Is your data backed up? Dealing with the threat of hackers

VV 30 Dec 2

Hackers pose an increasing risk to businesses. Whether you’re a small enterprise or a large corporation, you need make sure you’re protected.

How to stay safe and back-up your data.

Encrypt data
All your important data – bank numbers, credit card accounts, employee details – must be encrypted. If not, you’re asking for trouble. Hackers will use anything they can get their hands on to steal money.

Most operating systems will have full-disk encryption tools that you can use. If you use Windows-based PCs in your office, the feature is called BitLocker, while it goes by the name of FileVault if you use Macs.

Activation encrypts every file and program on the drive. But this only applies when employees are logged out. You should therefore set computers to automatically log out after 15 minutes without use.

Lock network
The internet is essential when it comes to the day-to-day running of a modern company. A wireless network, however, can be your worst nightmare if it’s unlocked or poorly protected by a weak password.

Hackers target vulnerable networks. One way of keeping them at bay is to disable the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router, as this creates a cloaked or hidden network.

Changing the network’s information now and again also helps. For instance, use a different password each month. Nonsense passwords – those with numbers, special characters and capital letters – work best.

Install protection
But a secure connection isn’t the only thing you need to protect your business. Hackers frequently use spam emails and harmful websites to steal information, sometimes without you even realising what’s going on.

Malicious software and viruses can install code that runs in the background on the computer, capturing keystrokes and login information. This is relayed to the hackers. Before you know it, you’ve lost everything.

It’s therefore a good idea to install anti-malware and anti-virus protection on all of your devices, including smartphones and tablets, to stop this from happening. You should also run it after every software update to stay on top of things.

Educate employees
Your employees need to know the threats hackers pose, so brief them through e-mails or at periodic meetings led by your IT expert. If not, they’re essentially sitting ducks – and so is your business.

A formal company internet policy is essential. This should set out acceptable and prohibited online activities for employees, such as banning them from opening e-mail attachments or clicking on links that don’t relate to your business.

Limiting personal email access to personal smartphones via their 3G or 4G connection, rather than using company devices and the company Wi-Fi, is a highly effective way of keeping hackers at arm’s length.


VV 30 Dec


Back-up data
One of the most important things you should do is back-up your data, just in case you fall victim to hacking.

Carry out regular back-ups of your data – we’re talking everything, leave no stone unturned – and test the back-ups to ensure they’re in good working condition. This will at least provide some comfort should the worst happen.

You should back-up your data in the cloud, as well as on external drives, as here your data will not only be extremely secure, but also accessible anywhere at any time. It’s always better to have more copies, so go the whole nine yards.

Posted by the Secret Businessman