It will not matter if it is stolen data or ransomware attacks. Any cybersecurity breach can have a significant and long-lasting negative effect on your business. It is estimated that breaches will cause 146 billion records to be stolen in the next two years. Small businesses remain the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
In fact, more than 43% of cyber-attacks are made against small businesses. How can your small business protect its data and customers from cyber criminals? It starts with recognizing your vulnerabilities and taking steps to safeguard your treasure trove of digital assets.
Businesses of any size can be the victim of a wide range of cyber-attacks, including ransomware, malware, denial of service attack, phishing attacks to name a few. In some cases these hackers steal personal information which they can use for identity theft. Others gain access to sensitive information such as passwords, banking and routing numbers, email accounts, etc.
Businesses both small and large are almost always most at risk because of poor passwords. Not having a strong password system in place leaves you vulnerable to brute force attacks. Which ESeller365 explains take advantage of this weakness.
Easy passwords, such as 123456 and the actual word Password, are the equivalent of leaving the key in your front door. Require that your employees and customers follow strong password guidelines, which include using a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Using multifactor authentication, where users must confirm a login, often via text message or email, will also help.
As more and more businesses continue to allow employees to work from home, data becomes more readily available to hackers. Understand the risk involved in decentralizing your workforce, and then partner with a cybersecurity provider that can add a layer of protection to your entire network, no matter how far apart your employees may be. The right company not only shields you from ransomware and brute force attacks, but will also follow best practices within the industry to help recover your data if it is blocked or stolen. Before you partner with an organization, make sure they can handle your remote workforce and will also keep backup copies of your information in a restricted-access directory where only authorized team members have access if needed.
In addition to having a company on retainer, there are other steps you can take to mitigate remote work risks. Most notably, having your workers login via a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. MakeUsOf.com explains that this is essentially a tunnel that wraps the information flowing between your employees computers and whatever website or workstation they are accessing from home in a digital safety net. It encrypts the data flowing between the two, making it exponentially more difficult for hackers to find the connection and to reach it.
VPN continues to rise as one of the best and widely accepted tool for your online anonymity and data Encryption. Mainly due to public awareness about Online Security. VPN's are one of the smartest ways to protect your online privacy and maintain your data security.
An SSL certificate installed on your web server is another way to create a barrier between data and digital deviants. RSH Web Services explains that SSL certificates bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details. This makes your website safer for customers and is just one way you can help make the Internet more secure for everyone.
There are several types of SSL certificates, both free and paid. You can choose a single-domain certificate or a wildcard certificate that will help you secure your main URL as well as all your Subdomains, including your blog and your online store. The strongest encryption available is an EV SSL certificate, which is subject to global standards, so your website will be safe across the entirety of the web.
Risk assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating the risks for your assets that could be affected by numerous hazards. These could include natural hazards, human-caused hazards, technological hazards.
If you are trying to identify both internal and external threats. Assessing their potential impact on data availability, confidentiality and integrity, and estimate the costs of suffering a cybersecurity incident. You may want to consider hiring a consultant company to test systems that have Intranet or Internet access such as websites, email accounts, drives. Create safety procedures to follow in case of a breach, and make network and computer security top priorities.
Employees are likely accessing business data from multiple devices, including their mobile phone. It is also very convenient for them to answer personal texts and emails on their devices. But this opens up many potential vulnerabilities. Advances with our mobile devices has elevated business risk to an unparalleled high. The risks between security, business and their corresponding costs are increasingly complex. Business security have lagged behind the need for better protection. Make sure the security measures for mobile devices are also included into your risk assessment plans.
Employee training is your chance to build risk management into your business. It gives your staff the tools they need to protect themselves and ultimately your business. Using the right tools and technology will also help to streamline your risk management and hazard regulations where needed. Make sure your employees are at least made aware of and better still trained in Cybersecurity Threats and good security policies. Be sure to update your training procedures as you implement new policies.
An increasing number of apps and e-commerce websites use two-factor authentication to verify a user's identity. Users receive a numerical code by email or text and enter it along with their password to gain access. Biometric features like Windows Hello can also help you and employees login more securely.
Using Facial Recognition software will help stop Cyberattacks and add a higher level of security.
Make sure you are running the latest versions and security patches. Outdated software and systems can lack the proper ransomware protection. Third-party vendors also may not utilize the same protection measures or updated software. This could cause security vulnerabilities between your company and theirs. Properly configure network security and use antivirus software. Even running something as simple as Windows Defender will help protect you from cyber threats.
Today most of our data is in a digital format and this can be disastrous if lost, stolen or compromised. If you only have one copy of your data, you risk losing parts or all of it. This can leave you to scramble to find any type of solution that most likely will not be able to sustain your business over time. The ability to restore databases from valid backups is a vital part of ensuring business continuity. Use an off site provider in addition to on site backups.
Download the PDF here From network and computer security to awareness and device and website security. The third annual CSD Technology Guide.
There are many other ways to protect your business and your customers from virtual vigilantes. The steps above can help, but you also want to be diligent when using public Wi-Fi and, perhaps most importantly, never underestimate your vulnerability.
In a world where nearly half of Small businesses do not have any security defense plans, cybercriminals have a smorgasbord of data to choose from. Take yours off the menu with the tips above.
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