By Ian Pearson
The Internet gives the opportunities for companies to reach a wider consumer base, save on administrative/fixed costs and use a broader range of suppliers/partners. This is followed by the potential of getting scammed or compromised. Your company could be eliminated from the market with one swift cyber-attack or at the very least get you crippled enough so you can’t catch up to your competitors.
Doing business online is getting riskier by each passing year. The threats are getting more dangerous, the possibility of damage is growing and the elaborate ways one can access your delicate information are getting perfected. This begs the question: “Is your business ready to tackle the challenge of online security?”
Below I will list some things you can do easy, fast and relatively cheaply that will surely reduce the aforementioned risk.
Install protective software
Intrusive software designed to attack your digital devices (malware, viruses, etc.) is lurking each time you log with one of them to the Internet. Install anti-virus/spy/spam software that works as a security system on your device and prevents these pests from affecting the flow and security of your data.
An absolute must is to set up firewalls, passwords and update them regularly in order to limit access to sensitive information and key devices. The update part of this equation is vital since this is a never-ending battle. The hackers will always try to find new ways of breaching your security while the anti-virus developers will always have to play catch-up to overcome the new technology.
Back up your data
If you don’t have this practice in place you most definitely should consider it. The servers where your data is kept are still a physical entity and can be compromised by more than just a cyber-attack. If they don’t get hacked, they can get a critical malfunction or just flat-out die – losing your precious data. To prevent that tragic from occurring, always back-up your files on a second drive. Do this for all important data. Development files, financial records, HR files, business documents – all of these are cogs for your business machine.
Consider implementing a back-up system with a timer. A quality system focuses on daily, weekly, quarterly and annual back-ups. Of course, it is crazy to consider daily backing up the entire data of your company. Along with this timer the system offers it is also important to consider the frequency in which the data should be backed-up. Weigh the importance and arrange accordingly.
Train employees in online security
Influence your employees to be more aware about the threats that lurk when they are online and that their online activity plays an important role in maintaining your safety. Experts at Picnet IT Services suggest you should emphasize that they have to pay close attention on the links that they send or click in addition to explaining the desired practices that you expect from them when using work devices.
In addition to training your employees, many businesses use their office network to limit access to websites that can deliver compromised content to your machines. Another unintended benefit from this can be that you are indirectly increasing the productivity of your workers by removing time-wasting sites that eat up work hours.
Use strong passwords
Even though many strain how important this is, a lot of people still have a carefree when setting their password. Using only a low count of numbers and letters is literally an invitation to get yourself hacked. It is suggested that using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters along with a secondary authentication pass (like a code provided by a mobile push notification) can essentially give you a bulletproof vest against the online outlaws.
Protect the consumers
Regardless if the pool is large or small, you still have to maintain a secure customer database. The damage one can take from losing confidential customer information is well within the range of bankruptcy for most small to mid-tier businesses.
Nobody wants to spend a single dollar online without knowing that their payment details and personal information are kept confidential. Sharing or selling this data is criminal without taking consent from the users in the first place. Developing and maintaining a secure environment for the exchange of money and services is a must. Most payment gateway providers will give you all the information you need to prevent any kind of fraud that may happen on your platform.
Most people don’t know about this one since the problem getting insured against is also quite new. Today you can become insured in case a cyber-attack does damage to your business. In addition to providing the funds to replace any technical damage that might have occurred, some insurance plans cover you for the financial loss you might have took from the said attack.
Keep in mind that this kind of insurance doesn’t inherently protect you from the attack itself – you still have to have protection. Clauses exist even in this corner of the insurance world, you still have to meet standards.
The growth of online shopping and interaction is only going to grow and with it the lucrative appeal of stealing from clueless victims. Having a strong online presence demands that you involve yourself in this aspect that has to be covered if you are to maintain your hard earned site traffic. Hopefully , ome of the things listed will sway you in the right direction to solve it!