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Five Ways to Ensure Your Business is Cyber Safe


Published March 1, 2020 • 3 Min Read

This article originally appeared on RBC Cyber Security Resource Centre on March 1, 2020.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility. We all have a role to play. From co-workers and managers to employees and contractors – it takes all of us working together to strengthen our cyber security defence. Improve cyber security in your organization by adopting these five simple best practices.


1. Regularly back up data off-site

Businesses hold valuable information that cyber criminals are looking for, like employee and customer records or financial information. Consistently back up your data so if your company is ever attacked by ransomware, you can minimize the impact. The best way to back up files is by using a secure off-site system that continuously creates new versions of all of a company’s data.


2. Implement formal security policies

Establishing security practices and policies, and enforcing them, is essential to protecting your systems. Protecting the office network should be on everyone’s mind since those who use it can be a potential target for attackers. Explain security practices and policies to employees to help them understand why they are in place, how they apply to them and what the potential risks are, to them and the business, if they are not followed.


3. Keep your software up to date

Software and hardware manufacturers routinely issue updates and what are called “patches” to improve security. Hackers, along with malicious programs or viruses, find weaknesses in software (called vulnerabilities) that they exploit to access computers, smartphones or tablets. Installing updates fixes these vulnerabilities and helps keep these devices secure. For optimal security, every device at a small business must download and install all updates and patches on a regular basis.


4. Develop an incident response plan

An incident response plan contains the instructions and procedures your business can use to identify, respond to, and mitigate the effects of a cyber incident. The plan should indicate who is responsible for handling incidents, as well as relevant contact information for communicating with external parties, stakeholders, and regulators. Review the plan quarterly and make updates accordingly.


5. Educate your employees

Teach your employees about cyber threats and the different ways cyber criminals can infiltrate your systems. Show them how to protect the business’s data by training them on how to recognize the signs of a breach and how to stay safe while using the company’s network. If your employees understand these threats, they can help avoid them.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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