The new year is a time for reflection and planning ahead. From a business perspective, you might look at what went well last year and what you’d like to improve on in the year to come. Chances are, you’ll have KPIs you want to hit, hurdles you need to overcome and new markets you want to reach.
While these are all worthy goals, they miss a crucial and often overlooked aspect of business: technology. These days, every company is a technology company – no matter the sector. This is because we increasingly rely on digital services and the cloud to interact with customers, manage employees, and sell and market our services or products.
With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to incorporate technology and cyber security into your annual planning. So, here are five technology resolutions that will help your business over the next year.
1. Update Your Passwords
According to Verizon, over 81% of breaches used stolen or weak passwords in 2020. If you or your employees use simple passwords like ‘123456’ or re-use the same password across multiple accounts, you are increasing your likelihood of falling victim to a hack.
Many small businesses think they can ‘fly under the radar and won’t be noticed by cyber-criminals, but this is far from the case. In fact, the Identity Theft Resource Center found that over half (58%) of US small businesses suffered a security or data breach in the last year.
Poor password management practices are a low hanging fruit to cyber-criminals. We recommend enforcing robust password controls – mandating that employees use a mixture of lower and upper-case characters, along with special characters and numbers for their passwords – to reduce the likelihood of credential compromise.
You should also ensure that your staff use a unique password for each account. To help employees keep track of their different logins, you should provide access to a password manager.
2. Enable Multi-factor Authentication
In the same vein as password management, you should bolster your security by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). This authentication method uses two or more verification methods to validate a user, rather than just relying on a username and password.
As more employees work remotely or from their own devices, MFA is essential to staying secure. If you’re unsure where to start implementing MFA, consider outsourcing your IT support. External experts can help you identify the applications and infrastructure that need MFA across your business.
3. Regularly Update Your Security Software
We’ve all been guilty of clicking the ‘remind me later’ button when our computer or laptop prompts us with a software update. From a security and functionality perspective, this is a business risk. Software updates not only improve the performance of your device; they contain critical patches that help to keep your business safe from malware and viruses. If these patches aren’t applied quickly, a cybercriminal could exploit them and access your network.
You can set up company devices to automatically update after a patch is released to ensure this doesn’t happen. This means that you won’t have to rely on your employees to remember to update their devices themselves.
4. Educate Your Employees on Phishing Attacks
According to Gartner, 90% of cyber threats start with an email, making it the number 1 threat vector. Many of these emails take the form of phishing – a type of attack where an attacker sends a fraudulent message to an employee designed to trick them into sharing sensitive information or clicking a malicious link.
Even with anti-malware solutions in place, phishing emails will still land in your employees’ inboxes. To stop them from falling victim, you need to arm them with the knowledge to spot these attacks. This is where training becomes pivotal. Training can take the form of leaflets, away days or even eLearning. The main thing is that you help your employees to look at emails critically, rather than trusting every message that lands in their inbox.
5. Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan
Whether it’s a power outage, natural disaster, or cyberattack, numerous unexpected events can take your business offline. The most important thing in these instances is to have a plan to get back up and running as soon as possible. A good disaster recovery plan will help you feel prepared and calm when things go awry.
Move into the new year with confidence with Pro Tech Guy
Pro Tech Guy offers small businesses the ability to outsource their IT needs, resulting in managed and predictable costs. Our team will not only take the time to get to know you, your staff, and your business needs, but we will be able to offer a personalized plan that will help ease the IT headaches of the past, so you can get back to what you do best!
Contact us today to learn more. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.