Business Security Checklist: 10 Things to Review Today


Keeping a business safe from attacks is more difficult than ever. As businesses tend to move online, so do criminals. In 2020, nearly 75% of all companies were targeted by phishingOpens in a new tab. (phishing is any online scam where hackers try to lure people into giving out important information). It is the responsibility of business owners and managers to protect all data held within a company. This is the only way to maintain business reputation and ensure continuity: one strong cyber-attack can be fatal to a business.

There are so many things to consider to create a robust security strategy. Luckily, you don’t need to think of them alone. We’ve compiled a short security checklist for your business that should be of great help.

Password security

How secure are all passwords used across your company? Using strong passwords is one of the most essential security measuresOpens in a new tab. to take. All passwords must be 8-12 characters long and as complicated as possible. Also, they must only be accessible to the account owner, and for maximum security, they should be reviewed and changed occasionally. This will help avoid attacks like password guessing.

Employee knowledge on security

Do your employees understand the main security threats to your business? Increase awareness of different types of malware, phishing, and other forms of hacking. Emphasize the importance of using strong passwords and not sharing them with anyone. Also, make sure that they know how to keep their work devices safe, along with the information stored on them.

Software versions

Does everyone from your organization update their software immediately? The answer to this question is often no, but this needs to change. New software updates come with security fixes for any past vulnerabilities. Be it for an app, an OS, or any other platform, everyone should always update their software to ensure maximum business security.

Wifi security

Is your office Wi-Fi encrypted? If so, is the encryption strong enough to withstand attempted cyber-attacks? When you transmit sensitive business data over a given network, you want that network to be as strong as it can be, so review your wifi security today.

With remote working, many employees connect to networks outside of the office, and these networks are certainly not always secure. Home Wi-Fi is usually OK, but free public wifi might be a bit of a problem. Some of these free networks may be compromised by hackers, and as soon as an employee connects to it, your business data can go straight to the hacker. To avoid this outcome, encrypt all of your business devices using a special tool like a VPN.

Cloud security

How secure is your cloud service provider? So much important business data is stored in the cloud, so you need to know what you’re dealing with. Does it offer strong encryption? Does it feature multi-factor authentication? Does it have a firewall? If you’re using one of the cheaper cloud options, then it may be lacking in many security features. Unfortunately, cloud security is not the place to save up money.

Physical device security

Do all business devices have login passwords? Do they auto-lock as quickly as possible? Are your employees being responsible for their devices outside work? Who else has access to your business devices? This is all especially important now that so many people are working remotely. The risk of theft and negligence is as high as ever, and you must be prepared for any possible outcome. Encourage employees to be safe but also honest. If they get their work device stolen, they should contact their manager immediately so that their device could be wiped clean remotely.

Permissions to access company files

What are your company’s protocols regarding sensitive data? Review who has access to the most important data, and ensure that it’s only the people who work with it directly. The rise in insider threatsOpens in a new tab. has demonstrated the need to protect important data from everybody, including (or maybe especially) from your own employees. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but employees turn on their managers all the time.

Backups

Do you have a backup for all company data? How often is this backup updated? Every piece of information, no matter how unimportant it may seem, must be backed up in a secure server (you can even keep additional printed backups of more important data). Depending on how often your business receives new data, the backup should be updated as frequently as needed (which is usually at least once a day).

Antivirus

Do all company devices have antivirus software installed and updated? No matter how prepared you may think your employees are, there’s no way to fully prevent them from making mistakes. After all, there are so many unexpected ways in which devices can get infected: you’d be shocked to see how easy phishing scams can be to fall for. Did you know that even public USB charging stations can have malware installed on them? Antivirus software will prevent malware from damaging work devices or even entire work networks.

Firewalls

Are all company devices secured with a firewall? A firewall is a security tool that inspects all traffic leaving and entering a device and blocks unauthorized access. For example, suppose that someone manages to hack into your device and steals the data on it. In that case, a firewall can prevent any data from leaving the device because the user requesting this information cannot be identified. A firewall can also supplement antivirus software in protecting a device against malware, alerting the user about anything suspicious.

Conclusion

A business without a strong security policy in place won’t go very far. Nearly every business is bound to be targeted sooner or later, and companies must be ready when this happens. Please review each of these 10 points in detail and apply the knowledge gained in this article to your business. You already know how dangerous it is not to, so there’s no time to waste!

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