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How to Keep Cyber Criminals Away from Your Business

Technological developments have helped surgeons be more precise, investment firms earn more money for clients and facilitated easier communications between people with the advent of social media. Likewise, technological developments have birthed cyber crime, forms of criminal activity that take place entirely through or with the help of the Internet, computers, smartphones, and other devices. Businesses are affected by cybercrime often, as business entities often have more resources than individuals or families. Also, people who work for businesses likely aren’t concerned about their welfares as much as their own. Every company that utilizes at least some form of technology is exposed to cyber crime — here are several ways to keep cyber criminals away from your business.

Create, Implement, and Maintain Strict Security Policies

Criminals often dress up as construction workers, computer repairmen, and maintenance men to gain access to important, private, confidential information. Unknowing employees may allow these criminals posed as workers unauthorized, unfettered access to files stored in physical capacities or those on computers. By giving these people administrative passwords, they often gain further access to computerized info than most employees — high-ranking executives, even, at times — and can blackmail companies they steal information from, sell it on the dark web, and commit identity theft.

An effective way of preventing these unfortunate, costly situations from happening is implementing security protocol. If people other than employees want access to business facilities, require all employees to be aware of scheduled visits by others. Add pictures of people authorized to visit computer systems for employees to match against the appearances of people in the event of people wrongfully posing as actual repairmen. Companies should also consider hiring a security consultant to be aware of proper procedures and how to not leave holes in security.

Risk Assessment

Companies should understand risks they face in regular lines of business. Without knowing what particular security risks face, defending against them is often difficult and ineffective. Computer programs help companies with accessing risk so they can appropriately defend against hackers and other cyber criminals.

Eliminate Employees Writing Down Passwords

Many employees that work with computers physically write down passwords on post-it notes or pieces of paper, often storing them in nearby drawers or sticking them to display screens. Criminals will likely find it easy to locate such passwords. Companies should administer punishment to employees who make these mistakes, potentially firing them if they are repeat offenders. Cyber criminals can hack into computer systems using advanced technological methods, in many situations. However, nothing is more frustrating than for companies to nearly hand over computer access directly to unauthorized users by leaving passwords on nearby pieces of paper.

Utilize Two-Way Data Encryption

Encryption involves turning data into unreadable blocks of numbers and letters without PGP keys, or passwords for encryption. Employees enter sensitive information into encryption tools, using a password to begin the encryption. They then transmit data through email, text message, instant messengers, or regular forms of communication. Authorized receivers of messages cannot read encrypted messages without a password to decode them. Receivers will then enter the encrypted block of text that otherwise looks like gibberish into encryption tools, enter the same passwords senders used, and read them as they would any other message. Encryption is an effective method of preventing unauthorized parties from reading information they aren’t supposed to read.

Companies in every field, location, and of all sizes utilize technology for making better business. Few companies exist in today’s world that don’t utilize computers, handheld devices, and smartphones in regular business operations. By incorporating the above security measure into your company’s repertoire, it’s certain to keep more cyber criminals away than without.

Lizzie Weakley

This article was brought to you by Lizzie Weakley, an independent writer and freelance blogger.