You may have certain methods in place to protect your business from a cyber attack, but are you really as protected as you need to be? With hacks and data breaches becoming more and more common, you may want to think about giving your security efforts an extra boost.
We asked nine entrepreneurs what businesses can do to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to security. Check out their best answers are below and make sure your company can fend off any cyber attack that comes your way:
Create Company-Wide Security Policies
Fashion your own cybersecurity policies and procedures around the advice of thought leaders, then document and distribute them to all employees. Pay particular attention to how your security program will deal with bring-your-own-device issues and institute security protocols. Make sure all employees understand and commit to these cybersecurity policies and procedures.
– Nicole Munoz of Start Ranking Now
Conduct Continuous Cybersecurity Audits
Rather than conducting a periodic security audit, consider investing in a solution that continuously scans your entire IT environment for misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and policy violations. I've been impressed with Cavirin as a solution to keep companies up-to-date for security and compliance issues. No matter what, invest in something that reduces your vulnerability to a cyber attack.
– Brett Farmiloe of Markitors
Choose Secure Passwords
An easy way to open the door to a security breach is to use easy-to-guess passwords. Therefore, it's critical that you select secure passwords. In general, longer passwords make stronger passwords. Use a mix of alphabetical and numeric characters. Use a mixture of upper and lowercase characters and symbols if the system allows.
– Kristopher Jones of LSEO.com
Contract White Hat Hackers
On occasion, hire a white hat hacker to find cybersecurity loopholes within your business. Have them identify these vulnerabilities and offer timeless solutions to patch those openings. It is important to be proactive about cyber security rather than just reactive.
– Firas Kittaneh of Amerisleep
Work With the FBI
The FBI realizes that the theft of intellectual property can be crippling and is interested in helping technology companies protect their investments. Reach out to your local branch and ask them to help you develop best practices. They are a great resource and one I only discovered recently.
– Douglas Hutchings of Picasolar
Train Your Employees
The weakest link in cyber security is your employees. Make it easy for them to understand the risks of weak passwords or poor security practices. The more they understand, the better equipped they are at protecting the company's assets.
– Diego Orjuela of Cables & Sensors, LLC
Stay Up To Date
It doesn't matter how you invest in security, policies and consultants as long as you are keeping them up to date. Even though it may be costly, doing that means that you either need internal resources or outsourcing partners. Today, there are a number of companies that offer threat feeds that can make your investments smarter and your business safer with preprocessed intelligence.
– Yiannis Giokas of PCCW Global
Learn From the Mistakes of Others
To stay on top of best practices in cybersecurity, be an avid reader of the news. Industry outlets will often release information on the cybersecurity disasters and trials of other companies, and will list what happened. Be aware of others' issues, learn from their mistakes, and implement safeguards that are recommended from the aftermath of a reported cyber attack to keep your own company safe.
– David Ciccarelli of Voices.com
Start With the Basics
Unless cybersecurity is your core business, it can be really hard to stay ahead of the curve. Turn on two-factor authentication for all of your important cloud services; set up a Wi-Fi password and firewall for your company network; enforce a strong password policy for logins; give employees access to systems on a need-to-know basis.
– Brandon Bruce of Cirrus Insight
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.
Photo: Flickr / Brian Klug