Running a business is a rewarding venture. But as entrepreneurs get caught up in marketing their businesses and making sales, they forget one major aspect of running a business.
You need to know how to protect your business. Unfortunately, many small and mid-size businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
So what can you do to protect your business and prevent cyberattacks?
We’ve prepared this detailed guide to help you out.
How To Protect Your Business
The first step is in securing your network to ensure no hackers can access your company’s data through the internet. You also want to choose a great internet service provider that promises a secure connection. We also recommend finding a great VPN to install on all of your office computers.
Here’s what else you need to know:
1. Intellectual Property
If your company has any intellectual property it needs to be protected. For example, if you have any slogans, taglines, product names, etc., that you don’t want others to use you should get them trademarked.
If your company creates any form of media available to the public, you want to get it protected under copyright.
Make sure you research the different ways to protect your intellectual property. This is the backbone of your business. If it’s stolen or used by another company, it can hurt your company’s reputation and chances of making sales.
2. Storing Your Data On External Hard Drives
You need to make sure that your company’s data and files are stored securely. You need to have several sources where you can store your data.
The first step is to have a public drive stored on a server. All your company’s files will be stored on this public server. You should require your staff to backup all of their files each week onto the public server – in addition to their personal computers. This way, if their computers are compromised, the data will be stored on this public server as a backup.
You should also provide at least two external hard drives to each of your employees. One should be a large stationary hard drive that is left at their desk. You can purchase one that holds up to 6 terabytes of storage space.
You should also give them a USB drive that can store a few gigabytes of storage space. This should be designated for confidential data. This should be used for occasions when your employee needs to carry their data on the go.
Make sure the hard drives have the option for password-protection. Ask your employees to change their passwords at least once per month. You should also require them to backup their data on their stationary hard drive at least once a week.
3. Storing Your Data On Cloud Storage
You also need your company’s data stored on cloud storage. You should use at least two different cloud storage services.
For example, you can opt for Google Drive that comes with 15 gigabytes of storage space for free. You can use Dropbox or Box as secondary choices. As with your public server and external hard drives, make sure your employees backup their data regularly.
With your cloud storage service options, you have the ability to password-protect your files. You can also choose with whom to share your data. For example, you might ask your Marketing Director to upload the Marketing Strategy to a cloud storage server. Then, the Marketing Director can share it only with the other members of the marketing team.
As a side note, when choosing to transfer files, you should also consider services such as HighTail or WeTransfer that helps you securely transfer files within the company or if you wish to receive files from others outside of the company.
We’ve mentioned the importance of password protection for your data. It’s imperative that everything is password-protected, and that you choose complex passwords.
You also need to install a password manager on all of the computers. This is an application that will save your passwords and autofill them when needed. This is a convenient way to entering login credentials and having them saved. You will never have to write down a password. In fact, we strongly urge you not to!
Once you have installed the password manager, make sure that your staff changes all of their passwords at least once a month. It should also go without saying – the passwords need to be difficult. Many password managers will have the option of auto-generating a difficult password.
If you need to create a password manually, remind your staff that it should be as difficult as possible for others to remember or figure out. For example, the password should be long. If there is a minimum character count, you should always exceed it. If there is a maximum character count, you should always meet it.
The passwords should always have a combination of letters and numbers. If there is case-sensitivity, ensure that there is a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters. And of course, always have at least one special character in your password. Your password shouldn’t contain common words, phrases, or consecutive patterns that are easily recognizable.
5. Keep A Record
You should always keep a record of all the company’s data. We suggest using a spreadsheet to write down a list of all of the company’s files. The spreadsheet should also include which employee created the file. It should state where the data is (cloud storage, external hard drive, computer, etc.) and a timestamp of when it was last backed up.
You should also include a link to the URL of the file on the cloud storage. Assign the responsibility to all your employees to update this spreadsheet when they have created a new file or when they backup existing files.
You should also make several copies of this record. The spreadsheet file should be duplicated and stored on hard drives, cloud storage, and on the public drive.
Maintain Your Business
Now that. you know how to protect your business, you will do a better job of maintaining it. Take these precautions seriously and you’ll not have to worry about your business data.
Be sure to read more about running a business on our website!