Although online business development and e-commerce transactions are at an all-time high, cybercrimes are also on the rise. Large corporations and government agencies receive the most media attention when their networks or data are attacked, but smaller companies with lower security budgets are the real prize for criminals. Hackers thoroughly research their targets and look for any weaknesses in security measures. If your online business has security gaps, your company’s data and client information are vulnerable to attacks. The following sections illustrate how to improve your security measures and protect your online business.
One way to protect your business online is to monitor downloads. You’ve probably noticed a message from your virus protection software asking if you want to scan a download or device for viruses. The answer to this question should be yes to protect against a hidden virus embedded in a download. However, monitoring downloads also requires you to limit the number of people authorized to download onto your company’s portal. Determine which employees can download from the web and restrict other workers from downloading by placing password-protected blocks on their computers. In your employee training manual, you can explain to new employees which workers have permission to download and the repercussions of violating the restriction.
Although you may be tired of updating multiple devices and software, updating is an essential task that protects your company from cyberattacks. Outdated software is vulnerable because it often doesn’t contain the most recent security updates, and if the program is no longer in use, it may be overlooked for security protection. You can avoid the annoyance of answering update questions by configuring your devices, software and application security to update automatically. Since updates sometimes require shutdowns and restarts, a schedule for updating can be developed so that the devices can update after office hours.
Another vital part of online security is robust password protection. When users or members make purchases on your site, the transaction must be verified and connected to the correct identity. In the last decade, fraudulent online transactions have rapidly increased, and business owners have struggled to correct the problem. To avoid fraudulent transactions and identity thieves, you can use a ten-digit password on your site backed up with multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication requires at least two or more forms of personal identification to verify the password and protect the consumer.
Wireless devices and universal connectivity have revolutionized the office environment, but the recent technological advances have also allowed cybercriminals to choose from a broader pool of targets. Every connected device in your office should have the same level of virus protection. Although most security providers offer several protection levels at different rates, you should avoid the cheapest option. Online security is not a part of your budget that you should look for savings or discounts. After settling on a reputable security provider, choose a premium package that protects all of your devices and data from viruses.
Virtual Private Networks
Every computer in your office or remote location has a unique IP address, and websites track IP addresses when someone enters a site. A virtual private network (VPN) restricts the site from tracking your computers by hiding the actual IP address and replacing it with another one from a different location. For instance, if your business is based in Alaska, the VPN will mask your location and provide an alternate region like Kansas.
Without a reliable back-up, your data may be lost during a cyberattack. If a criminal manages to cripple your system, you’ll be unable to access essential files or conduct online transactions. Security professionals recommend using a trusted cloud provider and a secure external drive for data back-ups. Clouds also have the advantage of allowing you to access your data from any location or device.
Criminal online activity is accelerating as more people become connected worldwide, but you can minimize the likelihood of a cyberattack by adopting the previous security measures.