Businesses often have to manage data that is sensitive and requires ultimate protection. Whether you run an online or physical shop, data will always be available. That’s why scams and cyber threats are lurking in the corner, waiting for the right opportunity.
Cybercriminals like to target businesses as they have multiple information that is essential to hackers. They can use this data to sell on the dark web or commit fraud. That’s why the number of businesses that report cyberattacks is increasing.
However, despite the increasing cyber threats, there are still some businesses that do not put effort into securing their data. Sometimes it becomes too late before they realize the importance of data security.
If you are one of those businesses that don’t prioritize cybersecurity, then it is time you do so. Here is an article on tips to protect your data from online attacks.
Backing up your company’s data and website can allow you to restore any information lost in the event of a cyberattack or computer problem. It’s critical that you periodically back up your crucial files and information. Luckily, backing up is inexpensive and requires less attention.
In addition, multiple backup systems are the best option to keep data safe. The more backup tools you have, the more chances that you won’t lose your data and continue your operation.
You can also use a physical or external drive to back up some of your data. However, make sure you store your physical drives safely.
Regular backup is not the only thing you should do. Instead, check on your backup data if they are the latest copy and check if your backup system is working. In addition, choose a cloud solution that has encryption of data during transfer or data at rest, and with multi-factor authentication.
Companies require a network connection to run the operation and devices to manage their task. Despite the advancement of technology, it has brought more threats that businesses must keep away from.
Devices, software, and networks all need to have protection against threats that are lurking around the internet. As businesses continue to stay online, there is the possibility of facing cyber-attacks.
Most businesses have software they use to manage a task or department. Ensuring the update of your device, operating system, and software provides essential security upgrades that can fight recent threats.
You can manually update each or set them for automatic updates. You can also set a schedule after business hours because some may take some time.
Ignoring updates is not an option. It will become a threat to your company when you do so because hackers can use bugs on them to insert malicious codes.
A firewall is a software or hardware that acts as a barrier between the computer and the internet. It checks for all inbound and outbound traffic. They will only allow data or traffic that are considered safe according to your set rules/ restrictions.
A firewall will safeguard your company’s internal networks, but it must be patched regularly to function properly. Furthermore, you must not forget to set up your firewall on all of your mobile business devices.
You can use an endpoint system or security software for your business computers. If you have remote employees who use their devices, give them access to antivirus software.
There are different security software and features included in their plans. Aside from detecting threats, it can detect phishing sites, including a password manager, optimize your devices, etc. Choose a software that can support multiple devices, and offers protection for businesses or enterprises.
Don’t forget to also secure your business’s mobile devices. Threats are easy to gain access to such devices because people don’t prioritize security.
Phishing emails or sites are the most common way hackers steal the information of an employee. When they finally have access to the employee’s account, they can gain further access to your company data.
Therefore, you need to reduce the quantity of spam and phishing emails your company receives by using spam filters. Spam and phishing emails can attack your computer with viruses or malware, as well as steal your information.
The practice if you receive spam or phishing emails is to delete them. However, using a spam filter can help reduce the chances of accidentally opening a fraudulent email.
Spam emails may contain spyware, ransomware, viruses, etc.
Aside from firewall software and hardware systems that you can use to encrypt your data, you can also opt for other solutions.
There are cloud storage systems that can encrypt data at rest and in transit. In addition, there are encryption features on your network router like the firewall to secure data.
Another solution to secure your activities when online is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution. This software will change your IP address, use another server, and secure the information transferred from one site to another.
If you have remote employees, VPN is a good option to invest in. Since remote workers or freelancers connect to free Wi-Fi, this puts your business at risk. By using a VPN, they can keep their activities free from spying eyes.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security process that requires the user to verify their identity with two or more steps. It is the only possible way for them to access their accounts.
MFA can be a passcode sent to the user’s mobile device or email. By providing the code, you can grant access to your account. This additional step is essential to keep attackers away from your accounts since passwords can be quickly deciphered.
Establishing guidelines on how to secure your business from attacks can help prevent threats from arising. Your employees will know what they should be doing with your business data and to handle devices.
Create a clear and simple policy including the consequences of your employees violating them. By telling them about the consequences and applying them, it will inform your workers that they need to take them seriously.
Policies you can include:
- Control of physical company device
- Disposal of company devices
- Prevention of unauthorized access to devices
- What to do in case of a stolen or missing device
- Reset devices before disposal
A password is the first line of defence on all business accounts. That’s why attackers often implement brute force attacks to crack passwords from different accounts.
An easy password will only take a few minutes to decipher. Therefore, it is essential to implement the use of complex passwords on all your business accounts and devices.
Complex passwords are a nuisance to employees, as it’s difficult to remember all of them. So, when you want to implement a strong password policy, provide your employees with a password manager tool. It will save them time when logging into their account and will encourage them to use more complex passwords for better security.
What are the elements of a strong password?
- Must have at least 14 characters long
- Combine upper and lower letters, numbers, and special characters
- A word not existing in the dictionary
- Never reuse an old password
- Never use one password for all accounts
- Do not use personal information as a password
Employee negligence is often a common factor as to why most businesses experience data leakage. But you cannot blame your employees if this happens, particularly if you haven’t given the proper training.
Making cybersecurity training a part of your policy can help inform your employees on what they should do. It will keep them alert always to ensure everything is secure.
There are online courses you can use for your employees. They are affordable and effective. As employees know what they are doing, it not only prevents your business from online threats but keeps you away from any financial burden or expense.
A cyber insurance policy enables businesses to cover the financial losses caused by a cyberattack, and it pays to have one in an increasingly digital corporate environment. Individuals or groups that may have been damaged as a result of a business’s action or omission may also be covered.
Desktops and laptops are not the only devices that can be in danger. Mobile devices are becoming an important part of the workplace, and that means another way for hackers to get into your business data.
There is not much security protection available for mobile devices. If there are, it is not as complex and efficient as those dedicated to desktops. But still, it matters.
You can implement the same policies and practices you use on your computers on your mobile devices.
- Activate remote device location
- Back up mobile data
- Set phone and app passcode
- Installing antivirus software
Part of keeping your business data safe is also keeping your customers’ data protected from threats. Therefore, if you accept online payments, make sure to use online payment services that are known for quality services.
In addition, you need to secure your website by keeping them encrypted. Avail of an SSL certification to keep the transaction or information between you and your customers’ safe.
You can also create content that can educate your employees. Share them in your weekly or monthly newsletter so they can stay posted and know what to do.
In our modern and technological world, most data exists on the internet or the cloud. This gives both an advantage and disadvantage to businesses. Cyber threat is the biggest problem that businesses may encounter as they move online. The increasing amount of attacks can be alarming. However, there are many ways to prevent cyber threats.
With the correct knowledge of cybersecurity, you can help keep your business data safe. Although these practices are not 100% secure, it at least prevents your business from attacks in some ways. It is even much better than having no security at all.
Vanessa Venugopal is a passionate content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.