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How often do you worry about your computer network? Not knowing how to protect yourself can be frightening, but learning more about what cybersecurity measures are available to you is the first step. Cybersecurity practices require a little bit of practice and focus, but even the simplest measures can significantly enhance your security.

Easy practices like using a password manager and enacting regular backup practices can protect you from the worst of digital damage. Maintaining business operations requires you to protect your data and information from threats of all kinds, but protecting yourself can take just a few simple steps. Learn more below, and call us today for a North Carolina-based IT firm that knows small business IT security needs.


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VPNs: Mask your Online Activity

A virtual private network (VPN) is one of today's most common and valuable security measures. These programs and services encrypt your information and route your internet through a digital network. The encryption and re-routing provide security by making your information harder to read and making it harder to intrude upon your connection 'pipeline.' However, VPNs have many other uses.

VPNs route your information through different internet access points, which can be connected to distant physical locations. This feature lets you act like your computer is in a different physical location, which benefits marketing and remote data access. Social media often ties posts to your location, so some companies make 'local' posts with these tools. If you remote access your workstation, you might need a VPN that allows your computer to route your data through your office network securely.

Keep Hackers Away with Firewall Protection

A robust firewall is one of the most essential tools for any organization's security measures. This simple tool monitors all information that goes through your organization's systems and network to prevent cyber attacks. A firewall will control access to your network by organizing and monitoring any programs that try to get into your network.

When faced with programs or computer systems not on the approved list, a firewall can reject access and note this intrusion before a cybercriminal takes anything or inserts malicious software. This intrusion detection is one of the first cybersecurity measures against cybercriminals.


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Password Managers Save You From Post-it Note Risk

A person accesses their computer via a 2FA applicationIf you've been written up or told off for having passwords written down on notepads or post-its around your work computer, a password manager is the tool for you. There are many of these tools, but they all work similarly to keep your passwords organized and secure while helping you avoid risky security habits.

Password managers are digital storage spaces that save your passwords and login info. This manager is typically only accessible via multi-factor authentication, requiring you to approve access with your phone or by other means. This feature means you can only access these passwords and won't have to leave password notes open.

Know How to Identify Phishing Scams

While hacking and other cyber threats are common, most criminals use phishing to access your personal data. Phishing utilizes faked email addresses, messaging accounts, or other acts of digital impersonation to get victims to click on links that allow them into your system, accessing valuable data that they shouldn't be able to get at.

Phishing scams can be extremely convincing, using copy-pasted logos and language from a company's official contact pages. Frequent user education on malware attacks, potential security threats, and threat detection is critical. One of the simplest ways to prevent data breaches is to check any links before you click them, closely reading them to ensure they send you to an official page.


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Lock Up your Home Network with Encryption

Encryption is a bit of a buzzword today, but it is one of the most valuable tools in network security solutions. Data encryption works by scrambling and making data unreadable without a specific password - usually a highly complex one generated and hidden by the encryption software. Only those with access to encryption can access this secure data.

This kind of encryption is often required for business operations involving confidential data and is a powerful form of data protection. Locking access controls behind encryption means that even if a hacker gets system privileges to steal confidential data, they won't be able to do anything with their data breach. The encrypted data will be scrambled and unreadable for nearly impossible-to-crack cybersecurity measures.

Practice Good Data Hygiene to Keep Hands Clean

A pair of IT professionals discussing their work on a laptop.Data hygiene is an underrated and often ignored way to ensure information security incidents don't occur. Data hygiene is simply following specific security policies and procedures to ensure that private information and security credentials are only accessible to those who are supposed to have access. When your doctor locks their station before leaving, when the card reader at the grocery store has a privacy shield, and when your office shreds duplicate copies of information are all examples of data and cyber hygiene.

Next time you are at work, think about the types of information you interact with throughout your day and how 'hygienic' you are at keeping this information out of the hands of others. Many companies operate on the 'principle of least privilege' as a simple method to enhance standard cyber security measures. This principle states that everyone should only have as much access to sensitive information as they need for their job.


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Back-Up Data and Prevent Loss of Business Continuity

Having data backups of critical data is essential for preventing the worst-case scenarios if your business data is accessed. Backing up data to cloud services can even save your system from physical theft, preventing large-scale failures if your servers or computers are stolen. Protecting yourself from the after-effects of an attack is one of the most critical cybersecurity measures to take.

Back up your data regularly to save yourself the headache of restoring, re-creating, or rediscovering information after a system crash. Having enough storage space for this scale of information can be a headache, which is why cloud services for data backups are crucial for business continuity.

Put Security Measures into Action with Integrated Technologies!

Don't let your worries about cyber security measures get in the way of your ability to focus! Let a professional IT agency cover your business in a complete security blanket to protect you from the worst. Our cybersecurity strategy will provide you with complete cybersecurity measures to protect you from external threats and internal mistakes.

Cybersecurity incidents are unpredictable but can be easily preventable. So, if you run a small business near Greensboro, High Point, or anywhere else in NC, call Integrated Technologies and get started on your digital protection plan!


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