security numbers safe, but everything that could be considered sensitive data. You will need to make sure that your employees access only what they need and that no one from the outside can get in. If you have networks, you will need the best cyber security to do this. If you only store a few files, you might need less. Here are some things to watch out for.

  • Third-party access to sensitive data
  • Open access to everything
  • Outdated virus protection
  • Weak network security
  • Unprotected terminals and equipment (computers, tablets, etc…)

Use strong authentication procedures

It is important to make sure that your authentication procedures are up-to-date and followed by all employees. The first place to start is by making sure everyone has secure and unique passwords. This includes ANY program or website that requires a password. Next, if you are storing passwords, make sure they are safe from hackers. Finally, protect yourself against hackers, viruses, and authentication bypasses caused by weak security.

Store data correctly and keep it safe during transmission

Most businesses have to store and transmit some data. No matter how much you keep and transmit, you need to make sure your network is secure. Every business will need different cyber security. For example, healthcare entities have stricter regulations than clothing boutiques. Here are some tips that can help you protect your data.

  • Ensure all of your data is secure throughout its lifecycle, including the destruction process.
  • Use programs, tools, and processes that are industry tested. If you aren’t sure what to do, speak with a trusted IT company in your area.
  • Make sure that you understand the basics of everything you are using for cyber security. It is recommended to work with a professional to help you learn the most about the industry.

Consider your network security

There are a few things you can do to make sure your network is secure. For example, consider segmenting it with firewalls, which will limit access between the internet and your computers. You should also monitor for attacks and to make sure your employees are only accessing areas they are allowed to.

Remote work has become more popular and even necessary over the past couple of years. Don’t forget about protecting your network when access is required outside of the office! Whether it’s your employees, clients, or third-party partners, you need to make sure their cyber security is up to par before allowing access to your network. The same goes for any service providers you work with. You should verify all security measures will be taken and get everything in writing.

Other ways to handle cybersecurity

Because every business is unique, there are so many options for cybersecurity. However, there are some things that every operation will need to do for optimal security.

Keep paper, physical data, and devices safe

When you think about cyber security, you likely don’t include devices or paper files. But, these should be considered when it comes to protecting your business.

  • For paper files and other media, make sure no one can grab anything with personal information. Don’t leave paperwork out or file cabinets unlocked.
  • Devices like cell phones, tablets, and even point-of-sale systems should all be secure. Don’t forget about them when updating your cyber security.
  • When transferring files, make sure to follow all safety precautions.
  • Dispose of data securely. Paper files can be shredded by a professional company and recycled, as well as hard drives and devices.

Keep all of your business security up-to-date

All security is something that must be maintained, including cyber security. Be sure to keep all of your third-party programs, applications, and plugins current on updates. Patches should always be done in a timely manner. If you see security warnings, do not ignore them.

Work with an experienced IT company

With over 250 years of combined experience and a comprehensive list of Services, Andrews & Associates is prepared to help your business succeed! Call us at (806) 242-1088 or Send us an Email to learn more about cyber security.