Data breaches can occur any time. If you don’t have corporate data backup services, it can only take a Rochester snow storm to derail your IT service and wipe away your corporate information. What’s more, one inadvertent click or one accidental delete can cause havoc. And that’s a fact. A 2017 study by IBM found that Human Error is the #2 cause of data breaches; #3 is System Glitches. Not surprisingly, Malicious or Criminal Attacks are #1.
Your employees are smart, so how does human error play such a big role if you don’t have backup and recovery systems in place? Ransomware, malware, and spyware can infiltrate your computer when an employee clicks a bad link or visits a malicious website. Weak password security can lead to a hack. Even something as simple as a spilled coffee or a lost device can cause data loss.
The hard truth is that no single security practice or strategy can provide comprehensive protection from a data disaster. That’s why a multi-tiered approach to continuous data protection is necessary, with different IT solutions like proactive maintenance and monitoring, password management, cloud backup services, data encryption, automatic backup, and online common sense working together to weave a strong tapestry of security.
Top 6 Strategies
We have collected 6 of our top strategies for protecting your data and your digital identity. Some can be implemented immediately, and some are best deployed with strategic help from a trusted IT consultant. But all can work together to keep you a little safer today than you were yesterday.
1. A trusted IT consultant should handle software updates and security patches automatically and regularly
Heard of the WannaCry ransomware attack, which compromised countless terabytes of unprotected data and cost small businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars? Did you know a potential fix for it was available before the ransomware was deployed? Weeks before the worldwide infection, Microsoft released a Windows patch meant to fix the vulnerability, but many users simply hadn’t installed the update yet (many more legacy operating systems that are unsupported by Microsoft were attacked, too).
2. Construct a protective barrier of anti-spam, anti-malware, anti-virus, and network security solutions around ALL your devices and ALL your data
No single layer of preventative measures alone can stop every cyberthreat. But the right suite of products working harmoniously together with the support of a trusted tech team can provide data loss prevention and construct enough roadblocks and barriers to keep data protected and systems free from infection.
In today’s digital work world, that’s more difficult than ever, especially with so many employees working remotely. If you allow computers or devices to connect to your company’s network from remote locations, those machines require the same level of management and protection as computers inside your office.
3. Be careful with suspicious emails, annoying pop-ups, and “too good to be true” ads or offers.
With a large majority of Americans connected online and on social media, everyone needs to know the basics of security awareness.
- If you receive strange-looking emails, examine the email address of the sender carefully to see if it’s coming from a legitimate domain name.
- If you see sloppy typos or grammatical errors in the body copy, mark it as spam or delete it immediately.
- Hover over web addresses without clicking on them to see whether they direct you to suspicious web pages (beware of long strings of unconnected letters and numbers instead of real web addresses).
- If an email has arrived from your financial institution, credit card issuer, or utilities provider, remember that they are instructed to never ask for sensitive information like passwords or Social Security numbers.
- If an annoying pop-up appears on your screen, don’t click any viral-looking headlines or flashy ads—just safely close the window by clicking the X in the corner.
4. Back up ALL of your data on a regular basis
Every time a new cyberattack occurs, victims realize they could have protected themselves beforehand with simple automatic backup solutions. That way, if a hacker did gain access to your computer or network, you could easily wipe machines clean and then restore them from a backup.
In the event of natural disasters and other business catastrophes, on-site backups aren’t sufficient either. For comprehensive protection, data should be backed up, encrypted, and stored by a trusted IT consultant who can ensure that your critical information is stored safely in different data centers and using cloud backup solutions to minimize any potential disruptions.
5. Use strong passwords, employ two-factor authentication, and consider an all-in-one password manager
Creating strong passwords and never using the same password across multiple sites is one of the most important things you can do for continuous data protection. But no matter how strong you and your employees think your passwords are, remember this: hacking software can test up to 10 billion password combinations in seconds.
6. Develop and implement employee security practices
You can’t just assume that your employees will know how to spot phishing or ransomware emails—or that they will never click on an illicit web link or download a malicious attachment. That’s why specific policies and strong security practices need to be in place—and why employees need regular and recurring training about the nature of today’s cyber threats. Yes, cautious online behavior can stop cyber attacks in their tracks.
CMIT Solutions is Rochester’s most trusted data loss prevention service
The wave of recent data breaches and cyberattacks in New York State have produced one silver lining: an enhanced interest in digital security coupled with increased awareness of the many cyber threats that face computer users in Rochester.
Get a free quote today by contacting CMIT Solutions.