As we come to the end of the year, it’s time to re-evaluate your data safety measures. Over the last couple of years, a data breach spree has engulfed thousands of small businesses in fear of costly data losses. Every 39 seconds, an attack occurs on a business’s data infrastructure. Hackers who do manage to break through the company’s security measures can do irreparable damage. 

Small and medium businesses that have yet to upgrade their data protection and security measures are at the highest risk. The good news? A lot can be done to prevent malicious attackers from stealing every last drop of vital information from your business.

As one of the reputable Denver cybersecurity firms with over two decades of experience, we have carefully crafted a list containing our top six tips to ensure your data will remain secure in 2023.

1. Create a Data Backup

Hackers aren’t the only threat to your data safety. Floods, hurricanes, and storms sweeping through your business’s physical location may cause irreparable system damage and massive data losses. Savvy data protection specialists know this. They also know that having a fully-functional cloud backup and recovery is of paramount importance.

Whether you have a two or six-hour uptime, creating an offsite backup is probably the best way to insure your company against costly data loss. Backups also enable the IT support team to get your business back up and running in the face of disaster. 

Note: Back up your files frequently to keep an updated record of the most recent changes.

2. Keep an Eye Out For Suspicious Email Activity

Believe it or not, 70% of phishing emails reach their intended targets. And 90% of security breaches in a company result from phishing attacks.

Suspicious email activity is difficult to spot at first. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to protect your company from phishing attacks. The first step is to assess the legitimacy of the sender. For instance, an email sent from a company user should have the following format:

name@company-email.com

Other common signs of suspicious emails include awful grammar, harsh calls to action, and fake deals that seem too good to be true.

In any case, your spam filters are sufficient to block out emails that don’t pass the three vital DNS records – Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).

3. Deploy Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security that requires a user to verify their identity through: 

  • Something they know (e.g., a password)
  • Something they possess (e.g., a key card), and 
  • Something that they are (e.g., their voice or fingerprint).

Two-factor authentication requires that the user provides two of the three factors mentioned above to gain access to the system.

Businesses use different approaches when setting up 2FA, depending on the tools that they use. The IT department will be crucial to the deployment of two-factor authentication for a unique business system.

4. Take Advantage of High-End Antivirus and Firewall Programs

Personal information, such as bank account information, social security numbers, and credit card information, is a hot commodity in the black market. Such information is always at risk, especially when your business deals heavily in the highly-regulated banking, health, and legal fields. As a business, you should never settle for the basic Windows Defender firewall and free Avast antivirus to keep hackers locked out of the system.

Better antivirus and firewall programs scan your computer for malicious activity, trojans, worms, and other catastrophic malware to ensure that they don’t find their way into your computers. Of course, better software comes at a cost. On the bright side, the higher cost is justified by its advanced abilities to scan your hardware, detect malicious activity, and block any malware from infecting the system.

5. Develop a Data Protection Training Program for Your Employees

Little do they know it, but employees are technically a potential security vulnerability. A well-thought-out data protection training program covers various aspects of data protection and privacy, ranging from:

  • Best practices for handling personal customer and employee information held by the company.
  • Keeping customers updated on the use of their information.
  • Data risk assessment.
  • Ethical confidentiality practices, especially regarding sensitive customer information.
  • Breaches detection and reporting.

In essence, the training program teaches employees and users about their role in keeping their data safe. This creates a ripple effect on alleviating many data security risks at the source.

6. Contact a Managed IT Service Provider for Additional Security

Endpoint security and antivirus programs empower your systems with the features that they need to detect and deploy counter-security measures in response to malicious threats. But let’s face it. If you need a more robust and secure system, a third-party managed IT services provider like Resilient Managed Computer Services is exactly what you need.

We beef up the security of your infrastructure and neutralize any issues detected by our advanced malware detection and monitoring software. Being experts in our field, we know the dangers of leaving your data in the hands of expensive, less experienced cybersecurity experts.

Instead, we’ll conduct extensive checks on your servers, workstations, onsite and offsite infrastructure, leaving no stone unturned. Tired of managed IT service companies cashing in on your downtimes? We can help with that too! 

Tell us about your business, and let us know how we can serve you today!