Working with an IT support provider has many benefits. One of those is that they can help you defend against cyber-attacks and keep your data and network safe. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and it’s difficult for a business owner to keep up with all the new ways that hackers are targeting businesses. When you work with IT professionals, they will keep track of the changing threat landscape and also ensure that your company is protected. What does this mean? Many times, it comes down to the four Ps of cybersecurity: patches, passwords, phishing, and precaution.
Your IT support provider should be very familiar with patches. Patches are also known as software upgrades and most people have seen them on their smartphones. Patches exist to keep systems running on the newest software platforms, which should be the most secure. However, many business owners or in-house IT teams ignore patches because they feel they don’t have time to install them. Others skip over them because they aren’t convinced they are important. In other cases, the patch comes too late and networks have already been infected or attacked.
When you work with an IT provider, their team can proactively monitor your system and install upgrades before they are needed. This keeps your system constantly updated and armed against attack.
Insecure passwords are still one of the major reasons why hackers gain access to secure networks and data. There’s a reason why people re-use passwords or make their passwords simple. The average person has 27 separate logins that require passwords and it’s impossible to remember 27 different unique, secure passwords. That’s why two of the most common passwords in 2016 were “123456” and “password”.
Many of the tools people use to remember passwords such as ‘remember me’ pop-ups on their computers or the old school way of writing them in a notebook can be the kiss of death if they are compromised. Your IT should help you develop a secure, safe, and easy way for you and your team to create and access strong passwords.
The majority of hackers get into your system by using a phishing scheme. This involves an email that appears to be from someone you know and has a link or attachment that, once clicked on, gives the hacker access to your network. You would think that people would be savvy to these types of attacks by now, but hackers are constantly evolving the way they present themselves.
Education of your team on dangerous downloads as well as continuous monitoring of your network are the two best ways to guard against phishing attacks. Your IT provider should help you with both.
The saying “precaution is better than cure” couldn't be more true in cyber protection – as one security hole can mean an attack that leads to huge losses for your business. The 4th P is mainly about using common sense. If something appears too good to be true, then it probably is.
Here are precautionary measures that you need to take to protect your IT systems:
- Dealing with emails - If something does not add up, then don't click on that link, or reply to that email asking for personal info.
- Protect personal computers when not in use - Use a strong password to prevent others from being able to physically access your PC.
- Firewall and anti-virus software - Use and update them regularly to block websites and spam emails that spread viruses.
Working with the right IT support provider is the best way for your business to guard against cyber-attacks. We at Vitalpoints can help you take care of your cybersecurity needs and ensure your business is safe from hackers. If you have any IT-related questions or would like to know more about our business, contact us now.