The Complete Guide on How to Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack
Learn everything you need to know about how to keep your business safe and protected from a potential cyber attack with this must-read guide!
Did you know that one of the biggest threats to your business isn’t a big-box competitor, a loss of clients and revenue, or even a weak digital marketing and content strategy?
Instead, the threat that so many companies only start to understand once it’s too late is the threat of a cyber attack or hacker. In fact, nearly 60% of small businesses that suffer from cyber attacks will be out of business within six months after the attack.
We know that you don’t want your company to meet this kind of a fate.
Are you ready to learn how to prevent cyber attacks, and protect not only your data, but your company’s reputation, in the process?
If so, then you need to read on. In this post, you’ll learn how to create a solid cybersecurity strategy for your business.
1. Identify Your Weak Points
The first thing that you need to do if you want to be able to master adequate cyber attack prevention?
You and your team — and likely an IT and cyber security professional — need to know your weak points.
This means taking stock of not only how much data you have, but the types of data you store and where you actually store it. For example, do you have a hosting platform, a managed server or a shared server, and where is that server located?
What about company phones, laptops, and Google documents? Is it possible for team members to take your data out of the office — where it will often be more vulnerable?
How much of your data is password-protected, and what is your current password policy? How are you training your employees on your security policies, and what sort of tests do you have in place to check that security rules are being followed?
Are you aware that sometimes, the biggest threat to your cybersecurity and data is actually your own employees?
It’s likely that by now, you’ve understood just how vulnerable you truly are to a cyber attack, and how easy it is for hackers to poke holes in your current strategy.
Now, it’s time to take action.
2. Encrypt Your Data
One of the most basic steps that you need to take when learning how to prevent cyber attacks from devastating your company or violating the privacy of your clients?
You need to encrypt your data.
Don’t worry — the process is actually much more straightforward than you might initially think. Essentially, encrypting your data means that, even if a hacker does somehow manage to get into your system and view your data, it will look like a string of random letters, numbers, and characters.
There’s no way that they’ll be able to read it or to decipher it.
A final word of caution on encryption. Make sure that you also program your computers to automatically log a user out after about ten to fifteen minutes of inactivity.
This is because often, encryption only starts working when someone isn’t logged in. So, even if a member of your team steps away for only a few moments?
Your data will be vulnerable.
When in doubt, log out.
3. Run Frequent Data Backups
We know that many people associate the importance of backing up data with the “black screen of death.”
If you suddenly lose power, if your computer system fails or shuts down suddenly, or simply stops working, you want to know that you won’t have lost all of your hard work.
But it’s also essential to back up your data as often as you can to prepare for a potential cyber attack.
Unfortunately, many hackers will actually hold your data and websites “hostage” until you pay them the fee they want to get it back.
But if you have all of your data backed up?
They have nothing to negotiate with. You can also completely wipe your website and data storage, only to install a backup copy a few moments later.
But backing up your data once a week isn’t nearly enough.
Instead, look for IT security solutions that allow you to back up your data about once every hour, or even once every few minutes.
4. Never Use Public Wi-Fi Networks
Earlier in this post, we brought up the fact that your own employees can sometimes be the biggest threat to your company’s cybersecurity strategy.
While in some cases, your employees are intentionally stealing your data?
In most cases, the fact that they’re exposing your data to hackers is entirely accidental. One of the biggest culprits that even you might be guilty of doing? Accessing your work files remotely, from a public, unsecured Wi-Fi network.
Sure, we all appreciate the convenience of free Wi-Fi.
But it’s also incredibly easy for a hacker to get onto that same network and, with a few simple strokes of the key, steal your passwords, data, and documents.
Make sure that you instruct all of your employees to avoid using a public Wi-Fi network when they’re working out of the office. Additionally, frequently switch up your office’s network password to keep hackers guessing.
5. Install Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Protection
Preventing a cyber attack is next to impossible without one of the most basic cybersecurity tools: antimalware and antivirus software.
This will help you to avoid a wide range of attacks, and even to identify potential threats earlier than ever.
The right software will work to guard you against spyware, Trojans, standard viruses, ransomware, and much more. It will also help you to avoid spoofing and phishing emails (more on that later on in this post.)
Because installing and updating this kind of software can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, we strongly recommend that you get in touch with an IT and security professional to help you.
Cyber security is simply too important to risk it by going the DIY route.
6. Run Frequent Updates
We get it — no one likes having to lose a few minutes of their workday or face having to reboot their computers.
However, software updates don’t just exist to make your life easier and your computer more efficient.
Many people have little to no idea that these updates also install new security features, update your current security and anti-virus software and tools, and help to guard you against new forms of cyber attacks.
Now, hopefully, you have a better understanding of why running those updates is so essential for your business.
7. Avoid Opening Personal Email at Work
One of the biggest cyber threats that most companies don’t pay any attention to until it’s too late?
Your personal email.
Remember that “spoofing,” or a hacker imitating a reputable email address in your contact list or that of a larger corporation, is incredibly common.
Often, you or your team members will think nothing of opening up a personal email at your desk — especially if it’s from someone you know.
Still, a hacker could easily embed links to dangerous websites in the content of their emails. And once you click on those links? Your data is entirely vulnerable, and often, a virus gets installed on your computer.
That virus can quickly replicate itself, and then spread throughout your entire network.
To see if a link is a potential threat or not, instead of clicking on it, simply hover over it with your mouse. If it takes you to a different site than you thought or an unfamiliar address, make sure that you don’t click on it.
Of course, the best way to avoid all of this is by avoiding opening your personal email accounts while at the office.
Looking for Professional Help in Guarding against a Cyber Attack?
We hope that this post has taught you a few of the most important steps that you need to take in order to prevent your company from falling victim to a cyber attack.
Remember to install and update security software, continually train your employees on your security policy, and to avoid public Wi-Fi networks.
If you’ve recently been the victim of cyber attacks, or if you just need professional help in getting the level of protection that you need? We can help you.
Spend some time on our website to learn more about the many different cyber security and IT services that we have to offer.
When you’re ready to make your network a much safer space, get in touch with us to get started.
18 Life Changing Apps That You Absolutely Need to Know About
You’re already on your phone throughout the day, so why not check out these life changing apps? They’re sure to make your screen-time worthwhile!
Our smartphones are capable of making our lives so much easier. Our smartphones are capable of so much. They are a million times more powerful than the computers used in the first space mission!
There are over 22 million apps in the Apple App Store alone, so the demand for great apps isn’t going away any time soon. Many of us spend a lot of time on social media apps and mobile games, there’s a lot of very useful apps out there too.
There are a lot of life changing apps that you may never have heard of before. Read on for 18 of the best.
18 Life Changing Apps You Should Download Today
Apps can help you get your life together and make things a lot easier. If you’re trying to get into shape, there’s an app for that. If you need to book last-minute flights, there’s an app for that too.
We’ve all had moments where we don’t want to go to the store, or we’re in a time crunch and can’t make it there.
Postmates is an app which solves this problem for you. It’s like Uber Eats except it’s not only food you can order. You can order anything you want from any store and your postmate will pick it up for you and bring it right to your door!
You’ll spend more time doing important things and less time worrying about groceries.
We are living such non-stop busy lives now that it can be easy to get stressed and anxious on a daily basis.
Headspace is an app which lets you slow down for 10 minutes each day and meditate. The beauty of it is that you can do it anywhere–on the bus, at your desk, it doesn’t matter where you are.
The app is super effective in reducing stress and anxiety. It also helps improve your creativity and focus through casual daily meditation.
Booking flights can be a nightmare and can cost you a hefty amount if you book too late.
Hopper is an app which makes it so much easier. It shows the best times to book your flights, shows you the lowest prices from a huge range of popular airlines. Not to mention the interface looks great too!
Keeping your eye on a trip in the future and want to get the best price for it? You can set alerts so the app will notify you of when the prices have dropped.
Ever wished you’d taken that photography course or learned how to code? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in your busy schedule to fit in a class?
Skillshare is an app which lets you take pretty much any course you want at your own convenience. Everything from video editing to t-shirt design is available to learn here.
There are classes, lectures and informative courses which help you develop new skills. It costs a monthly fee but it’s cheaper than many local classes and gives you all the skills you need.
Recently moved somewhere new or been a lifelong resident? No matter what, it can be frustrating to get around the city sometimes.
Citymapper is an app which helps you get around the city with as little stress as possible. It’s super easy to use, all you need to do is type in the destination and click the ‘get me there’ button. It’ll tell you the easiest and fastest ways to get to your destination.
Sometimes Google Maps isn’t the most reliable, and this app remains accurate each time.
Sometimes you need to get to the airport in a pinch or you don’t have the time to figure out public transport. That’s where Uber comes in.
We’ve all heard of Uber by now, but in case you haven’t, it’s an app which calls a cab for you. You can see your driver on the map and know exactly when they’ll arrive.
All payments process through the app via Paypal and it’s super easy to use. It’s a great side-job and its the ultimate convenience app making it one of the most useful apps in recent memory.
Money is a funny thing. Sometimes we don’t know where it all goes by the end of the month. Let’s face it, we could all be a little more money savvy
Yolt is a great app which helps you get your finances together. It’s a secure app which helps calculate your spendings from your debit and credit cards. It will then show you which areas you could save money.
It also has a super useful “payday countdown” feature. This takes all your average monthly spending habits into account. It then shows the realistic amount you’ll have before payday so you can be more budget conscious each month.
8. Habit Tracker
The great thing about September is that it often feels like a month for a clean start. Any bad habits you’ve slipped back into after New Years have been bugging you for a while and you want to get out of them.
Habit tracker helps you set realistic and achievable goals to break bad habits. Want to drink more water? Want to go running more? Set it on Habit Tracker and it’ll remind you to do it!
It also tracks your progress. This means you can have a visual of how well you’ve done at breaking bad habits and forming good ones.
9. Pocket Casts
Podcasts are an amazing way to not only kill time but learn new things. Everything from tech to comedy to spirituality has it’s place in the podcast world. There’s something for everyone.
There are a lot of different podcast apps available. Your smartphone may even have a podcast app pre-installed!
But Pocket Casts is one of the best podcast apps out there. It has a very extensive library of some of the most popular podcasts out there as well as more niche ones.
It also has a great, user-friendly interface which is a delight to use.
Getting fit and healthy isn’t something you can become overnight. It takes hard work and motivation to keep on track and not get discouraged.
Myfitnesspal is one of the best apps for getting in shape and eating healthy over a long period.
It helps you stay on track to reaching your daily calorie goals. It can also keep you motivated with a fitness routine.
Add a nutrition goal and it makes it easy to log your food intake and journal your progression.
We’ve all been there, slaving over a dish in the kitchen trying to make a delicious meal. Then you realize you’ve forgotten a key ingredient!
Worry no more, Substitutions helps solve this problem. It helps you find a substitution to that ingredient which you can add to the recipe and make the dish as tasty!
It’s perfect for vegetarians or vegans as it shows meat, dairy, and gluten-free options too!
12. Watch Over Me
It’s sad to say it but we do live in a scary world. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel completely safe to go out, especially when we are out alone.
Watch Over Me is a personal safety app which helps keep you safe and gives you peace of mind. To use it, you set an alarm for how long you’ll be out for.
Say you’re going for an hour long run. Tell the app you’ll be out for an hour, and when you’ve gotten back home, click the “I’m Safe” button to let it know you’re okay.
If the alarm runs out and you haven’t clicked the button, it’ll notify your emergency contact. It will tell them you haven’t checked in and provide them with your GPS location.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. We hope you’ll never need to use this feature of the app, but it can make going out alone a lot less scary.
We’re all a little bit guilty of spending too much time on our cell phones. Whether it’s scrolling through social media or stuck in a group chat loop, it’s not good for us.
Moment is an app which helps you limit your phone usage and get back into the real world. You can use it to set a daily limit to the time you spend on apps and it will tell you when you’ve gone over the limit.
If you have kids who spend too much time on their phones, you can sync the apps with their phones too. It can help them to put their phones down every once in a while!
Freelance life sounds like the dream. No boss to answer to, picking your own work hours, working from home. It’s a dream for many people to become their own boss and work at something they love doing.
But it can be very hard to break into the freelancing world without any experience or portfolio. Upwork is an app which helps you get paid work and start building a portfolio. You can use it for a huge range of different niches.
Want to be a copywriter? It can help you build clients. Want to get into website design? It can help you get your portfolio started.
It’s a great app for side-gigs and who knows, it could help you turn it into your main gig!
We’ve all told ourselves we’ll start reading some of the books in the ‘to-read’ pile. But then we go and switch onto another episode on Netflix.
If you’re trying to get back into reading books, it can be tricky to find the right ones or track your progress.
Goodreads is a great app for this. It helps you find books from any genre and recommends some of the most popular to you. You can track your reading progress and set yourself a yearly reading goal to meet!
It has online book clubs you can join too. You can join an online community and discuss books with people from all round the world!
Trying to think of a birthday present that is more meaningful and memorable than a physical gift? Groupon will show you a range of experiences, vacations and more for the perfect gift.
Choose from a selection of experiences from beer tasting to 5 course meals and skydiving.
They’re all well priced and make for a great gift to yourself or others!
Mobile security is every bit as important as computer security. You wouldn’t want your computer to be struck down by a virus, it’s the same for your phone.
Avast is a great app which provides the basics for cleaning and protecting your phone. It will keep it free from viruses or malicious software. Security vulnerabilities can lead to a broken device, so it’s best to keep it clean and free of harmful stuff.
18. Google Photos
We’ve all had that familiar moment of frustration. You’ve taken a photo and your phone brings up that annoying message: ‘storage full’.
You don’t have to spend time deleting apps or photos from your device. The Google photos app gives you unlimited photo storage (for photos up to 16mb). It can also back up your camera roll each time you take a photo.
Use These Life Changing Apps to Get Your Life on Track
It may seem silly to say that these are life changing apps, but they really do make a difference. If you’re looking to get into shape or improve yourself, they can get you there.
Find this article helpful? Check out our blog for more tech-related advice!