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10 Ways to Counter Potential IT Threats

Despite all our efforts to protect data and make it less accessible, hackers always find a way to penetrate our defenses. Regardless of the business, you’re in, the last thing you want to worry about are informational breaches. 

Luckily, there is a set of procedures you can implement that would make it less likely to suffer from such issues. While there isn’t such a thing as 100% protection, you can make a company’s defenses pretty tight. 

Let’s  analyze 10 ways to counter potential IT threats. 

1. OS updates

Make sure that your operating system is always up to date. If you’re not meticulous enough, you can always set automatic updates, so you don’t have to worry too much. Simply put, this is the best way to counter potential breaches due to outdated software, something that can easily be exploited by the right malware. Besides Windows (or whichever OS you’re using), you should also enable automatic Microsoft Office updates. If you’re using software that is notoriously susceptible to attacks, you should consider removing it or substituting it for something better. 

2. Get the right anti-malware 

Everything starts with a good anti-malware program. Ideally, you should find a platform that unites various subprograms and features, defending your site against exploits, ransomware, and spyware. On top of that, you should also get a solid firewall. Modern operative systems usually come with firewalls and virus protection. Just make sure that this default software doesn’t interfere with the work of other programs that you’ve subsequently installed.

3. Erasing data 

If you wish to sell or replace old HDDs, SSDs, or other removable media, you need to perform a thorough data wipe before doing so. You might not believe this, but there are a lot of people who take advantage of recycled hard drives and other equipment. Overwriting or removing whatever was on the disc can insulate you from this particular type of threat. 

4. Make Wi-Fi inaccessible

Never open your Wi-Fi to the general public, even if you have a lot of employees on the premises! This is the best way for intruders to steal your private company connection and, by doing so, start downloading problematic files and software. Furthermore, you will need an encrypted password. Keep in mind that certain routers have flaws that were never fixed. This equipment can present an inherent threat to the whole system without you even realizing it. So, like with everything else on this list, you should update your devices regularly, always looking for better, more efficient solutions. 

5. Think about passwords

People tend to be lazy with their passwords. They often use the same set of words and numbers for various programs. This opens you to system-wide security threats that could endanger the very existence of your company. You might think that this is an exaggeration, but it isn’t; this is the best way to be a victim of industrial espionage. Among others, you should pay attention to your mobile devices. Fingerprint protection is the best way to go, but you can also use short timeouts for phone locks. 

6. Other password protection methods

On top of that, you should add two-step verification to everything. So, even if you lose access to your phone or desktop computer, this will prevent intruders from accessing the data. Not only does two-way authentication make it harder for intruders to exploit your systems, but it makes it easier for you to retrieve them if you lose something. 

7. Add security questions

In this particular case, I suggest some creativity. Given that all our data is easily accessible online, you might consider going with harder questions and answers that most people won’t figure out. In fact, you can go with whacky, creative answers that you’ve previously written down in a notepad. 

8. Email phishing

Email phishing is still something that hackers practice. However, these attacks have become much harder to figure out. The best way to figure out if an email is legit is to go over it and check the actual website address. Sometimes, you can figure out a phishing attempt based on poor phrasing or sentence construction.

9. Beware of sign-ins

Sometimes, phishing attempts are made during device sign-ins. For example, if you wish to log onto a certain platform or website, you might need to sign into a specific device to gain access. If you already need to give access, make sure there is a way to revoke it once you’re done. 

10. Remove valuable info of the cloud

Although Google Drive is accessible to everyone right now, that doesn’t mean it will always be so. You should be skeptical of large companies, even reputable ones such as Google. So, try to remove all your data from public clouds and keep it on your own servers.