Whether you’re about to launch a startup, or you’re a long-established company, if you operate any part of your business online, it’s crucial that you’re aware of what cyber-attacks are and the measures to take to ensure your company is protected and secure. External attacks can cause devastating consequences for your business, so to avoid your personal data being stolen, it’s important that you stay up to date on how to keep your business safe. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few ways things you can do to keep your online business protected from cyber-attacks.
When it comes to protecting your online business, it’s crucial that you’re aware of what malware is and how it can cause devastation to your operation. Malware is a malicious piece of software that’s designed to damage a network or PC without your consent or knowledge. To shield your company from malware, there are several measures that you should take. Firstly, make sure that you have a firewall in place which can act as the first line of defense.
A good internet router will already have a firewall installed, so it’s important that you have it switched on. While it may not provide complete protection, having a firewall should be your first port of call. Secondly, it’s important that you install the best security software which will help add an extra layer of protection to your PC or network.
Write Your Policy
Regarding online fraud and crime, the size of a company is irrelevant. Many hackers are targeting smaller businesses, especially if they have no in-house IT support. Therefore, it’s crucial that you create a policy that your employees can adhere to. There are various things that your policy should include, such as educating your workforce about email safety, sharing turn-ons and turn-offs, as well as enforcing consequences should the policy not be followed correctly.
Use Strong Passwords
Whether you like it or not, passwords are used by most small business networks, so it’s important that you create strong passwords to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. The more characters and keystrokes that you use, the stronger your password will be. It’s best to start out strong and use as many characters as possible, as well as embedded numbers.
Also, make sure that you regularly change your passwords, and educate your team on the importance of keeping them safe. If your employees write down passwords or store them on their smartphones, this could be putting your business security at risk. If you want the strongest of passwords, refrain from using any words at all. Instead, use a combination of numbers, special characters, and letters.
Beware of Social Media
In today’s world, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram dominate the internet. Even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person and would rather steer clear of social media, the chances are some of your employees will be members, therefore, empowering your team with the best guidelines and practices can help minimize cyber-attacks.
To ensure your company is protected, make sure that you establish who can speak on behalf of the business. If you use social media platforms to run your company, you need to stress to your employees not to share any confidential information, otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk. There are other measures that you can take too, such as only adding contacts who you trust, and avoiding clicking on unexpected links from people who you do not know.
Speak to Your Employees
You may find it surprising to learn that up to 80% of all data loss is down to human error. Regardless of how much experience you or your team have in business, no one is perfect, so to reduce the risk of employees sending out sensitive or confidential information, it’s crucial that you hold regular meetings with your employees to teach them all there is to know about cybersecurity.
Like with any business, each member of the team needs to work together and co-operate effectively to succeed. Letting your team know what types of data and information is confidential, as well as the potential problems that can occur from sharing such details, can make a big difference and ensure your employees are more wary with what they share.
Secure Wi-Fi Network
While we all use Wi-Fi networks, you need to know that they are not always safe to use. To reduce the risk of any potential security threats, it’s important that you encrypt your Wi-Fi network. Also, make sure that you change your Wi-Fi password regularly, especially if you have a guest network for your clients and customers, as you can never be too sure on whether their devices have been compromised.
Email Security Best Practices
Every day, millions upon millions of emails are sent out by businesses, however, what you may find surprising to learn is that only 50% of the content is legitimate, with the rest falling into the spam category. This means that a high number of emails you receive could be infected. Cybercriminals are always one step ahead, so if you receive an email from a contact you don’t recognize, it’s always best to ignore it, especially if it includes a malicious attachment. The last thing you want to do is open an infected email, as you are essentially giving ransomware permission to hack into your computer system. Always be wary when receiving emails, and make sure to check the address before taking further action.
Choose a Secure Hosting Service
For your online business to thrive and stay successful, you need to make sure that you pick a secure hosting service for your website. Instead of picking the first provider you see, it’s best to conduct some research into whether they are reputable and reliable. Hackers are always on the lookout for loopholes that they can exploit, so if you’re using your website to process payments and checkout processes, you need to ensure that they are safe and secure from cyber threats.
Keep Software Up to Date
As the head of the business, you need to make sure that your software is kept up to date. If you are relying on old pieces of software, you may not realize the danger you could be putting yourself in when it comes to hackers and cyber threats. It’s important that you regularly update your software programs which can make it more difficult for hackers to access your computer website and network.
Now that you have a better understanding of what security measures to put in place to help protect your business, you may find it useful to undergo training to ensure you retain the information and to keep your company safe and secure. An online tool like findcourses.com can help you find a range of cyber security training programs that can teach you the knowledge you need to keep your business protected from hackers and data leaks.
Understanding the risks of malware, writing a policy, using strong passwords, as well as undergoing training to teach you more on cyber threats are just a few things you can do to protect your online business from a cyber-attack. Also, as the head of the business, make sure that you relay all these tips to your employees so you can ensure your company’s personal data is kept protected and secure.