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Cybercrime is a global epidemic that happens to be the top cyber threat impacting Canadians from sea to sea and all walks of life. Whether people access the internet from home, on the subway, or at work, nefarious agents work overtime to wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims.

While IT professionals in Canada know more than the average person about these threats, that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the virtual traps set by organized crime. But it’s one thing for personal computers to be targeted by cybercriminals, and it’s another for business laptops to become the focus of organized crime.

That’s why your company must ensure staff members know how to safeguard their work computers so they don’t become the weak link in the corporate IT strategy.

Here are five ways to safeguard employee laptops so your corporate network isn’t jeopardized.

1. Company-Wide Training

A piecemeal approach won’t work for company computers. While IT professionals should know the ins and outs of staying safe online, some make mistakes that can compromise their employers. Your IT department must train staff members and provide periodic refreshers.

Remind workers about the importance of hard-to-guess passwords — no, “123456” doesn’t count as a suitable password. Yet that’s actually the most commonly used password. And weak passwords are why three in 10 internet users have faced security breaches.

It’s easy to say that IT workers know better. But knowing better isn’t the same as doing better — and some will use simple passwords or stick with the same password across different accounts. You must insist that workers choose secure passwords and change passwords periodically, such as quarterly. That will help protect computers and devices that connect to corporate networks.

It’s also vital to create and roll out the proper etiquette for using the internet on work computers — and detailing penalties for violating corporate cybersecurity rules.

2. Establish Firewall Security

Your IT department must also roll out a firewall security policy to safeguard employee laptops when connected to the internet or the corporate network. It will thwart efforts by non-employees to get information they have no right to. Your company should have a policy for equipping computers with appropriate firewalls and ensure they’re updated at proper intervals. If some employees work remotely, it’s just as important that their home setups are protected.

3. Use Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is also vital. With a robust solution regularly updated, antivirus software will identify, block, and eradicate viruses, ransomware, and malware from computers and corporate networks. It will also help safeguard employees from phishing and identity theft attacks. Ensure that the software updates automatically so that nothing falls between the cracks.

Your company may also wish to mandate which operating systems and web browsers workers can use.

4. Limit Access to Those Who Need It

Ensuring that workers access only the information or systems they need to do their jobs is another way to help protect the integrity of work computers and the corporate network. Your IT team may also wish to adopt a permission-based policy for installing or removing software.

5. Implement Physical Access Policies

Another way to protect business computers is to have physical access policies. On the one hand, your business can restrict access to the building. You can do this by requiring workers use access cards so you know who enters and leaves your workplace and the times of day they do so. On the other hand, you can require workers to ensure their laptops are safely stored or locked away when not in use. Doing both these things will help protect your business computers.

Cybersecurity is an issue all Canadians must be wary about. A cyberattack can scare off customers, cost an arm and a leg to remedy, and cause reputational damage. If your business needs new machines, check out the many HP business laptops available. You can save by taking advantage of laptops on sale in Canada. You can take advantage of the latest features for better efficiency and productivity at work.

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