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Improve IT: 5 Ways Your Business May Be Vulnerable To Malware

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According to recent studies, 20 percent of small businesses are victims of malware and cyber crime each year, and that number is on the rise. Hackers target small businesses because they may still have large payoffs, but likely lack resources to retaliate, investigate and block hacker efforts. Here are five ways in which your business could have enterprise-level vulnerabilities that hackers could easily exploit.

Insecure Passwords

Regardless of how internal the system may seem, and regardless of the platform, you need to practice front line security by generating random, difficult-to-crack passwords for every entryway into your business processes. Use a random password generator to create them, or, if you allow employees to select their own passwords for user accounts, require that all passwords have random letters, characters and capitalization.

Incomplete Protection and Encryption

You should install an effective anti-virus and/or malware blocker on any device that can support one. That includes tablets, laptops, company mobile phones, servers and desktops. Adequately encrypting your company's devices is also an important step in securing your business data.

Poor Digital Hygiene Staff Training

Employees often unknowingly create vulnerabilities within their companies by practicing poor digital data hygiene. Training your employees to effectively guard their data against hackers should be a priority for your company. Train your staff in spotting phishing scams via email and in the importance of using secure passwords for their user accounts. You may want to assign a go-to person within your organization who can provide regular training and answer staff questions.

Inadequate Malware protection

Many small businesses protect their devices and data using the personal editions of malware and anti-virus programs. However, your business needs the professional editions of these kinds of programs. Ensure that you have the enterprise-grade versions of your digital data protection software, and that you keep them up-to-date.

Lack of Oversight

You may want to have a third-party IT professionals or digital security expert such as MRA perform a full-scale security audit on your organization. They should have the expertise to review the measures your company currently takes to protect its data, and to give recommendations that could make your business more impervious to malicious attacks. A thorough security audit easily pays for itself.

Hackers use many different approaches to attack your business. Your company's best defense is a multi-layered approach that ensures that all your bases are covered.

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Anita Ginsburg

Anita Ginsburg is a Freelance Writer

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