12 Ways Small Businesses Can Defend Against Ransomware
In our last blog post, we shared what small business operators need to know about the threat of ransomware attacks.
Businesses lose billions of dollars each year to this growing form of cybercrime, and small businesses are especially at risk. Since you can’t necessarily control whether hackers might attempt an attack on your company, it’s important to implement policies and practices that can foil such attempts and prevent losses of money, productivity, and reputation.
Here are 12 tips you can take to safeguard your business from ransomware:
1. Use strong passwords. If you’re still using passwords or device passcodes like “1234,” change them to something much harder to crack. You can use a free tool like Password Monster to find out how secure different character combinations are.
2. Don’t download unexpected attachments. If an email attachment or hyperlink looks suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. If the message appears to come from someone you know, you can always ask them to confirm that it’s legitimate.
3. Get software from trusted sources. Don’t download programs from no-name websites. Sites that offer free programs like PDF readers, photo editors, and video players are likely to host ransomware. Go directly to a known company’s site.
4. Keep programs up to date. Turn on automatic updates for your operating systems and make sure that you regularly look for and install the latest security patches for your internet browsers, browser plug-ins, and frequently used software.
5. Secure your remote workers. The increase in telecommuting since 2020 has led to a proliferation of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks. Implement multifactor authentication for anyone who logs into your server and systems from afar.
6. Protect sensitive data. As much as practicable, centralize employee and customer information like Social Security numbers and credit card numbers on a single workstation rather than making it available on a server or on multiple devices.
7. Be careful with public Wi-Fi. Many public spaces like airports and coffee shops offer Wi-Fi, which can be convenient for getting last-minute work done. But using these networks without a virtual private network (VPN) is an invitation to hackers.
8. Turn off Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a great way to connect wireless devices, but leaving it on when you’re not actively using it creates a back door for hackers. Make a habit of disabling Bluetooth on your computer as soon as you take off your headphones.
9. Shut your computer down every night. If you’re running a small business, it might seem like work never ends, but letting your computer get a good night’s sleep will extend its running life and make it harder for hackers to gain entry during off-hours.
10. Don’t leave devices unattended. Good security isn’t just about having the latest high-tech tools. You also need to make sure you’re not leaving your laptop, phone, or tablet where someone outside your organization could access or steal it.
11. Back everything up frequently. If, despite your best efforts, you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, having a recent backup of all your files is your last defense. You’ll be able to wipe all your machines clean and get back to work without delay.
12. Train your employees. These cybersecurity tips work only if everyone in your organization knows and implements them. Make sure all your employees know that defeating ransomware and other forms of cybercrime is always a team effort.
The Next Step
If you’re planning a major tech upgrade, new storefront, or product rollover, consider Nu Direction for fast, fair, reliable, and transparent lending. Your business can receive instant preliminary offers and funding in as little as one week. Learn more and apply today.
The information contained herein is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal, or business advice.
Brought to you by Nu Direction Lending, a digital-first business lender that was formed and is funded by credit unions. To learn more about term loans for your business, visit nudirectionlending.com or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 866-354-7151.
Nu Direction Lending is a digital-first business lender that was formed and is funded by credit unions. We combine the speed and convenience of online lenders with the personalized touch of the local credit unions who help fuel our local economies.