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Contending with cyber threats is an inevitable part of doing business in the digital age—ready your defenses with a cyber security checklist.

Checkboxes and green pen checking off the final boxAt this point, it’s pretty much accepted that every business will have to contend with a cyber attack. When companies like Arby’s, Domino’s Pizza and Whole Foods are getting hit alongside Equifax, Deloitte and the bakery down the street, you can assume it’s only a matter of time before your ticket’s called.

We’ve discussed the importance of cyber security incident response plans on this blog and as we watch company after company succumb to hackers, the team at iConvergence thought it would be a good time to put together an inventory of items that should be included on your cyber security checklist.

Wise up and use the information below to build a personalized cyber security checklist and safeguard your business.

Physical Security Check
Is your network physically secure? On-premise servers, if you have them, should be in a safe location accessible only to authorized personnel. Server rooms need to be outfitted with appropriate cooling, fire-resistance and power mechanisms to help safeguard and preserve your data in the event of a disaster. If your data management is outsourced, take a tour of the data center to ensure your information is well looked after and find out what controls are in place to keep your precious information protected.

Employee Training
It should go without saying that it’s absolutely essential to conduct cyber security training with every member of your team. Periodic, ongoing education and security drills are important to ensure that all of your employees are familiar with the policies and procedures you’ve implemented that protect the network and your data. We’d recommend that you document each training session and gather employee signatures to keep everyone on-point and compliant, because as we all know,  cyber security is only as strong as your weakest link—your employees.

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
Person viewing device surrounded by vintage clockfaceIt’s essential to use up-to-date software and be attentive when it comes to patch management. Hackers know how to exploit software vulnerabilities using a whole slew of tactics to gain access to computers and data. Updating your software on network-connected equipment should always be a top priority. It’s also important to make sure you have business-class antivirus software installed and up-to-date on every office workstation and server.

Implement Simple and Effective Cyber Security Policies
Criminals will go to great lengths to exploit any weaknesses or gaps in your cyber defenses and your employees are often the first point of contact. Every company needs cyber security policies that help to regulate behaviors and activities among employees to protect the network and important information. These policies also ensure that employees, along with your company and partners, are protected from illegal or harmful actions committed by individuals both knowingly and unknowingly.

Always Back up Your Data
Daily backups are important to help your business recover from data corruption or loss as the result of a data breach. Not having reliable and safely stored backups can make it nearly impossible to recover from a breach should one occur. In today’s business climate, where companies are being attacked relentlessly regardless of size or industry, backing up essential data in preparation for the worst can be one of the best things you do to ensure the safety and longevity of your business.

Man looking at mobile device in the shadowsConducting business in the digital age means contending with cyber threats and that’s not going to change any time soon (if ever). You can’t control the hackers trying relentlessly to steal you and your customer’s data but you can take proactive steps to help prevent or prepare for an eventual attack. This list is merely a starting point, but it will help to put your business on the path to cyber security success.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn how iConvergence is positioned to keep your business safe with best-in-class cyber security solutions from Cisco.