Data Security for Small Business – 5 Ways to Protect Against Hackers

In 2013 Kaspersky reported detecting almost 3 billion malware attacks on computers. That’s a great reason why you need to ensure you know the five most important ways to protect your network from hackers.

Network security threats are increasing with new ransomware viruses and an expanding industry of criminals who easily make money by stealing your data or taking over your computer.

Here are the 5 most important ways to increase your data security for small business and keep out hackers:

1.System Software Updates and Patches

One of the biggest causes of security intrusions we see is networks where Microsoft and other software updates have not been done and hackers use publicly known vulnerabilities to gain access. There is a simple fix to this – ensure software updates and security patches are being monitored, managed and executed centrally.

2.Strong Corporate Grade Firewall

The edge of your network and first line of defence is your firewall. It’s always amazing to us how many businesses have cheap, consumer-grade devices protecting their networks and data.

Make sure you invest in a strong Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewall that will protect you against intrusions, viruses and other malware.

3.End User Training

Your biggest security vulnerability is your users. From weak passwords to dangerous computing habits, the best security policies in the world will not protect you from carelessness by members of your team. Make sure you train your staff about safe Web surfing habits, not to click on suspicious links and what a strong password is.

4.Windows XP

By now you should not have any computers left in your office that are using the Windows XP operating system. Microsoft is no longer supporting XP which means there will not be any future security patches when security holes are found. This leaves your network at risk and makes it critical you replace them as soon as possible.

5.Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

Your backup and disaster recovery plan could mean success or failure for your business in the case of a hacker attack. Strong backup systems allow quick remediation from virus or malware attacks or other intrusions. Recent experiences with the Cryptolocker viruse have proved that a strong backup system is the difference between protecting a network effectively and getting shut down and losing data.