Businesses are continuously under the threat of a cyber attack. The motives include financial gain and the destruction of customers’ trust. No business, regardless of its size, exists beyond notice of cyber criminals.

What can your business do to increase cyber security in 2017? The following are three major steps:

1) Take all possible precautions with devices you introduce to your network

We’re already experiencing the effect of the Internet of Things (IoT), networks of Internet-enabled devices that can interact with each other and other elements in their environment. Many of these devices, which range from security cameras to industrial sensors, are extremely vulnerable to hacking; their manufacturers often haven’t prioritized cyber security.

Take care with the degree of access to your network that you give these devices (hackers, for example, might use a digital security camera to try to gain access to a point of sale system). Shore up their security with firewalls and strong passwords. And make sure they’re masked from the public Internet.

2) Improve user authorization and identification policies

What kind of identification do employees need to provide to access sensitive data? How do you know that only authorized users are on your network? (Do you monitor for suspicious activities?)

If you receive an email that’s supposedly from a colleague, and it requests details on salaries, credit card numbers or other financial information, what steps do you take to verify that the email is legitimate? For example, you can effect a policy where no one sends financial data over unencrypted channels; another policy could require employees to receive permission from a supervisor before sharing certain sensitive documents. Keep in mind that phishing and other kinds of fraud and impersonation are ever-present threats. Teach your employees about them.

3) Remain vigilant round-the-clock

Cyber criminals can strike at any time, including at night, over weekends, and during holidays. Make sure you’re always protected. Be sure to emphasize preventative measures, such as 24/7 network monitoring to catch the first signs of any suspicious activities in your system.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for further advice and assistance with improving cyber security in 2017. You can adopt a number of protective measures that will significantly reduce the chances of a successful cyber attack and help your business succeed in a threatening environment.

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