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Cybersecurity is important for individuals and their personal data. It is even more important that businesses keep data secure. Responsible organizations take steps to prevent hackers from stealing valuable information.

No system is hacker-proof. However, if you have safeguards in place, your business won’t be an easy target. Here are a few ways to keep your company’s information secure.

Be Password Savvy

Any default passwords should immediately be changed. Installing machines or software without proper security configuration is dangerous.

Effective password security forces employees to make strong passwords. It makes it impossible for employees to reuse passwords or store them on unauthorized devices. Two-factor authentication strengthens any password program your business has in place. A password manager allows all involved to create complex passwords they don’t need to remember.

Most business owners do not know what types of passwords their employees are creating. This increases the risk of a cyber-attack. Statistically, 90 percent of employee passwords can be hacked in less than six hours. Improving password hygiene requires decision-makers to have insight into what passwords are being used and whether these passwords comply with the organization’s security policies.

Keep Software Up-To-Date

Pop-up windows reminding employees to update software and operating systems are annoying. That is why they are ignored. Software updates are a key part of your organization’s digital safety.

These updates patch vulnerabilities that were found in previous versions of the software. The sooner your business updates software and operating systems, the more secure you will be.

Cybercriminals are smart. They are constantly evolving and coming up with alternative ways to attack your business. They can exploit your network if you or one of your employees stumbles across the wrong website. The malware they install can steal saved data or give the attacker control over computers, networks, and devices.

You need to automate software updates. When working with your IT department, set up a situation where operating systems and software are constantly being updated to protect you from attacks.

Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations

Data privacy laws vary around the world. In the United States, there is no one standard federal law that determines how data privacy should be handled. However, there are several sector-specific laws that control financial institutions, telecommunications, credit information, marketing, and health care information.

Private institutions and government institutions must comply with these laws. Government IT integration can help large government institutions or private institutions that work with the government to take the complexities of data privacy solutions and turn them into a manageable, streamlined IT ecosystem.

Acronyms like CCPA, SHIELD, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA represent just a few of the laws that impact data privacy in the United States and around the world. Failure to comply with data privacy laws can be disastrous. Not only could an organization face massive fines, but they risk damaging their reputation, losing their customers, and eventually needing to shut their doors because people can no longer trust them.

A mistake that some businesses make is thinking that data privacy law is only something that big companies need to be concerned with. This is an aspect of IT security small and medium-sized businesses need to be especially concerned about.

If there is a data breach that is traced back to a failure to comply with a privacy law that affects a large organization, the large organization can usually absorb the financial impact. Small to medium-sized organizations that face a similar breach will typically need to shut their doors because they cannot afford the loss of customers or the massive fees they need to pay.

Limit Access to Sensitive Information

There is technology that can identify unusual activity on your computer systems. Other software can monitor outbound communications to determine if there is an information leak. If an organization has remote employees, two-factor authentication and VPNs add a layer of security.

It is important that your organization compartmentalizes information. People should only have access to the information that they absolutely need to carry out their job. A person may need access to a network, a piece of data, or an application for a few hours to complete a task. However, once that task is complete, the associated permissions should be revoked.

IT security should be taken seriously. Failure to do so can cause you to lose money, lose your reputation, and lead to your organization closing its doors.