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4 Tips to Prevent Cyber Attacks

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, so it’s a good time to plan and evaluate the level of protection on your network, Cyber Security Lockand hardware connected to the network like smartphones and mobile computing devices, to protect your data from possible threats.

The number of attacks is alarming and affecting massive numbers of consumers and businesses alike. The use of malware is growing rapidly year after year. And it seems as we work harder to detect and prevent attacks, the malware programs get more and more sophisticated.

What you can do to prevent the threat of cyber attacks
There are several steps you can take to prevent the threat of a cyber attack, including ransomeware, before it strikes:

Tip #1: Utilize Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (TFA) gives you a second level of protection on logins. It provides added security since it’s an additional step to take during the login process, adding a bit more complexity for cyber criminals. Large businesses have reduced their risk of threats and lost data, and small and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to follow suit since they are certainly not exempt from cyber attacks.  Incorporating TFA will work to protect online assets.

Tip #2: Be Vigilant with Your Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

In addition to computers and smartphones, there are other internet-connected devices used every day in homes and offices that can easily be compromised by cyber criminals. Such things as security alarms, web cams, smart TVs, and printers can be used as a stepping stone to make their way into the home or office to do increasing amounts of damage to networks and routers, the phone system and hard drives.  From there, these attackers can capture other confidential information such as credit card numbers, bank account logins and even conduct digital eavesdropping. The key to protecting yourself and your business is to understand how your IoT devices work, incorporate stronger passwords, divide devices up into different networks and only purchase from companies you know and trust.

Tip #3: Defense in Depth

Defense in Depth (DiD) is a cybersecurity strategy that incorporates a multi-level approach to protect valuable data. When one level is compromised, another level kicks in. This strategy increases the security of your network and devices connected to it. An organization cannot be adequately protected by a single layer of security.  But when you combine forces and “layer” on the protection (using firewalls, malware scanners and other detection systems), you can more carefully address your security needs.

Tip #4: Keep Technology Up-to-Date

It’s important to be vigilant when it comes to the company network and connected devices. Keeping operating systems and software up-to-date with the latest versions is a good first step. Older technology that is no longer supported can leave your company and users vulnerable to cyber attacks.  Backing up data to the cloud in addition to the in-house server is another layer of protection should your company become victim to an attack.  Restricting access to certain networks and data will reduce the amount of traffic coming and going on your network; training users about the importance of knowing what a cyber attack (like ransomware) may look like and how to deal with a situation is another important way to keep everyone on alert.

Don’t wait. Act now!
Because these attacks can happen very quickly and do a major amount of damage, it is important for small and medium-sized businesses to be more active than reactive, since it’s far more likely you will not be able to reverse the damage once the attack takes place.

For advice and recommendations to more effectively protect your business, consult your trusted network communications provider.