Computer security in a business setting is not only a component of cybersecurity but is also directly concerned with hardware vulnerabilities and installed software. Cybercriminals are targeting staff desktops, laptops, and mobile devices to inject malicious code and access your entire network. Today, Fully Managed is here to shed light on the hardware used by your employees so that you can keep it from being a gateway to your IT systems.
6 Tips for Protecting Corporate Staff Computers and Devices from Cybercrime
1. The Basics – Anti-virus and Firewall
You certainly have anti-virus (AV) software installed on company computers, right? That’s a great start, but the problem is that you could still be using the free AV versions. This may save you a few bucks, but it likely doesn’t include the most current security patches. This is one expense you should not skip. Invest in the premium AV subscription, one that, in addition to virus protection, offers defense against malware and spyware. Also, confirm that all computer system firewalls are turned on.
2. Perform Updates in Real-Time
Never put off operating system and software updates ever again. Institute a policy that makes updates mandatory for all desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones used in the course of doing business, be they on-site or in the hands of remote staff/contractors. Updates are not just performance-based, as they may deliver security patches for newly exposed vulnerabilities. Even waiting a few hours to perform an update can open your company up to risk, so check the box on “automatic update” for all operating systems and software and have the IT team verify that they have been completed to satisfaction.
3. Switch to Better Productivity Software (or Better Leverage It)
Hackers gain access to computers through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) a business uses to improve productivity. The implication is clear - choose a better SaaS. Or, if you already do, have your IT team verify that all security features are deployed.
Let’s look at the subscription-based Microsoft Office 365 as an example. MS Office 365 offers better protection than the traditional MS Office your organization may have been relying upon for far too long. Not only does MS Office 365 offer a more robust productivity solution, but it also boasts industry-leading security features that protect company computers in addition to the entire network. Look no further than Microsoft Secure Score for proof of this. Secure Score is an enterprise-level cybersecurity report card. Learn more about how MS 365 and Secure Score locks hackers out of Office 365, and ultimately staff computers.
There’s another computer security benefit for businesses who choose Microsoft 365 and use a Windows 10 operating system. The BitLocker Drive Encryption feature provides protection when company computers are lost, stolen, or decommissioned off-premises. View more on this MS 365 security feature.
4. Establish Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Any company laptop, tablet, or smartphone that sits unattended in an office, warehouse, vehicle, home, or hotel room is vulnerable to a criminal. Alternatively, a staff member may have already inadvertently downloaded malware that allows a hacker to access apps and data on their devices. Whichever the case, hardware protected by multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication will block malicious access. MFA requires that more than one recognized factor for authentication must be provided before a user can access a given device. Typically, these factors include a password, followed by a fingerprint, facial scan, or other feature unique to (or in possession of) a user. Apple Face ID is a common example that your staff is already familiar with. With MFA set-up on all company computers you will gain peace of mind that even if devices fall into the wrong hands, criminals will not be able to get beyond the home screen.
5. Train Staff for Better Computer Security Awareness
Increasing staff awareness regarding computer security breaches is one of the most effective means of mitigating the risk. They are on the frontline, receiving emails and texts contaminated with malicious code. With a single mouse-click or finger-tap, your company’s computers and network can shut down, with data and systems being held for ransom.
Computer security training should be sweeping, and include all staff, executives, and stakeholders - all of whom are targets of phishing in addition to vishing and SMiShing schemes. View our guide on how to introduce new IT initiatives to company personnel to ensure optimal adoption of computer security best practices.
6. Data Backups to the Cloud
Even when following all of the above, at some point your computers will likely be compromised. It’s an unfortunate fact of doing business in 2020 and beyond. To protect data and business continuity, ensure that all computer files are backed up to the cloud. Need a cloud solution? Fully Managed offers a safe, secure, Canadian-based FM Cloud, a customized solution that protects your computers and data while improving efficiency and decreasing overhead. Learn more about the FM Cloud and feel free to contact us anytime to discuss your options.