6 Ways To Protect Your Business Software | A recent report estimates that the average company that has experienced a cyber attack spends 512 hours and $200 million recovering. These types of attacks have been on the rise in the past few years, making protecting your business from attacks more important than ever. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of an attack succeeding or mitigate the amount of damage done.
- Utilize Internet Filters
Users often do not like filters that block them from accessing certain sites on the web. However, zero trust policies help prevent attacks from succeeding by not assuming that any user or site is trustworthy. Even trusted employees can be fooled by sophisticated sites that pretend to be something they are not. Additionally, some sites have security flaws that make them particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with malware that may get onto your system when employees interact with those sites. Blocking access to sites that your employees do not need to visit to accomplish their jobs helps avoid these sites as a potential source of malware infection.
- Keep Your Hardware and Software Updated
Hackers are always finding new ways to exploit security flaws in hardware and software. As a result, hardware manufacturers and software developers must release patches and updates to correct these vulnerabilities. If you don’t keep your software updated, you won’t receive these security fixes. Additionally, as hardware and software get older, vendors stop supporting them. When this happens, it is important to upgrade to a newer version or a different product that is still receiving security updates.
- Install Firewalls
Firewalls can be used as the first line of defense against attacks. Firewalls scan data packets for threatening attack vectors or malicious code and prevent packets identified as security threats from entering your network or gaining access to computers.
Firewalls come in both hardware and software varieties. Hardware options may be integrated with routers and designed to intercept traffic between a broadband router and user devices. Software firewalls are programs used to monitor network traffic. Firewalls are not capable of stopping every type of security threat but are useful when used in combination with other security measures.
- Monitor Your Email System
Email is another common point of entry for malware attacks, with one report estimating that more than 92% of all malware is delivered through this method. Protection against attacks through email is a multi-pronged process. First, it is a good idea to install email monitoring software that can automatically detect and block many threats. However, because some threats may elude the software, you also must train employees to recognize common email attacks, such as phishing scams.
- Educate Employees
There are many technological solutions that can help you defend yourself against cyber attacks. However, hackers are always coming up with new ways to get past technology. Educating your employees to recognize and avoid threats is a valuable security tool. Explain what the different types of malware attacks are and how to recognize them. Create security policies for employees and keep them up to date. Verify that employees are always following established best practices. Make sure employees know how to report any suspicious activity they encounter.
- Encrypt Important Files and Folders
Encryption doesn’t prevent attacks, but it can reduce the amount of damage that attackers can do when they breach your systems. Encryption uses mathematical calculations to scramble data into a series of characters that can not be read without a key. While encryption is not foolproof, it makes it more difficult for hackers to make use of any information they manage to steal because they can not read it unless they can also steal the key or break through the encryption.
Cyber attacks are becoming more common and more costly to recover from. Taking steps to protect your valuable data from unauthorized access can save your company money and prevent or reduce the consequences that come with a successful cyber attack.