The IT Security Guide For Manhattan Businesses

The IT Security Guide For Manhattan Businesses – How To Stay Safe Online 

Businesses in Manhattan are a prime target for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, these hackers don’t stop to check whether you are a small business or a multinational before they attack, and frankly, they don’t care.

This is why every business in Manhattan needs to know what they can do to protect their network, data, and customers from online threats. In this article, we cover the key threats that businesses in Manhattan face, as well as some steps you can take today to improve your cyber defenses.

Why is it important for Manhattan businesses to stay safe online?
Failing to properly secure your network from threats can lead to ransomware attacks, data breaches, downtime, and other cyber disasters. Smaller businesses may not have the skills or budget to recover from these quickly and may have to cease trading as a result. 60% of small to medium businesses close within 6 months of a ransomware attack. Even larger businesses that can survive the initial attack may see confidence in them erode if they are unable to protect their customers’ data. They may even be subject to a penalty under the NYS Information Security Breach and Notification Act.  

IT Security Measures
Manhattan businesses are increasingly aware of the dangers of cybercrime and are looking for ways to protect themselves. Having strong IT security measures in place is vital to keeping your business safe, but so is having an interest in and awareness of the latest cyber threats and how to mitigate them. This is why most successful Manhattan businesses delegate their cybersecurity to a managed IT provider in New York. At Carden IT Services LLC our IT security is designed to protect Manhattan businesses from cyber threats and ensure that both business and customer data is kept safe.

6 Common Types Of Cyber Attacks in Manhattan Businesses 

This section should clearly explain the different types of cyber-attacks that Manhattan businesses need to be aware of, such as:

  1. Ransomware
    Ransomware encrypts files on your network and makes them unusable until you pay the hackers a ransom (usually in cryptocurrency). Ransomware can be crippling for an organization and is one of the biggest cyber threats to businesses of all sizes.
  2. Denial-of-service attacks 
    Denial of service attacks try to overload elements of your infrastructure by making repeated requests. For example, using bots to make thousands of page load requests to your website every second, which makes it unusable for your regular users.
  3. Man-in-the-middle attacks 
    An attacker sits between two parties and spies on the communications between them. For example, if a member of your team uses their work laptop in a coffee shop with an unsecured WiFi connection which is occupied by a hacker, the hacker can see all the information going to and from the user’s laptop.
  4. Phishing 
    Phishing emails look like genuine emails from your contacts/customers/suppliers but are fake and trying to trick you into handing over your login details or sensitive information. Phishing emails can be generic, or they can be targeted at a particular individual or company.
  5. Drive-by downloads 
    Drive by download refers to malicious software that is either downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge or installed by the user under false pretenses.
  6. Zero-day attacks 
    Zero-day attacks exploit flaws in application or hardware security which is as of yet unknown and so has “zero days” of protection available against it.  

10 Tips To Stay Safe Online For Manhattan Businesses 

Here are some steps your business can take today to make your network more secure. 

  1. Set up a firewall
    A firewall is a necessity for any business but it’s not enough to just set one up and leave it. You need to ensure that your firewall is configured correctly and kept up to date with the latest firmware. This is why many businesses prefer to have a managed firewall that is kept up to date by an IT support provider.
  2. Use current software and updates
    Out-of-date software, firmware, and hardware are a major attack vector for ransomware and other threats. Software updates don’t just add new features, they fix critical security bugs. This is why many businesses use a patch management service to ensure their devices and software are regularly updated.
  3. Encrypt all sensitive data
    Sensitive data should never be stored in plain text (like putting all your passwords in an Excel sheet). All sensitive data needs to be encrypted both while it is in transit and while it is at rest.
  4. Use strong, unique passwords
    A classic piece of advice but one which far too many people ignore. Every password should be unique and strong. If remembering all of them is a problem, you should consider using a password manager.
  5. Train employees to spot spam and phishing scams
    Cybersecurity isn’t just about technology – your employees are a key part of your cyber defense. Ensuring that your employees are aware of the threats your businesses face and the role they can play in defending against them will mean they are more vigilant and less likely to put your business at risk.
  6. Use antivirus software
    The latest antivirus software syncs with a constantly updated list of known malware as well as detecting suspicious activity on your computer which could be the result of as-yet-unknown threats.
  7. Practice safe browsing habits
    Follow common sense practices when browsing the internet. Don’t click on links unless you are sure of where they will take you. Don’t open/download attachments from unknown contacts.
  8. Backup data regularly
    Business-critical data need to be securely backed up regularly, otherwise a serious disaster like an office fire or a ransomware attack could lead to you losing all your data and being unable to operate. Ideally, you will have multiple backups of your data at separate locations off-premises.
  9. Use a Virtual Private Network
    A virtual private network (VPN) can help prevent your activity online from being spied on and can also help lock down your network from being accessed by outside users (by requiring them to join via your VPN).
  10. Hire an IT expert
    While implementing all the steps listed above will certainly help your business be more secure than it was before, your best chance of avoiding online threats comes from partnering with a managed IT services provider like us. At Carden IT Services, we help businesses in Manhattan of all sizes to secure their network, devices, and data. We provide this cybersecurity service as part of a wider package of managed IT services which help boost the security, productivity, and resilience of your business while also helping you compete at a higher level.

Need Help Keeping Your Manhattan Business Secure From Cyber Threats?  

Hopefully, you can now see why it is important for Manhattan businesses to stay safe online and understand a few of the steps you can take to keep your own business secure. However, if you’re still worried about keeping your Manhattan business safe and secure online, you should speak to a member of our team today. You can discuss the current state of your cybersecurity preparedness and book a cybersecurity audit. From there our team can build a bespoke cybersecurity defense plan for you and discuss our other managed IT services and how they could help your business.

Author: Jeremy Huson

Jeremy Huson is the founder and director of Carden IT Services LLC. He has nearly two decades of experience managing businesses’ IT networks and his areas of expertise are IT consultation and cybersecurity.