new year, new security

New Year, New Security Habits

security-new-yearWith another year comes a whole slew of new resolutions. They always range from being a healthier person to being kinder or more patient, but what about your security habits? With cyber security hacks on the rise, have you thought about your online security?

Passwords. With larger companies getting hacked, your safety is severely at risk. Are you making sure to change all passwords every time an announcement comes out? If not, you could be putting yourself at risk unnecessarily. The best practice is to update your password every couple of months. Changing your password on a regular basis will keep you ahead of the attacks.

Technology Guidelines. Does your company have protocols in place? If a suspicious email comes to someone, does that employee know how to handle it or who to contact? Technology guidelines at your office help everyone gain a clear understanding of what they should be doing in uncertain technical situations. With humans being the last line of defense for most attacks, make sure your staff is trained up to cut down on mishaps.

Public Wi-Fi. Hackers use any means necessary to gain access to personal information. One of the methods includes getting to you through public Wi-Fi, which includes your favorite coffee shop or hotel chain. These public hotspots are notoriously easy to breach, and hackers can intercept private or classified information if they so choose. If you still want to use the public Wi-Fi, make sure your file sharing is turned off. Make sure your browser is secure by using HTTPS. Enable two-factor authentication for all of your email and social media to add a layer of protection in case someone does figure out your password. Always forget the network when you are done using the public Wi-Fi.

Monitor IT Traffic. Anti-virus and firewalls can help curb attacks on your network, but you also need to be monitoring outgoing IT traffic. Seeing suspicious outbound traffic may help your business detect threats before they become major issues. Early detection allows incidents to be assessed and remediated before things get out of hand. If in doubt, call someone to check things out. You could be saving yourself or your company from major problems.

Planning for a Data Breach. Do you have a plan in place if/when this happens? While it might not be a fun exercise, it is a crucial one. What will you do if your data is stolen or locked down? How will your business operate? Who should you contact? All of these questions should have answers to plan for a worst-case-scenario situation. In addition to having this plan in place, make sure you practice it with employees; test out the what-ifs to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a data breach.

A new year gives you the new opportunity to create a more secure work environment. Make cyber security a priority in your technology plan this year! If you need help figuring out where to begin, give us a call (970) 243-3311.

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