Being able to do business online is a big advantage nowadays. Customers like to browse products from the comfort of their home, contact you and get a quick response if something is unclear, and leave a review to show you how they feel about the services you provided them with. Many companies have crumbled because they didn’t make the most of this opportunity to reach their consumers.
However, seeing as how your audience puts their trust in you, you have to respect them and ensure their information is secure. What is more, all your hard work could go down the drain if you get hacked and someone steals your confidential data and plans for the future. Seeing as how cybercrime is on the rise globally, you have to invest in the cybersecurity of your business. There are many aspects to consider here so take a look below for more.
Backup your data
The first thing that you have to do is backup all your business data as well as your website. This is vital if you experience computer issues or a cyber-incident and lose all your data. For this to have the best outcome, you have to back up your information regularly and even use multiple methods. For example, store your data on the cloud every day and do weekly, quarterly, and yearly server backups. What is more, check and test the backup data to be sure it can be restored. Having backups might spare you some grief in the future.
Encrypt everything important
Other than backing up all your data, you should also encrypt it when you send or store it online. It will reduce the risk of IP theft, tampering, and destruction. For example, imagine you have a new product that you are yet to trademark and someone steals your data and profits from your amazing invention. Of course, you don’t want to risk that happening, which is why encryption is essential.
Protect your customers’ data
Just like you have to protect your valuable data from cyberattacks, you have to do the same with your customers’ information. For instance, a recent Open Colleges survey on data breaches and consumer trust found that two-thirds of Australians surveyed, didn’t trust the government and many other sectors, like health, retail and IT, with their personal data. Seeing as how you don’t want to damage your reputation and potentially face legal consequences, you should only store customer data that you need and keep it secure, while making sure the transactions are all 100% safe.
Enable multi-factor authentication
To protect yourself and your customers, you should also implement multi-factor authentication. Even a 2-step verification process can be enough to stop a potential threat. This means that you need several different authentication factors to gain access to your data, such as a password, a code sent to your phone or email, and your fingerprint. Some people consider it to be a burden and unnecessary, but it is a great way to thwart a threat and give you the assurance that you are keeping your data secure.
Pay attention to passwords
Other than multi-factor authentication, you should also ensure you and everyone in your company has a strong password that is not easy to guess. Furthermore, ask the same of your customers. Avoid passwords such as ‘password’ and ‘123456’ as these are commonly used and easily cracked. What is more, don’t use the same password for everything as all your accounts will be compromised if someone figures it out. There are now password managers that help you create and securely store all your passwords, so make the most of them. You should also change usernames and passwords every 90 days or even more often, as well as restrict access to your most sensitive data.
Make sure all the devices are secure
In addition to passwords, you also have to secure all your devices and the network. First of all, install reputable security software with anti-virus and anti-spyware on all devices to prevent malware and viruses that can infect your data. Then, you have to ensure you have the latest version of that software as well as an updated operating system that would have vital security upgrades. Moreover, install ‘find my device’ software on all your equipment so that it can easily be found by the authorities in case of theft. Finally, remember to set up a firewall.
Monitor the use of your equipment
First of all, you should always be aware of where all your equipment is. If you allow employees to take devices home with them, remind them to be careful and not use any unsecured networks. Likewise, they need to exercise caution when connecting any external devices and portable drives that might potentially be infected. You also have a legal right to monitor what they do while using the equipment so you can see whether they’ve been visiting any untrustworthy websites. Then, when it’s time to dispose of your equipment, make sure you remove all software and data from it. If they remain connected to your business network, they provide a backdoor for cybercriminals to attack you. Furthermore, revoke access to all past employees immediately.
Implement a cybersecurity policy and train your staff
Finally, your business needs a policy that will instruct your employees on how to use their devices and how to act online. You need to keep this policy updated regularly and ensure your staff is aware of all the latest additions. That means that your workforce also needs to be properly trained. So, every employee should be educated when it comes to creating strong passwords, noticing and reporting suspicious online activity, and not leaving their devices around other people, especially when logged in. Moreover, they should always use secured networks and avoid plugging in possibly infected portable drives.
Regardless of the size of your company, you could become a target for cybercriminals. You should never take the potential threat of a cyber attack lightly and by implementing the above-mentioned methods you will be minimizing the chance of anything untoward happening to either your business and, crucially, your customers.
Originally posted 2020-08-24 17:50:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter