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5 Ways You Can Prevent a Data Breach

Cyber SecurityThere are so many ways your company’s information can be breached.  If you read the news, you know that companies large and small are being hacked every day. This is becoming a very real threat to your business.  With all of the different ways a hacker can get into your network, it can be overwhelming. So, where do you start?  Let’s start with the top 5 things you can do to prevent a data breach.

Patch your systems

I can’t stress this one enough. By leaving your systems, yes even internal systems, unpatched, then you open the door wider to attackers.  Patch your servers, firewalls, switches, and even those odd systems that run your door locking system.  If WannaCry and other related software taught us anything, it is to patch everything so nothing can get a foothold.

Train your employees

A decade ago the Internet was a safer place, and email scams were laughably pathetic. Now the scams are very real and have even caught cyber-security experts.  Train your employees on what to look for in an email scam.  They have never been trained on this, so you shouldn’t expect them to be able to catch these without some knowledge.  Over 90% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email.  Not training your employees is really not an option anymore.

Encrypt your laptops

If your company, like most, gives employees laptops so they can work from home, or on the weekends, then you should be encrypting them. Windows 10 and Mac OSX both have this built in, so there is really no excuse not to use it. A lost laptop with client data on it can cause you to lose that client, as well as damage your reputation in the business.  Encryption is no longer a difficult endeavor, and everyone should be doing it.

Monitor your network

There are some great tools to monitor your network. Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) is an inexpensive way to monitor your users to see if they are doing things they normally don’t.  This can help you find a hacker moving within your network.  Also invest in a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) which tracks all the logs in your environment.  The cost of these is from free to very expensive, each with varying degrees of support and management.  With this, you can “see” what is going on within your network.  But you must have someone, either within your company, or a 3rd party, configure and watch it, or it does you no good.

Have a backup

This isn’t preventing a data breach, but it will save your butt when you have a ransomware attack. Having a good backup that you have tested and know works, takes the stress out of some of these attacks.  It is also very helpful when your CEO accidently deletes a file.

If you follow these steps you will be much safer than you would have been had you done nothing.  Also, the above steps are not very expensive.  Even if you go with a 3rd Party vendor like, Thrive, to manage everything, the cost is a lot less than a data breach.  If you are an in-house IT person, you could tackle some, if not most of the above on your own.  Just make sure you stay on top of it, as none of the above are set it and forget it type of products. If you have any questions or would like to learn more ways you can prevent a data breach contact us today!

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