Cybersecurity for hospitality does not have to be complicated. There are some practices that you can implement today to keep your company’s data and customer data safe from cyber exploits.
- Keep an Eye on Things
One of the most important things you can do to keep your company’s data secure is to keep an eye on your network and accounts. Your employees should be trained to identify potentially suspicious activity and should know what to do if they encounter it. If a cyber-attack does occur the best thing you can do is catch it early, hopefully before it does any extensive damage. If you don’t detect the problem, you might not know anything is wrong in the first place.
- Keep All of Your Software up to Date
As companies detect possible security holes in their software they develop and release patches to fix them. However, you can only take advantage of these fixes if your software is up to date. Known software vulnerabilities that have recently been issued patches are a prime target for cybercriminals, who will often specifically look for companies that have not updated their software to include the new patches. Keeping your software up to date, and ensuring your employees do as well, is a quick and simple way to help protect your company’s digital assets.
This tip is only effective if your company has Anti-Malware software, which I suggest, is a very important best practice. Should one of your employees accidentally open a malware-infected file or visit a malicious site Anti-Malware software will offer your company an additional line of defense. This software is designed to detect suspicious attachments and websites and either keep them from delivering their malware payload or isolate any computers that have already become infected.
- Enforce Safe Password Practices and Multifactor Authentication
Though choosing good passwords and changing them regularly can be inconvenient it is important that your employees select strong passwords and change them frequently. NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) offers comprehensive guidelines in section 184.108.40.206. (Memorized Secret Authenticators) for choosing secure passwords.
Multifactor authentication is a simple and minimally intrusive way to empower your employees to help keep company data safe. Employee cellphones work well as multifactor authentication devices since it is unlikely that thieves or cybercriminals will have both an employee’s password and their cellphone.
- Make Sure Mobile Devices Are Secure
You should make sure to educate your employees on how to properly secure their mobile devices, both personal and professional, that connect to your network. All devices should be locked using a PIN or password, and should not be left unattended in public. Employees should only install apps from trusted sources, and should not click any links or attachments found in unsolicited emails or text messages. Everyone should make sure their mobile device software is kept up to date, and data should be backed up regularly. Employees should also install programs such as Find my iPhone or the Android Device Manager so that lost or stolen devices can be tracked.
- Educate Yourself and Your Employees
It is important for any business owner to understand the basics of cybersecurity so that they can take steps to safeguard their business and its digital assets. You can do this by talking with your internal cybersecurity team or scheduling training meetings with your cybersecurity provider so that you can expand your knowledge.
Especially in small and medium-sized businesses employees may fulfill a wide variety of roles. This means that all employees should be familiar with your company’s cybersecurity policies and should understand who they should go to if they think something is fishy or encounter any possible cybercriminal activities. You should also make sure that your company’s cybersecurity policies are reviewed regularly and evolve to address new potential threats.
While all of these practices are easy, even the best cybersecurity protocols are only useful if you are able to identify threats so that you can deal with them in a timely manner and limiting or mitigating damage. To help keep your company, and its data, safe you may want to consider a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). A good MSSP is able to monitor your system 24/7/365 and is staffed by a team of cybersecurity experts who can protect your company and its data, alert you to any potential cybersecurity problems, and help you address problems should they occur.