Cybersecurity can be a difficult and complex matter, but it doesn’t have to be a serious hassle. With a comprehensive set of policies overseen by qualified people, you can make cybersecurity a routine part of your business operations. To help you get started on that goal, here are a few tech tips to improve cybersecurity at your startup business.
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1. Implement A Password Policy
Like most other criminals, hackers look for the easiest possible targets. Thus, they will seek out people who haven’t taken proper precautions against common hacking tools. One of these tools is commonly called a “dictionary attack.” This kind of attack is carried out using specialized software that can learn from failed password guesses. Thus, it will repeatedly try random words and combinations, learning a little bit from each unsuccessful attempt. Eventually, the whole password can be revealed. Here’s the thing, though: This technique only works for short and/or simple passwords. That is why you must make sure that your employees are using strong passwords to access your main business network. A strong password:
- Contains 17-20 characters
- Does not contain common dictionary words in any language
- Includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
2. Limit Connectivity To The Main Network
By configuring the firewall on your main router, you can limit the number of people that are authorized to connect to the network. You see, every internet-capable device has a MAC address, and this is used to identify the hardware. So, you just get the MAC addresses of all authorized devices and put them on an “allowed” list. Then, you configure the settings so that all other incoming connections will be blocked.
3. Utilize Penetration Testing
You never really know how secure your system might be until someone tries to break that security. Unfortunately, that may be too late. Thankfully, there is a way that you can set up this scenario in a controlled fashion. By employing expert penetration testers to probe your system for weaknesses, you can find those flaws before a criminal does. This is the single best way to detect vulnerabilities and close them. There are excellent cybersecurity services that are available to help you identify any weaknesses and reduce the likelihood of a cyber threat for your business.
4. A Little Education Goes A Long Way
It is best to stop a cyber-attack as early as possible, but how can that be done? To answer that question, we have to ask ourselves: What is the first step used by these sorts of criminals? In most cases, a hacking attempt will begin with a social engineering attempt. Social engineering has proven to be the most likely way of circumventing a target’s defenses.
Basically, it works like this: Instead of trying to defeat the technological safeguards that are in place (encryption, firewalls, monitoring, etc.), they simply try to compromise a legitimate user. There are many ways in which they can trick people into giving up their login credentials, and there are many variations on this simple kind of scam. Educating people about social engineering attacks is the best way to prevent them, as most of them are not that hard to recognize.
5. Third-Party Network Monitoring
If your small business can afford to do so, it might be wise to enlist the services of a third-party IT company. Specifically, one that specializes in cybersecurity types of services like network monitoring. These services allow your network to be monitored 24/7 by people who know how to recognize the early signs of a breach. No matter what method the hacker might use, there will be some signs of their activities in the network traffic. The sooner that suspicious activity is recognized, the sooner it can be shut down.
There are all sorts of ways in which you can improve cybersecurity, but all of the above methods are easy and relatively cheap. By implementing these solutions, you can make your small business much more resistant to cyber-attacks of many kinds. A little bit of caution and preparation can go a long way, so don’t neglect to act on all this good advice. If you do, the price of that negligence could be very high indeed.