Preventive Strategies: Cybersecurity Guidelines for Businesses

Cybercrime — criminal activity that occurs through computer technology or the Internet — often involves theft of sensitive data such as intellectual property or financial information. Most security experts agree it’s impossible to eradicate all risk. But your organization can reduce the chances of being victimized.

Steps to take

A robust cybersecurity program and recovery tools can limit the damage if your company is targeted. To protect against cybercrime:

Use all available tools. Several tools can hinder cybercriminals’ progress. A firewall controls who or what can connect with your network. Antivirus software defends against malicious programs and software, or malware. Encryption software protects data. Detection programs reduce the time required to detect cybersecurity breaches. Be sure to purchase these tools from reputable vendors that can produce customer references, and implement security patches and updates as soon as they’re available.

Know and protect your network. This sounds obvious, but as more employees bring smartphones and tablets to work, tracking all devices connected to your network becomes more difficult. Require employees to protect their devices with passwords and security programs and implement policies to follow when devices are lost or stolen.

Practice safe online banking habits. Banking online is convenient, but it can expose your firm to cybercrime. To minimize this risk, connect to your financial institution from a secure computer and network and always access the bank by typing its name into your browser, rather than clicking from an email. Some criminals send emails that appear to originate from a legitimate bank but are designed to capture and misuse your banking information.

In addition, limit your firm’s financial account access to the employees whose job responsibilities require it. Review account statements as soon as you receive them, and watch for out-of-the-ordinary transactions.

Foster a culture of security. Cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires the efforts of everyone in your organization. Keep employees informed of threats and tactics used to infiltrate networks, so they can watch for them. Require staff to use strong passwords that combine letters and numbers, and warn them of the dangers of sharing passwords.

Prepare for the worst. Because it’s impossible to thwart every cybercrime, back up information and store backups offsite. Develop an incident response plan to deploy if a breach occurs. This should include steps to contain the breach, a list of people to contact and procedures for communicating with nervous customers, if necessary.

Be alert

Cybercriminals continue to develop new ways to carry out their crimes. We can help you secure your networks against ever-changing threats.

Need Additional Information?

If you need more information, please contact us so we can connect you with one of our CPA advisors who will be committed to your business and personal success. BLS is here to help!