In businesses big or small, protecting valuable data is paramount. Cardholder information, payroll account statements, confidential roadmaps are just some of the sensitive data that you should defend.

Hackers and data thieves get smarter after every successful theft. How do you keep your business’ online practices secure? Cover the basics of business cyber-security with these pointers.

Reduce Your Clutter

Having your sensitive files scattered across servers and devices is never a good sign. Clutter workspaces are confusing. Most small businesses have sought out secure cloud-hosting services so that their team can access, share, and sync, enterprise files through a secure cloud server.

Having this service for your business also allows the automated point-in-time restoration of data in case of disasters and accidental deletions. You can monitor devices and manage authorization to limit anyone’s cloud access.

Manage Your Passwords

On a business or a personal level, you access an array of business profiles, social media channels, and file servers daily. This means you’re either juggling way too many log-in credentials or using the same set for most, if not all. Either setup spells trouble for your security.

Use password managers to store all your business’s internal log-in credentials safely. You should also enable two-factor or even multi-factor authentication across all platforms. As always, change your passwords regularly. Not too often, though, as this might result in password fatigue. Changing it too frequently can cause you to use similar and thus easily estimated variations of the same theme.

Update Your Software

computers in the office

If you’re fond of closing your computer’s software update notifications, then you might be putting yourself at risk. As you continue using an unpatched version of the software, you let potential threats know about your software’s vulnerability.

Don’t postpone updating your software. Not only does this keep data thieves at bay, but you also allow your software to improve performance with security fixes and stability upgrades. If possible, enable auto-update on your computer so that you don’t miss subsequent updates.

Protect Your Access

Depending on the size of your team, you could be looking at potential security threats from several different and possible unattended devices. Protecting and limiting your team’s access ensures that there isn’t a hole in your business security.

If you can, buy network security appliances with secure VPNs, or install industry or business-grade firewalls. Also, make sure that everyone has the same stringent anti-virus and anti-malware program on their devices. You can set web filtering applications to limit which sites your team has access to.

Train Your Team

Regardless of how efficient it is, no security software can defend from unsafe usage. Thus, security from threats outside your business is best put up by people inside it.

Train your team on how to detect phishing websites and refrain from them. Make it a habit to clean up redundancies in your inboxes and to clear out your spam folders. As much as possible, avoid letting your team bring their own devices. If you don’t have in-house hardware, however, make sure they are well-oriented on the protocols of your security software.

If the dreaded data breach does happen despite your bests efforts, make sure to back up your data. Restore your files from a compressed and encrypted server, and start over with a more improved security system in place.