Staying safe online can seem daunting at times. However with the number of reported cyber-attacks continuing to increase, businesses need to take the risk seriously. While no single solution is fool proof, there are some essential steps organisations can take to help avoid being a victim of a cyber-attack and to minimise the impact of data loss caused by malicious actors and through human error.

1. Install Updates

Keeping your devices and apps up-to-date is one of the most important things you can do to avoid attackers gaining access to your devices and important data. This is because updates fix security vulnerabilities that attackers use to find their way into your device. It's a good idea to make sure that you devices have automatic updates turned on.

2. Run Endpoint Security

Modern endpoint security solutions provide multi-layered protection to keep your devices and important data safe. By constantly monitoring devices for malicious software and potentially harmful activity, these solutions can even detect previously unseen malware before it causes harm.

‚Äč3. Backup Your Data

Human error is still a leading cause of data loss and even with good defences in place, attackers may still be able to take control of your data. While services like Dropbox, G Suite, and Microsoft 365 have incredible uptime and provide a very robust service, they do not provide backups of your data. Your ability to retrieve good copies of files or messages that have been deleted or corrupted are quite limited. A dedicated and automated backup solution makes it easy to find and restore important documents when they become inaccessible.

4. Use long and strong, unique passwords

By using long and strong passwords, it is harder for attackers to work them out. Ideally, your passwords should be at least eight characters and generally, the longer the better. Passwords should never contain personal information - they should be impossible for someone who knows you well to guess. It is important not to reuse passwords on different websites.  Using a different password for each website means that if your password from one website gets discovered, it can't be used anywhere else. Find out more about creating strong passwords here. A password manager is a good way to help you use long and strong, unique passwords.

5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication usually takes the form of an additional six digit code or similar that you need to provide when signing into a service. These codes can be sent to your phone or email, or generated by an app. They provide another way of you proving that you are authorised to sign into the service. According to Microsoft, using mutli-factor authentication reduces your chances of having an account compromised by 99.9%. When setting up multi-factor authentication, it is much better to use a code generating app than have a code sent to your mobile phone. This is because codes sent to you phone can be intercepted by others.

Taking these essential steps will help protect you and your important information online. Get in touch if you'd like to find out how IT Squad can help make you to put these steps into practice.