As a network consultant and reseller of network and security products, I receive bulletins about threat protection and those reports yield some staggering numbers. For Example, In 2017, there were 186 million reported ransomware attacks. Forty six percent of those attacks were US targets so if you are of the mindset that it couldn't happen to you, you may want to reconsider. Here are six things you need to do if you want to safeguard your data from bad actors.
- Human error will always bypass the best technology security money will buy. So, it is important that your employees do their part to keep their passwords safe and be vigilant for things that seem kind of strange. (e.g. strange emails requesting money or the revelation of passwords, social security numbers or other private information). Fairly recently, scammers called a client of mine and claimed that they were from Microsoft and that they wanted access to my client's computer because it was "infected" with viruses. Microsoft NEVER calls people out-of-the-blue for this! Luckily, my client felt something was wrong and contacted me before committing to anything. You need to be vigilant! It will pay off in spades.
- Employing security strategies is not a one time thing. It is a commitment that you must be diligent about keeping. Just like going to the gym only once, doesn't keep you healthy, you must constantly keep your network strategies current because hackers are currently evolving their infiltration techniques. What you implement this year, may be insufficient to protect you next year, or even next month. You need to be diligent about keeping your security measures current!
- You need a good Firewall. This network appliance sits between your network and the internet and acts as a gatekeeper,letting in only network traffic that you allow and keeping everyone else out.
- You need a good antivirus software installed on each of your workstations and laptops. This software will keep your computers free of viruses in the event you have to share data from an external sources (e.g. flash drive, dvd, etc.) or have to leave the safety of your office and work remotely from a public wifi hotspot.
- You need a good email antivirus/spam filter. This filter will scan your incoming emails and weed out viruses and spam before they even reach your inbox, thereby decreasing the chance you will accidentally fall prey to these viruses and sdams.
- You need a good backup program to recover your data in the event that your system does get compromised. Many times, when a system gets infected, the hard drive must be wiped clean in order to rid the computer of the infection. All of the applications must be re-installed and your data must be restored from backup. If you don't have a backup, you will be kicking yourself when this happens. (Don't ask me how I know this!)