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Businesses are increasingly vulnerable to escalating online threats by cybercriminals who seek to access, steal and potentially corrupt information vital to your business’s survival – such as client funds and data.

Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated each year. But the good news is that measures to fight these bad actors are also improving, providing that you take several proactive steps.

Practice rigorous cyber hygiene

Failing to protect your customers’ private information from cyberattacks can leave them, and you, vulnerable. However, these steps can prevent hackers from putting you and your customers at risk:

  • Designate a cyber officer: Appoint a knowledgeable person to handle cybersecurity. If you are a sole proprietor, consider hiring a consultant or third-party to oversee this vital function.
  • Install firewalls: Examine routers and modems and ensure that firewalls exist to prevent malicious intrusions. If not, request that your internet service provider install them for you.
  • Manage passwords: Implement policies and practices that prohibit password-sharing among employees and designate a password manager for critical systems that contain sensitive information, such as financial records.
  • Turn on automatic updates: Automate update settings on servers and other company computers, so the latest patches and other fixes for vulnerable hardware and software are installed as soon as possible.
  • Secure your Wi-Fi connection: Ensure that your wireless system uses encryption and install a guest network that doesn’t allow access to your internal files and systems if you permit others to use your Wi-Fi.
  • Embrace encryption: In addition to your wireless connection, utilize encryption for your entire network. That way, even if hackers get ahold of passwords, they won’t be able to access vital infrastructure.

The best defense is staying up to date

If your company lacks a person with the expertise to prevent these new and evolving threats, consider turning to a professional partner who specializes in research and training for good cyber hygiene. This approach may require a new way of thinking about budget priorities to ensure you are devoting enough resources to keep you and your customers safe.