Many entrepreneurs and small business owners think their small size allows them to go unnoticed by hackers. Some figure antivirus software on their computers and a few other minor protections are enough. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Hackers prey on the vulnerable and your website, computers, data, and accounts are at risk. If you don’t take action to protect them all you leave yourself and your business open to attack. SentinelOne or McAfee is not enough.
There. I said it.
Businesses need more than just antivirus software or more advanced endpoint security programs. To stay safe today, you have to think like a hacker, and about all the ways they could get into your systems, then come up with protection for each. This applies to the accounts and devices belonging to your contractors and freelancers too. In addition to having a good anti-malware/anti-virus program (now commonly referred to as endpoint security software), here are some of the basic things everyone should be thinking about, though few are actually doing:
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all of your accounts.
- Use a password manager to create and store strong, unique passwords.
- Don’t assume updates are happening without you. Check to make sure your OS and application updates are happening at least weekly. This applies to all of your devices including your laptop, phone, and tablet.
- Apply WordPress updates as soon as they come out – don’t wait. There are websites that enable hackers to very easily find vulnerable systems/devices all over the world.
- Make sure your files are getting backed up to a separate location. Files in the cloud should be backed up too, don’t depend on Google or Microsoft to do it for you.
- Encrypt your hard drive by enabling FileVault on Mac or BitLocker on Windows.
- Avoid installing software if you can, especially from unknown sources. Hackers take over browser extensions and WordPress plugins as a way to easily compromise your systems.
- Train and regularly test your team on their security awareness. Highlight the importance of not clicking on links in emails or responding to messages that look like they’re from the boss.
- Use a reputable VPN software to make sure your internet traffic is secure.
- If you allow your employees or contractors to use their personal devices, think about how you’re going to protect those too.
Implementing security changes like these may seem like a hassle, but they’ll help protect you and your company from potentially catastrophic failures in the long run.