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Don’t get hacked! Five ways to build rock-solid small business IT

Business growth has skyrocketed because of reliance on the Internet, ranging from websites that promote company brands and stories to online shopping carts, email correspondence and daily internal operations. And, when hackers attack, your small business is at risk of losing profits, its reputation via exploitation and, most of all, valuable employee and customer data.

Ever-evolving cyber threats aren’t always caught by even the most out-of-the-box, up-to-date antivirus software. That’s why IT solutions and managed IT services, which support monitoring and maintaining security for your online infrastructure, are essential tools for small and mid-sized companies to smoothly conduct business without the constant worry of an attack. Here’s your answer for safety, alongside several effective ways you can strengthen your business’ systems!

1. Educating your employees on network security
Cyberattacks manifest in a variety of forms – phishing, ransomware, malware, attacks from within a company and man-in-the-middle attacks – that your employees may not immediately recognize. Luckily, there are plenty of content pieces and educational videos available that can heighten your team members’ awareness to threats of all types.

Everything, from how to respond to cyberattacks and what to do if a data breach occurs, is covered in videos, helpful articles and more. It’s important to schedule these informational sessions regularly within your company so your employees – not just your IT company – can catch threats before they morph into major problems.

2. Multifactor identification is a must
Multifactor identification requires users – management and employees within your company – to verify themselves in two or more ways to access important data, such as applications, virtual private networks and data files. It’s another layer of security that follows inputting a simple username and password on your work computer or mobile device.

Without multifactor identification, usernames and passwords alone can be stolen by sources outside your business. Providing a special PIN from a phone app or a verified fingerprint can drastically reduce the likelihood of a hacker gaining entry to your valuable data.

3. Firewall for your Wi-Fi network
Firewall monitors Internet traffic across your business, ensuring safe navigation on internal and external websites. Browsing the Internet is easy, as this security enhancement can shield your employees from reaching harmful sites that contain various cyber threats.

Firewalls are crucial for employees who opt to work from home, since it protects systems and data from being breached on an otherwise vulnerable remote network.

4. Back up your data
Your company’s data likely contains confidential customer information, work orders, sensitive emails and more. It’s not just important to protect those valuable assets from hackers, but also unforeseen circumstances that can slow business to a standstill.

Power or Internet outages can happen at any time and, even if work is saved on your network, you’ll instantly lose that information. That’s why regular, automatic backups of critical word documents, spreadsheets, financial forms and human resources files are critical.

5. Leave cybersecurity to the professionals
Your company’s security is essential, yet it’s a task that eats up valuable time throughout the day. Managing threats, unpredictable events and cyberattacks full-time requires specific skills that a video can’t always provide.

Hiring a virtual chief information officer, known as a VCIO, can provide the much-needed technology strategy businesses need to manage networks while you focus solely on daily operations, sales and more. It’s a remote, third-party consultant offering an easy, no-hassle security solution – and they’re just a phone call or virtual meeting away.