Cyber security is more important than ever and more challenging in this day and age. So much data is stored digitally and in cloud servers. Plus, more and more workers are doing their jobs remotely, leading to even more security risks. Whether your company is an enterprise or an SMB, you need to take appropriate steps to protect your business. Cyber attacks and data breaches can be devastating for any business. You could suffer a massive hit to your reputation, for one. This will lead to losses with loyal customers and a lack of trust from potential new ones. On top of that, you may face legal penalties such as fines or worse. You may also have affected people bringing lawsuits against you. It’s crucial that you do whatever you want to defend against hackers and criminals. Here’s how to keep your company safe from cybercrime in 2022. Keep Software up to Date Software and operating system updates can be annoying. They shut down a device for a while, potentially causing delays and frustration. Even if they are scheduled overnight, some people forget and end up with unsaved documents lost or recovered but incomplete. Plus, they can often change how a device works, including removing or resetting favored settings. Too many people ignore and put off software updates thinking that there is no downside to doing so. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Software and operating system updates are about more than performance, and they are often about security. Cybercriminals are very resourceful and persistent, and they are always searching for weaknesses to exploit. Once a software provider identifies a fault, they will update to patch it. If you don’t execute that update, your device and network will be vulnerable. Implement a company-wide updating policy so that everyone has the most secure version of their devices and software. Strong Passwords Many cyber attacks involve gaining access through someone’s password. Often it’s because a user has an obvious password like their mother’s maiden name and the digits 123. Cyber security starts with everyone having a strong password. However, what makes a strong password isn’t always evident to everyone. Plus, many employees like having weak passwords because they are easier to remember. Having strong passwords can be a hassle for some people since it requires either remembering or storing a complicated set of numbers, figures, and characters. A password management tool offers several security benefits. For one, users can easily store complex passwords and retrieve them when they need to. No need to remember words or phrases and password tools are very secure. They also offer features such as enterprise password sharing so that IT departments can monitor passwords and share them among teams and staff members if need be. Educate Your Employees For any security efforts to succeed, you need buy-in from your employees. To get this, they need to be educated about the nature of threats and about how to prevent them. They should understand suspicious opening emails and avoid possible password information from social engineering scams on social media. Also, make sure that they know the ramifications of a data breach. If they truly understand the need for your security measures, they will be more likely to follow them diligently. Data Backups Some cybercrimes involve extortion or ransom. This is the act of securing data or even entire networks and asking for money to release them. Your data should be backed up regularly to prevent this from happening to you. If you have an encrypted cloud backup system or data stored on hard drives that are disconnected from the internet, you can survive extortion attempts with minimal damage. You will have recently updated files and data ready to go so that you can be back up and running without data loss in no time. Proper Device Disposal Devices need to be replaced now and then. When that time comes, it’s vital that your laptops, hard drives, mobile phones, tablets, and any other devices that hold data are disposed of properly. If they are thrown in the garbage, criminals can retrieve them. Data may still be stored on them that will facilitate further access to your data. Or, there may still be sensitive data on the device itself. Everything should be destroyed and recycled, if possible. Some services will provide hard drive and device shredding to ensure that everything is completely destroyed. Don’t take your cyber security lightly. As we move into 2022, cybercrimes will become more common. Your company could suffer greatly if there is a breach, and your customers, patients, or staff will be hurt as well. Take these steps immediately to defend yourself and ensure your data is secure. Further Reading \t 5 Ways Your Organization Can Integrate Good Security Practices \t How To Protect Yourself On The Internet \t Is there any Need for Cyber Security Regulations?