Cyber security should be an ever-present concern for businesses of any size. Large organisations can afford to dedicate considerable resources to protecting their enterprise but smaller businesses often have to take a more cost-effective approach. Fortunately, there are several ways to substantially improve your cyber security. These five tips will allow you to minimize your susceptibility to digital threats through the application of simple and easy techniques.

  1. Authentication

For the protection of your most valuable data, use two-factor authentication to add an additional layer of security. Two-factor authentication means that the user has to pass an extra security check before they can access the content. This reduces the possibility of nefarious entities gaining access to your data even if they enter the correct password.

Many companies require users to enter a personalized code to access private information. The code is often sent via text or email to a previously verified address. The user enters their normal login details and then the code to complete the two-factor authentication.

  1. Passwords

Poor password practice is the number one cause of serious security breaches. Take your password management seriously. Inform every member of your staff to create a password that is unique to them by combining more than one word and intentionally misspelling it with numbers in place of some letters. Capitalize letters at random to further reduce the chance of the password being guessed.

Change your passwords at regular intervals. It is easy to become complacent and keep the same password for months at a time but doing so will leave you more vulnerable to cyber threats. If you’re concerned about not remembering your new passwords, there are several reputable password management applications available that will simplify the entire process.

  1. Back ups

Back up your data regularly. Cyber threats can manifest themselves via theft or corruption and you could lose valuable files if you don’t back up your data. All back ups should be made to a source that is completely detached, physically and digitally, from your primary data storage device. If you back up your files onto a device in the same system, it could be subject to the same damage or threats that you’re trying to protect it from.

Create a regular back up schedule and automate the process if necessary. Encrypt the information and ensure it is fully password protected at all times. Don’t back up your files to a third party you don’t trust implicitly.

  1. Update

The digital landscape is mercurial and unpredictable. The threats you face will change from one day to the next so it’s important to constantly update your protections. Check your anti-virus software regularly for updates and install any recommended changes as soon as possible. If there is an option to automatically update your anti-virus software, ensure it is turned on if you trust the developers.

Similarly, you should keep all of your other software updated. Most updates are instigated by the developers in response to newly discovered threats so it’s important to be aware of any update prompts or notices.

  1. Knowledge

The best deterrent to cyber threats is to ensure everyone in your operation is aware of the recommended security practices. Take the time to educate anyone who has access to your data on the most effective techniques regarding cyber security. Stay up to date and aware of any possible threats and pass the information on to all relevant parties as soon as possible. Only through constant research and keeping your finger on the pulse will you be able to protect your business consistently.

Cyber security is a serious consideration that should be a priority for all businesses. Organisations of any size can become victims of digital crime so it’s important to be proactive in your defence. Take the time to develop a culture of tight security and positive practices and you’ll substantially improve your chances of successfully repelling an attack.