Avoiding Computer Problems In the First Place

Computer Security: Make Sure Your Small Business Is Protected From These 3 Common Threats

In today's unsettled political climate, cybersecurity has been elevated to a critical imperative. Cybersecurity has always been important, but it was mostly a problem for large businesses and organizations with large computer networks. Now small businesses and even individuals need to be concerned and take measures to protect themselves from malicious emails, Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, and ransomware. Here's a brief guide to keeping your small business safe.

Hardening your email security

Email is one of the areas where cybercriminals strike most often because employees are often the weakest link in a business's security strategy. Hackers use social engineering tactics to convince employees that a phishing email is legitimate. When the employee clicks on a link in the email or downloads an attachment, malware is downloaded to their computer which can steal data or lock computers and networks.

Companies need to educate staff about recognizing these phishing emails. They should also enforce password policies such as using strong passwords and changing them frequently. Companies should also request that their employees use two-factor authentication, which further secures email accounts.

Defending against Denial-of-Service attacks

DoS attacks occur when malicious hackers flood a computer or network with so much traffic that the computers crash or legitimate users cannot access their devices. The malicious code can then take over a computer and use it to send out malicious code to other computers, which means your users' computers can become part of the problem.

To avoid being a DoS victim, make sure your computer platforms are up to date, keep your antivirus software current, and install a firewall to restrict traffic in and out of your networks. Also, make sure your files are continuously backed up and that you have a disaster recovery plan in case you do become a victim.

Don't be held hostage by ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious activity that is becoming increasingly common. Cybercriminals gain access to a user's computer or network through phishing emails or a network vulnerability. They then encrypt the files or block access to them until a ransom fee is paid. Companies often have little choice but to pay the fee, which is why ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common.

Make sure your systems and security are up to date and educate users on good security habits. The same cyber security solutions used to prevent email phishing and DoS attacks should be implemented for ransomware protection. And always be sure to back up your files to a storage device that's not on your network.