Cybersecurity Checklist: Simple Steps to Help Protect Your Business

Running a successful company can take more than just a great idea, hard work and passion. You have to continually make adjustments and improvements to meet the demands of your customers and an ever-changing market. You also have to consistently deliver what you promise, and, most importantly, make sure your business is well-guarded. Talk about an increasing stress level!

Here are some of the best ways I have found from working in the online security space over the past five years that I can recommend to help continually improve the performance, reliability and security of your business. These are the same tips I've had to implement after being hacked, stolen from and losing out on millions of dollars in revenue.

Get Started on the Right Foot

It can be incredibly challenging to improve any components of your business if the business wasn’t launched properly in the first place. You should try to make sure you have security metrics installed correctly, code is clean and you consistently test for vulnerabilities.

You should make sure you're building your business in a way that you don't have to patch it down the road. I typically find the most security vulnerabilities in a system that wasn't designed to handle the current user base.

Have the Right Team in Place

You employees are arguably among your best assets. When searching for new hires, look at their talents, expertise and personality. Just because a talented coder comes in for an interview doesn’t mean they’ll fit with the culture. Next, perform a background check, especially if your business deals with delicate information. Many security risks and hacks are due to employee neglect or actual employees hurting your company. The last thing you want is to hire someone who could become a threat to your business.

Educate and Train Employees

You and your employees may need constant education and training in everything from the latest software to management techniques to marketing strategies to your business security policy. For example, your team members should know how to handle a security breach or why they may not be able to bring in their devices. They may not realize that their personal smartphone could become a security risk.

Stay Up to Date

Whether it’s the software on your PC, your phone’s operating system, a WordPress plugin or your antivirus security, you should make sure everything you use has the latest update. For the most part, most of the software and hardware you use has automatic updates, but it's often worth double checking and making sure you do indeed have the latest update. It may greatly increase your business's security measures.

Be on the Cloud, But Also Protect Offline

One of the best things about the cloud is you can access your data, files or pretty much whatever your business needs wherever and whenever you are. Reputable cloud services can be secure and also may be better equipped to handle security issues, which is another perk for a business that's tight on funds and time.

At the same time, you may also want to consider encrypting, storing and backing up your databases offline. Because the data isn’t connected online, it can be safe from online hackers. It can also help protect you if your database gets corrupted, which has happened to me several times.

Use Common Sense

Finally, you need plenty of common sense when running a business. For example, do you think you’re going to be secure if you use default or weak passwords?

The obvious answer is no, yet so many businesses fail to take the necessary precautions and then end up paying for it later. By applying these tips, you may help drastically minimize risks that could be devastating to your business.

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