Startups and established, small or large businesses are increasingly conducting their operations online as opposed to just their physical stores. This burgeoning trend is owed to numerous benefits, including gaining an online presence, increased market exposure, and improved sales to point out a few. However, operating your business online is not all rosy, as there’s a lot of risks involved ranging from hacking or stealing of sensitive data to attacks from malicious software such as ransomware.
The risk of encountering such threats should not necessarily keep you from enjoying the perks of running your business online. After all, no security system or network is foolproof. Given the right resources, a dedicated hacker can breach your network. For this reason, it is your job to make a hacker’s job difficult so that companies with lesser security safeguards can appear as softer targets. Here are some useful techniques that you can leverage to keep your startup or business safe from cybersecurity threats.
Unique Password Protection
Ensure that your passwords are not only long enough (a minimum of eight characters) but also sophisticated enough for outsiders and malicious actors to decipher. To be safe, make sure that each of your accounts has its own unique password so that when one gets breached, the others remain secure. Also, aside from changing your passwords frequently to discourage hackers from penetrating your system, use two-factor authentication for delicate programs that may contain sensitive data belonging to your business or customers.
Educate All Your Staff on How to Stay Safe Online
Keeping in mind that your employees regularly access your business’s systems, computers, and emails, there’s a need to train them on safe practices when using the Internet. In this case, make them aware of the numerous threats existing online and how they can paralyze business operations indefinitely. Also, educate them about their computer responsibilities and rights, as well as acceptable online practices, especially when using your emails, computers, and other devices. What’s more, they should know who to report to in case they notice suspicious online activity and fraudulent emails.
Leverage Spam Filters
To boost your business’s cybersecurity, utilize spam filters in minimizing the number of phishing and spam emails you receive. These emails or messages are often sent by a company or individuals who you don’t know. Although they contain irresistible offers that are out of this world, avoid calling the number or even subscribing to the link provided. However, a spam filter allows you to lower the risk of either you or your staff opening a spam or phishing email unknowingly.
Create a Recovery Email Address or Phone Number
Ensure that you include recovery details, whether an email address or phone number, to all your accounts to help you regain access whenever an issue arises. Furthermore, having a recovery technique alerts you of any suspicious activity by hackers trying to breach your account.
Keep your Operating Systems Up to date
Regularly updating the security safeguards of your accounts and systems is necessary, as hackers and other malicious actors always lookout for those systems with obsolete safeguards. Aside from signing up for automatic security updates, regularly check your antivirus software to make sure it is updated. Additionally, purchase and install software that helps in detecting, blocking, and eliminating spyware among other programs that pose a risk to your company’s systems.
Stay Updated on the Latest Cyber Threats
Businesses that trade online are exposed to payment fraud and online transaction problems. For this reason, it is imperative for you, as the business owner, to remain updated on the latest security risks and scams to avoid falling into a trap that could affect your business negatively. Since threats are continually evolving, knowing what to expect can help maintain the security of your business online.
Frequent Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
Performing a cybersecurity risk assessment offers a comprehensive and independent overview of your capacity to safeguard your information resources against various threats. It provides you with the necessary recommendations for boosting your company’s level of cybersecurity maturity. Furthermore, conducting frequent assessments will not only assist you in maintaining a robust security posture but also assess the threats in a bid to determine whether they can be mitigated or controlled.
Players in the health and finance industries are some of the most attractive targets for hacking and data -theft. As such, they ought to create risk management plans for cybersecurity purposes. These plans involve identifying the type of information you hold, determining how sensitive it is, and then implementing and monitoring the various safeguards.
Taking the necessary precaution in safeguarding your digital assets plays a crucial role in keeping your business operational. Keep in mind that your customers do business with you because they trust you. In case your system or their data is compromised, that trust can quickly vanish at the speed of light. Hence, it is advisable to secure your computer systems among other devices, use the latest security software, as well as limit and keep track of all people with access to the company’s sensitive information.