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Top 4 Data Security Threats to Your Business and How to Avoid Them

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Top 4 Data Security Threats to Your Business and How to Avoid Them

There used to be a time when a filing cabinet lock and key were all anyone needed to protect their company’s sensitive files. But since the evolution of computers, paper files have transformed into digital ones, and security has become a lot more complex.

Just about every business has sensitive digital files, whether they’re client payment details or employee payroll records, and criminals have gone online creating new and malicious ways to get their hands-on data they can use for personal financial gain.

Our Cyber Security Response Unit at Unity IT has been called out many times to help clients in Fresno get a handle on data security. We offer full-bodied protection with our Managed Services Plans, including a full array of tech support services and rock-solid security measures.

Technology now permeates every area of business and information is flowing in and out of networks every day. As a result, protecting that data from hackers, viruses, malware, and major data breaches should be on the top of every business owner’s priority list.

A hacker is attacking a network every 39 seconds. (Cybint Solutions)

It seems that hackers never sleep and they’re constantly trying to seek out vulnerabilities and breach networks. And small businesses are one of their key targets, with 43% of cyberattacks targeting them.

What are the top threats you need to be watching out for? And, more importantly, how do you stop them?

Knowledge is power, so read on for a primer on cybersecurity and how to keep your office safe from the biggest threats out there.

Top Threats to Your Data Security and How to Stop Them

At Unity IT, we’ve found that knowledge is the first step towards formulating a solid data security plan. You have to know what you’re up against to properly defend against it.

Here are the four biggest threats to your office data security.

1. Phishing Emails

It seems like these deceptive emails never go away, because Phishing still remains the #1 cause of data breaches and 76% of organizations experienced one in 2017.

Phishing is an email disguised to look legitimate in order to trick the user into clicking on a dangerous link or downloading a malicious attachment. Once tricked, the unsuspecting user infects their computer and company network with any one of several dangerous threats. These can include:

  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Adware
  • Spyware
  • Trojans

How to Avoid: One part of the equation for protecting your business from phishing attacks is regular user education on how to spot and avoid them. Working in concert with your users is a reliable email and spam protection software that stops viruses and malware in their tracks before they even hit your staff’s inboxes.

2. Weak Passwords/Logins

It only takes one easy-to-guess password for a hacker to gain entry into your system. Once in, they look for bank details, personal identity information, and credit card numbers to steal.

Login credentials are a popular commodity on the hacker dark web marketplace because people often use the same password for multiple logins, so one hit, can open the doors to several sensitive accounts.

How to Avoid: You’ll generally need to go farther than just telling everyone to make harder passwords. The best way to thwart stolen login credentials is to enable multi-factor authentication, which requires a specific code to login in addition to the name/password combination.

Additionally, password management applications generate strong passwords and keep them all in one place for easy use.

3. Unsecure Mobile Devices

Employees use mobile devices more often than ever to access work applications. This is great for flexibility but not so great if you don’t have a plan in place to manage all those smartphones and tablets that can connect to your data.

What happens if they get lost or stolen? If there’s a CRM app enabled on the device, it can mean the thief has access to your entire client database. Connecting to unsecure public Wi-Fi is also a danger and can be an open door for hackers.

How to Avoid: Whether you issue your own company phones or use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, it’s important to use a Mobile Device Management application. These allow you to instantly give or revoke access to particular apps, find lost phones, and remotely wipe sensitive data with a keystroke.

4. Non-backed Up Devices

Backups are one of those things that you might not think about daily, but when you’ve suffered data loss or a virus, they become absolutely indispensable. A backup can protect you against any number of data threats by giving you a way to easily recover all your files.

Too often backups are left on “auto-pilot” without proper monitoring, then a disaster strikes, and you find out what you thought was backing up, wasn’t.

Backups can fail for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of space on the backup disk
  • Wrong folders chosen to backup
  • Hardware or software malfunction
  • User accidentally turns the backup software off

How to Avoid: Nothing can replace monitored backup and recovery services, that not only ensure all your data is backed up safely offsite, but also include regular monitoring to catch any backup issues and solve them before they turn into a major problem.

Need Help Protecting Your Business from Hackers?

Unity IT’s business IT services can keep your data safe from hackers and your office protected from downtime and unnecessary costs. From reliable backup solutions to email security that stops phishing in its tracks, we’ve got you covered!

Don’t leave your data exposed for one more day, call our experts at 559-297-1007 or book a free consultation online.    

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