As you prep for the coming year, here are four things you need to give your business a serious edge.

  1. Head To The Cloud. Back up your data to secure cloud storage. This makes it a breeze for you and your team to access. Should anything be disrupted on-site, you have a backup you can turn to.
  2. Update, Update, Update! Patch all of your security solutions, apps, programs — you name it. You don’t want to accidentally leave yourself open to security exploits because you’re four months behind on the latest security patch.
  3. Dive Into Software-As-A-Service (SaaS). One great way to stay ahead of the curve on software is to pair with a SaaS for your various needs, such as marketing, project management or billing. It’s easier to keep updated and integrated with the latest and most reliable software on the market.
  4. Call Your MSP. Talk to your managed service provider to make sure all of your current needs are being met. Do you need additional protection? Do you need to back up data more frequently? Do your employees need more IT security training? Look for gaps and work together to fill them.

The “Human Firewall” — What is it and why you should be freaked out by it

Social engineering is a scary thing, and we’re all vulnerable. It starts when scammers try to build trust with their victims. They trick their victims into handing over e-mail addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and passwords.

Scammers often use phishing e-mails (and sometimes phone calls) posing as legitimate sources to get this information. They might tell you they’re a representative at your bank or your favorite online store. They may even pose as one of your colleagues. They prey on your desire to help or fix a problem.

Social engineering works because scammers know how to break through the “human firewall,” or the people in your organization. You can have all the malware protection in the world, but hackers can still break in by exploiting your employees.

How can you protect yourself and ensure your human firewall isn’t breached? While no method can stop social engineering completely, ongoing cyber security training can go a long way in patching that firewall. When your team knows what to look for and how to deal with it, they can stop the scammers in their tracks.