These days, there isn't a business out there that doesn't use the internet to operate in some way. While being online can bring amazing opportunities, it also opens up a whole new set of vulnerabilities. If you're not technologically savvy, you may not know where to start. How can you keep your business safe out in the wild west of the world wide web?
Safety starts with your connection to the internet. You most likely use WiFi to accomplish this, which means that you have a network of devices accessing the internet via a singular portal. Often your first line of defense is to monitor exactly what is happening on your network. You may not know enough to spot an unwanted visitor, but there are a host of tools available to help with threat detection and network security. There is software out there that can identify and block threats before they can do any harm, or you can add layers of firewall security to ensure that no unauthorized user can access your network. There are so many tools out there that you may want to find a suite that bundles it all together, like a network packet broker. This prevents tool sprawl and ensures that all of your security measures are working together.
One of your most important assets as a business is your data. This can include customer information, sales, production, demographics, advertising and everything else about your company that allows you to be successful. Storing this data securely while still allowing for access and analysis is key. Especially if you have a lot of data, this is done most efficiently with a cloud. You can create your own cloud by setting up your own hardware and servers, but you will need the resources to hire a data management team to maintain them. You can also set up a contract with a hosting service that will allow you to create a cloud on their servers- this often comes with customer service, troubleshooting and maintenance perks.
In addition to network security tools, you will definitely want dedicated antivirus software installed on all of your devices, as well. You can never have too much protection. This will protect you against malware and hacks. Many antivirus software packages also come with browser extensions, password managers, keyboard protectors, online wallets for storing credit card information and cloud storage protection. Password managers are especially important because they can generate strong passwords and keep them stored securely, rather than writing them down on a post-it or saving them in a document on your desktop. Some popular security brands are McAfee, Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
The weakest security points in an online environment are often humans, otherwise known as "end-users" in cybersecurity. Make sure to train your employees how to avoid falling for common hacking schemes like phishing, malvertising and link manipulation- hackers call this social engineering. Phishing is an email attack method that involves sending an email or message that looks like it's coming from an official source and asking for a response that includes sensitive information or asking the receiver to click a link- neither of which you should ever do. There are fake phishing programs you can run so that you can evaluate the phishing susceptibility of your workplace and go from there. You can also install anti-phishing toolbars onto email, browser and messaging accounts. However, knowledge is power, so make sure your workers know what threats exist and what they can do as individuals to combat them.
Keeping your information private and your data secure online can seem like a daunting task, so feel free to reach out to professionals to help you along the way. It often takes specialized expertise to adequately implement cybersecurity measures, especially at the level a business would need. The security of your data can be even more crucial than a lock on your front door, so don't delay.
Publish Date: February 19, 2020 6:53 PM