19 Tips Seattle’s Business Leaders Should Follow to Improve Cybersecurity in 2019

Successful business leaders here in Seattle have to have a personal stake in their company’s success – and you do. You’ve built a company culture that nurtures and inspires your employees, you’ve perfected the tiniest details of your product or service. After all that, you’ve come out ahead in the complex juggling game of business finance. You’ve done a lot!

However, if you haven’t yet secured your business technology from cyberattack, you may be placing all your hard work in the path of danger.

Get the tips you need to succeed with cybersecurity in 2019 when you read this article.

How to Improve Your Business Cybersecurity in 2019

Though there’s no “one and done” method that’ll protect your company from every attack, following all of these 19 tips will place you well ahead of most Seattle businesses because you’ll have a layered security setup. This means that you’ll be blocking 90% of all the cyberattacks out there!

Of course, no method is foolproof. Since cybercriminals spend their time strategizing new ways to break into your systems, it’s important to implement a solid backup strategy at your company so you can easily recover your data if you are attacked.

If you need help with any of these cybersecurity tips, just reach out to the IT experts at Interplay, one of Seattle’s only true MSPs.

Now, onto the tips!

  1. Patch your systems. When those software patches arrive on Tuesdays, does your IT team install them on all your computers immediately? They should. However, think about how much time your IT people could dedicate to strategy if they didn’t have to waste hours on patching.
  2. Install updates on all tech, including phones. Don’t let anyone on your team put off the latest software or OS updates. Like patches, these should be installed immediately for everyone on your staff. Again, how much time could your IT team save if they didn’t have to manage this process?
  3. Secure your mobile devices. Mobile device management tools make it a breeze to wipe data from phones and laptops if they’re stolen. That way, your company data doesn’t end up breached just because someone left their laptop bag in the car or dropped their phone while wandering around Seattle Center.
  4. Avoid public WiFi. If your team must connect to public WiFi while traveling, make sure they use a VPN and are very careful about what data they access.
  5. Monitor your network access. Often, there are warning signs that you’re about to be hacked. If you can identify that someone is accessing your systems from Russia at 2:00 AM, you’ll have advance knowledge that you may be under attack. If you don’t know who’s accessing your network and when, you won’t have that warning.
  6. Use a password manager and strong passwords. Good passwords are the ones that are impossible to remember – and the #1 password tip we can give you is to use a unique password for every online account you have. To make this easier, you and your team can keep track of all your unique, impossible passwords with a password manager such as Dashlane, which even offers a free version.
  7. Perform regular backups. Mid-size to large businesses should backup their systems at least every fifteen minutes, so they don’t have to spend hours rebuilding a day’s worth of lost transactions if they’re attacked. Tape backups can’t move this fast, and disk backups are notoriously unreliable. The best choice is a backup appliance, which creates both a local and a cloud backup every few minutes.
  8. Limit access to your data. No one really needs admin access to all your systems except your Systems Administrators. Even your CEO doesn’t need full access. The more people who have access to your sensitive data (including your vendors and partners), the higher the likelihood that a cybercriminal can steal their credentials and gain access too.
  9. Double-check what you’re posting online. A few years back, cybersecurity researchers discovered that developers were unintentionally posting access credentials on GitHub… which isn’t surprising, considering that we all know someone who we’ve suspected to have copy-pasted their password into an email or tweet by mistake.
  10. Identify and block IoT from connecting to your network. It’s easy to hack an IoT device and, once they’re compromised, your network could be easily compromised too. Your MSP can help you set up solid IoT cybersecurity protocols.
  11. Train your employees to spot phishing attacks. Social engineering (AKA “phishing” and “vishing”) are some of the most common cyberattack strategies because they work really, really If you train your staff to ID and avoid social engineering attacks, you’ll be better protected than many of your peers.
  12. Know about and plug your security gaps. Gain true insight into the status of your network security with a free Network Security Assessment from Interplay. Odds are, you’ll be surprised (and a bit horrified) at what hasn’t been secured.
  13. Protect your email from spam, malware, and phishing. Spam blockers are table stakes for today’s businesses, but Microsoft has recently released a new tool for Office 365 that uses AI to better identify and block modern email threats, including phishing and malware attacks.
  14. Use multifactor authentication. Cybercriminals have access to a lot of passwords these days, so it’s up to you and your team to create another layer of security. Multifactor authentication uses text-messaged codes, thumbprints, or plug-in USB keys to provide an additional wall that slows or stops malicious hackers.
  15. Destroy unnecessary data. They say that “data is the new oil,” but data is also the new liability. States across the U.S. are quickly following Europe’s GDPR data privacy laws with their own legislation, which means any unnecessary data you store may expose you to unnecessary legal risk.
  16. Educate yourself on the latest threats. Ask your MSP how they can help keep you and your staff up to date on the latest cybersecurity issues, but also make sure you personally stay on top of IT news. It’s likely that tech touches every part of your business, so tech news is vital info these days. (For sources, we recommend Krebs on Security, FireEye, KnowBe4, Dark Reading, and CSO Magazine. Choose one source to keep up with and check it once a month or so.)
  17. Create a business continuity plan. Backup (#7 on this list) is just one part of business continuity planning, which is also known as disaster recovery planning. Your plan should include contact information, specific roles for company key players, and specific instructions on where to find your backups and how to restore them. Your MSP can help you create a rock-solid plan that helps keep your business safe, no matter what.
  18. Be wary of using too much tech. We’re sure your inbox is inundated with tech sales pitches every day, but a lot of brand-new tech is too buggy to trust with your critical and sensitive business data. (But beware! Old, outdated, and obsolete tech is also a danger.) Your MSP can help you determine a value prop for any new technology you wish to integrate into your operations.
  19. Control physical access to your systems. Don’t forget to lock up your server room, password-protect your desktops and mobile devices, secure computer cabinets, and install mobile device management solutions that can wipe business data remotely if employee devices fall into the wrong hands (see #3). Also, don’t plug in orphaned USB drives.

Are You Ready to Be a Cybersecurity Success?

You’ve put a lot of work into your company and now it’s time to protect that work by extending your focus to business cybersecurity. If you’re looking at this list and dreading the amount of work it will take to perform all these tasks and keep up with them day after day and week after week, you’ll be pleased to hear that outsourcing your IT is easy, affordable, and — most importantly — extremely effective.

So, actually, what we’re saying is that successfully growing a business is difficult, but successfully protecting it is simple… as long as you have the right outsourced IT partner.


Learn about all the ways your business stays secure when you choose the comprehensive services from a true cybersecurity expert like Interplay.