Cybercrime is surpassing other forms of crime. Threats faced by companies include attacks from skilled and advanced attackers in the form of commodity malware, viruses, ransomware, social engineering, and numerous other types. They continue to be a nemesis for many companies. No matter the current state of your cybersecurity, there are many ways in which you can build stronger defenses to mitigate potential damage.
Following are practical ways to circumvent these threats and secure your business online:
1. Look for a secured hosting provider
Building a website nowadays is easier than ever before. With a user-friendly website designer online, anyone can create one. However, regardless of how good it might look, it’s pointless if it is not hosted on a trustworthy server. So, make sure your website is hosted by a reliable web hosting company (see top recommended web hosts here), which is PCI compliant. This is essential if you want to keep your website’s payment and checkout processes secured from hackers.
2. Choose a suitable firewall on your network
Your firewall is your first line of defense. It monitors and controls the network traffic based on predefined security rules. If data is being stolen from your network, it can easily detect and shut down the process. Moreover, it protects your network from malware and other online threats, too.
You could opt for firewall solutions that let you enable a built-in website filter to blacklist websites based on names and categories; access a built-in antivirus program; monitor SSL encrypted data.
3. Don’t ignore email security
Millions of emails are sent every single day. Research reveals that around 47% of emails are spam. USA is the number one generator of spam email, while Korea follows. Here are some ways to avoid your business getting infected by malicious ransomware:
- Invest in a robust anti-spam software that seamlessly discards unwanted emails and links.
- Create separate email accounts for financial information.
- Don’t click on suspicious links in emails.
- Consider using SSL to establish encryption and send email safely.
- Scan every attachment before you open it.
4. Have strong passwords
You might have heard about this one countless times but it’s always imperative. Change your passwords every 90 days. The longer you keep the same password, the higher the chance that it will be hacked. Combine numbers, symbols, letters both in uppercase and lowercase as they’re harder to crack. You may use two-factor authentication, too.
5. Educate your employees on cyber safety
Your staff needs to know the basics of possible threats. They might not be aware that unwanted emails, pop-ups, and links can severely hinder your business. Here are a few tips to train your workers in cybersecurity:
- Host a live training in which your employees experience job-specific cyber threats.
- Start a cyber awareness program.
- Perform timely evaluations of network systems and employees to know how vulnerable your business is.
- Appoint a tech leader in every department. It promotes a cybersecurity culture within the company.
6. Devise an incident response plan
A well-planned incident response plan will pave a way for a swift and effective reaction if your company does experience a successful cyberattack. The most equipped team members should be notified immediately if there is a problem. This will ensure that everyone understands the steps needed to be taken to prevent such attacks.
7. Frequent Backups
Backing up time-to-time is one of the best ways to protect your business against data loss. In the event of a cyberattack, you can quickly restore your important files in the secured backup. Solid-state drives can fail and cause a ruckus in your business as you will lose all your data. To avoid this, invest in a data backup plan as soon as possible.
8. Update all your software
Outdated software often causes your systems to become cybercrime victims. Set all your software programs to install updates automatically as soon as they are released. Having an updated antivirus software means having an updated list of the kinds of viruses that have been detected all over the world. This way, your antivirus software will easily identify the threat and notify you about the same.
9. Purchase a VPN server
VPNs (virtual private networks) enhance security by keeping your data secure and encrypted while also allowing you to access that data remotely. It allows you to hide your online identity and bypass country-based restrictions as well. There are numerous inexpensive VPN providers available to create a safe connection to another network.
10.Keep a separate network for payment
Having a payment terminal network separate from your general network minimizes the chances of being a cyberattack victim. Only by hacking into your employee’s email, hackers can get access to your entire network. When you keep your payment terminal separate and authorize it only to a few individuals, the risk is tremendously lowered.
If you wish to take the security of your business seriously, you need to surely follow the 10 steps mentioned above and protect your business, employees, and customers’ sensitive information from cyber attackers. By combining common sense with good practices, like the measures we have listed, you can easily circumvent cyberattack attempts.