It can be strange to think about, but your company’s information is probably more at risk of cyber attacks from criminals with laptops thousands of miles away than it is from someone breaking into your actual office. But that’s the reality of today. You’re better off securing your network than you are your front doors.
In case you don’t buy into that line of thinking just yet, we would encourage you to read a bit about the cyber attacks that occurred worldwide over the past week. In that time, the still-unknown hackers have infected hundreds of thousands of computers. Plus, approximately a billion dollars in extortion has been demanded.
The scale and destructiveness of this attack is out of the norm, of course, but it serves as an excellent example of what can go wrong in the worst-case scenario. Your business is not likely to be asked to pay a seven-figure ransom anytime soon. But even a much smaller security breach could do significant damage. And that is why it’s so important that you be prepared. Even if the chance of an attack on you is small, a chance still exists. We’ve put together a brief list of tactics to protect your network, which you should think of like insurance. Although these tactics might seem overly precautionary, if a threat does occur, you’ll be relieved to know that your business is protected.
Embrace network security as a core part of your business plan
We just talked about thinking of these tactics as insurance. And just like insurance, investing in your network is not something you spend money on just because you have money to burn. Nobody buys insurance because it sounds fun. They do it because it can bail them out if they get in trouble.
Similarly, in the age of ubiquitous technology, shielding your company from cyber-attacks is an idea that is only going to increase in importance in future years. Hackers will get better at breaking into your data. You, in turn, will need to embrace the fact that upgrading your security is going to be a regular investment in perpetuity. Network security is a serious issue, and to shield your company from attacks, you’ll need to treat it as such.
Don’t click on suspicious-looking links and/or email attachments
One of the most common techniques hackers use to get into your system is to send real-looking emails with malicious links or attachments. For example, they’ll send you an email exactly like one you’d get from Amazon. As soon as you hit that “track order” button in the email, however, they are in your system ready to steal your data. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution. Your spam mail folder will catch a lot of that kind of stuff, but hackers are sophisticated enough to get past those filters at times. Don’t be fooled, and rely on your instincts. If something looks even a little bit off, call your IT guy (or call us!) and have them look at it.
Backup your files. Regularly.
A common technique these cyber attackers use is to infiltrate your system, steal your data, and send you a ransom. They often threaten to destroy that data in the event you don’t pay what they want. What happens in that scenario if you can’t afford to pay that ransom? Well, you better have that data backed up. Because if you don’t, your entire livelihood is one click away from being wiped out. Again, it’s not something that’s likely to happen, but better safe than sorry, right?
Have a response plan in place. And practice it!
We’ve already used our insurance analogy, but here’s another. Remember those fire and tornado drills you used to do in school? A good cyber-attack response plan is just like that. Just like middle schoolers who do it multiple times a year, your employees might roll their eyes at going through the motions of acting out a response plan. But if a breach does occur, everyone will be on the same page. In that scenario, it’s bad enough that someone has access to your data. However, it’s far worse to be left scrambling than it is to have a plan you can rely on.
These are four of the most important steps you can take toward securing your network and data. But it is by no means an exhaustive list. As we mentioned, cyber security is constantly evolving. You will need to stay on top of the latest trends to ensure the continued safety of your business. Whether you want to take the first steps toward securing your network or want to install the latest upgrades, LammTech has the tools you need. Give us a call today to see what your best option(s) will be!