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As a commercial real estate professional who reads the news, you know cybercrime is a very real threat, yet it is possible you are underestimating the potential damage. A single cyber-attack – one slip-up from even a smart, tenured employee clicking on the wrong email – can open the door to a company’s undoing.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and there is no better time to make sure your company is taking preventative measures to help minimize (or outright eliminate) its vulnerability. To that end, we offer eight critical IT security protections every business should have in place.

  1. Educate your people.
  2. Adopt an acceptable use policy (AUP).
  3. Do not allow employees to access company data with unmonitored personal devices.
  4. Require strong passwords and passcodes to lock mobile devices.
  5. Keep your network and all devices patched and up-to-date.
  6. Have a business-class backup both on-premise and in the cloud.
  7. Incorporate a business-class firewall and proper updates.
  8. Implement advanced end-point protection.

Why should you care? Cybercrime has become so widespread that it may not be possible for any business – large or small – to avoid being a target. A virtual army of hackers and sophisticated crime rings are working around the clock to overcome known protections. The good news? All of the above safeguards are easy and inexpensive to implement. By doing so, you can protect your data, your reputation and your business.