You've seen it. You've probably even experienced it. For what feels like forever now, just about everyone has been forced to modify priorities. As a business owner, you've probably been focused on shifting your business to accommodate this world crisis. You may even be investing more of your time in retaining customers and generating new cash flow. If you're like most people out there, you've barely even had time to think about cybersecurity and protecting your important data.
Maybe you've heard the saying "Never let a crisis go to waste." It's as if cybercriminals wrote it because that's exactly what they're thinking right now. In fact, they're probably working overtime right now to craft new malware while our lives have been turned upside down. Yes, as you're focused on your business, hackers are finding new ways into your IT network. Their objective is to steal data and passwords, compromise your clients' private information, and even demand large ransoms.
Did you know that cybercrime is expected to cost $6 trillion (that's a 6 followed by 12 zeroes!) by the year 2021? But, now is when hackers are expected to do their absolute most damage.
Here are three strategies you can use right now to help protect your business data, money, and productivity during these unusual times.
1) Guard Your Inbox.
People aren't paying as much attention as they usually do, which makes it the perfect time for cyberattackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware, worms, and viruses. Always carefully inspect every e-mail received and make sure you know the sender.
Here's another tip: avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it's abundantly clear where they go. Also, don't ever download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. While it takes a few extra seconds, double check by calling the person who sent you the attachment. Better safe than sorry. Make sure you communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.
2) Secure Your Company-Based Technologies.
During crises like this one, your passwords are a critical first line of defense. Don't wait for your company's finance data to be compromised. Make a point now to reevaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords. Too many employees are guilty of using the same password across multiple applications. Use a unique password for every single application.
Your team may tend to save your passwords in their web browser. Don't do this. A skilled hacker can bypass the PIN required to access your saved passwords. Once they have the password or PIN to access your web browser, they can steal as much as they want - credit card information, customers' private data and more!
We recommend our clients use a password manager. It's convenient, but more importantly, it's far more secure.
3) Secure Your Home-Based Technologies.
With the coronavirus pandemic, far more businesses are encouraging their employees to work from home. That means a lot of people are working from the living room or kitchen without giving a second thought to security. This negligence is an invitation to new cybercrimes.
Here are a few tips to ensure your work-from-home employees are keeping your network and data secure:
- Make sure your employees and contractors are not using their home computers or devices when they are working from home
- Add a firewall to ALL computers and devices that will be utilized at home
- Your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a VPN (virtual private network)
There's no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these times. We would be happy to help you create or even improve your work from home environment.
While this coronavirus scare has negatively affected countless businesses, we are proud to say we are open and continue servicing your customers. If you need additional security advice or would like to have a consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe or how we can help you work more effectively, simply connect with us today.