Utah Business Magazine recently published an article on cyber security for SMBs and Entrepreneurs, and gave 7 tips on how they could improve their cyber security. Check them out below.
James Comey, the former FBI Director, called the Internet “the most dangerous parking lot imaginable”, and here in Utah, there are a lot of cars being parked. The state is home to the Silicon Slopes, where tech companies galore rank among industry giants, and the bigger ones have basically reached household-name status. Cyber security is at the top of the list for concerns for these companies, and should be for everyone in America.
Recently, Utah Business Magazine published an article about 7 ways Utah businesses can improve their cyber security. If you are a tech company, or really any company, these 7 tips can help you stay safe, save money, and save your business.
Username and Password are KEY.
Any time you use “admin” as the username, or “password” as the password, you are 100% guaranteed to get hacked? Why? Because I just told everyone your password. But really, you need to have a stronger password. I know, because in my more naive days, I wreaked a lot of havoc on an email server accidentally when my password was too easy.
Antivirus to the Rescue!
Seriously, it costs 30 bucks a year. Price for protecting your data should not be an issue when you spent 30 bucks today on your Amazon granola bar subscription. And though a simple solution, antivirus is actually a really effective way to keep malware off your desktop. And not just desktop, but laptop, and phone as well, since companies are now producing software protection for mobile phones and tablets.
Do We Really Need to Mention Email?
Most malware attacks start with email. Christina Foley, Vice President of commercial sales for FireEye, a SECaaS company, said, “Understand that people will always hack themselves. Attackers are always looking to exploit human trust. Insist on education for every employee who interfaces with your technology.” Train your employees, train yourself. Make sure you are suspicious of any email you don’t recognize, AND those you are not expecting.
Deauthorize those Devices.
How many devices are on your network? How many do you recognize? How stingy are you with your WiFi password? These are questions you should regularly ask yourself. Monitor your network, see where activity comes from. If you have an easy password here, it doesn’t matter if you have WPA2, people can guess it and infect your network faster than you can finish that muffin your coworker just gave you.
What is most important to your company? If you have customer credit card data on file, or medical records, or top-secret NSA secrets, you should make sure you protect those first. What is valuable to you is likely valuable to hackers, and will be their first targets. Protect them.
I Can’t Believe I’m Saying Update Again.
Updating is the theme of this blog. I know it says cyber security, but the real, between-the-lines theme is updating. If there is one takeaway from this article, it is to keep all your systems and software updated! You should turn on automatic updates if you can.
Break Out The Calendar.
Planning Ahead is vital to a good cyber security plan. You can never know when something is going to happen. You should have a plan, for all the “What-Ifs” of what might go wrong. You won’t regret it.
This list isn’t just for Utah tech companies, but for everyone. However, if you are a part of the vibrant local tech industry, just know that my favorite catering company does lunch at Qualtrics on Thursdays, and cyber security is an every day, every second thing that every single company should be investing in.