For many businesses, the internet is essential. Hackers know this and target companies to steal confidential information, including customer and employee records, financial data, and trade secrets. Any business, regardless of size, needs to take the threat seriously and take steps to protect computers and networks from hackers.

Use Technology to Keep Your Data Safe

A firewall creates a barrier to prevent hackers from accessing a company’s network and to alert a business to an attempted breach. Some computer systems have firewalls built-in, but larger companies may need to purchase additional protection.

Viruses can access or delete files, slow computers, or make them crash. Hackers also frequently use spyware to collect sensitive information, such as passwords and financial data. Spyware can be difficult to detect or to remove. Antivirus software can detect and block threats from viruses, and often from spyware as well. Make sure your company has antivirus software installed on each computer and that it is kept up to date.

Whenever updates for your operating system or browser become available, install them as soon as possible. Those updates often include measures to address security risks and to protect computers and networks from hackers.

Encryption should be another part of your company’s defense against hackers. If hackers somehow succeed in accessing your company’s data, encryption will prevent them from viewing and misusing that information.

Educate Employees to Minimize Risk

Since technology has become more sophisticated and better at detecting threats, hackers often target people instead. They may send employees emails that appear to come from familiar and trusted sources and trick workers into clicking on links or attachments that contain viruses or spyware. Train your employees to spot signs of phishing emails, such as spelling and grammatical errors and email addresses that don’t look quite right.

With modern technology, simple passwords are easy to crack. Complex passwords can make it harder for hackers to access sensitive information. Employees should use strong passwords that include a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. They should use unique passwords for each account and change them frequently. Institute company-wide policies setting clear guidelines for passwords.

Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Company’s Data?

Businesses of all sizes should take the threat of hacking seriously. Many owners of small and medium-sized businesses don’t think they will be targets and don’t take cybersecurity seriously enough, which is precisely why hackers often attack those companies.

ASG Information Technologies has helped many SMBs beef up their security to protect their data. We can help you improve your network data security and provide managed IT support to make sure you are always using the most up-to-date software. In addition, we can provide security awareness training to help your employees identify threats. Contact us today to learn more.