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Hackers have the ability to cripple systems and steal important (or sensitive) data, and if you’re not careful your business could become their latest victim. Here are five ways that you can make it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate your systems b2ap3_large_best_practices_for_security_400and steal your data.

Protect Important Security Credentials
Hackers naturally target the credentials of important figures within an organization. This could entail stealing the usernames or passwords from someone who has access to crucial, mission-critical information, like the administrator of your IT department or your business’s C-Suite staff. Therefore, it’s important that you ensure these credentials are protected by encryption, and that they’re as long and complex as possible. If you store them anywhere, it should be in an encrypted password manager, where only they can access them.

Restrict Admin Access
Similar to the above point, you want to restrict access to certain locations of your network on a per-user basis. This means keeping the average joe from peeking at information like financial credentials and personally identifiable information, among other things. The fewer people who have access to important information, the less likely it is that this data can be stolen. Therefore, your users should have access to only information that they need to do their jobs properly, and nothing more.

Augment Password Security with Best Practices
If you’re using a password manager, you can implement all sorts of password best practices to further augment your organization’s security. For one, password managers make it so that you can feasibly use different complex passwords for every single one of your online accounts. This is important, seeing how long, complex passwords that utilize upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols are very difficult to remember on their own.

Cut Down on Shadow IT
Hackers love to take advantage of forgotten-about technology solutions to infiltrate networks. While you might be patching all of your organization’s crucial software solutions, you might be neglecting that open source word processor that an employee downloaded one day. You should emphasize to your team that if they need a solution to do their job properly, they should go through the proper channels (like through IT or management) before implementing an unapproved solution.

Train Your Staff on IT Best Practices
While it’s helpful that you understand IT best practices, this can only get you so far. You should make IT security a part of company culture by thoroughly educating your staff on how to stay safe online. Teach them what to do if they suspect that they’ve been hacked, and help them avoid dangerous threats, including malicious links, spam phishing attacks, and unsolicited email attachments.