The internet has enabled many entrepreneurs to create and run their own businesses. For many people, this is a dream come true. The possibilities and opportunities are almost endless. However, the internet can also bring new security challenges. Protecting your online business from hackers and other threats can be challenging. These six tips will help.
1) Select a Secure Web Host
Your online business’s website is hosted by a service provider. While many founders look for an inexpensive option to help keep costs down, security should probably be your top priority. Saving a few dollars each month is nothing in comparison to potentially losing your business to hacking.
When you are searching for the right host, consider which ones put the physical and digital security of their servers first. You will also want to find one that can work well with options such as SSL and data encryption.
2) Learn Digital Best Practices
One of the best ways to protect your business is to educate yourself on cybersecurity best practices. This doesn’t need to be advanced security (although hiring someone to help with that may be worthwhile). It can simply be learning how to create good passwords, avoid email vulnerabilities and detect threats.
A small amount of security literacy can go a long way. Many criminals tend to target unprepared businesses. A little effort could help keep you safe. If you have anyone working with you, make sure to train them also.
3) Encrypt Sensitive Data
Your business will likely have some sensitive data. This can include customer information, payment details, competitive plans and more. Learning to identify the different types of sensitive data will help you to properly protect that data.
In most cases, you will want to encrypt your sensitive data. Anything that could be damaging if it were accessed by an unauthorized party should be protected. It can be helpful to hire a consultant to help with planning your data protection strategy.
4) Use HTTPS
Communication between your website and browsers should be protected using a secure sockets layer. If you visit an SSL-encrypted website, it will connect with the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP. This technology encrypts data being sent between the server and client, making it nearly impossible for a hacker to read data being sent back and forth.
For any e-commerce website, this is a must-have. You need SSL to defend against payment information theft. Furthermore, people feel more comfortable shopping on SSL-encrypted sites.
5) Make Backups
Ransomware is becoming an increasingly common way to attack businesses. You can protect yourself against this by creating backups of your data regularly. These backups should be stored in multiple locations. Many businesses have external or network hard drive backups as well as cloud backups.
Creating a regular backup schedule will help to ensure that you always have a version of your data to roll back to when you need it. If you have a busy business, you likely want to back up at least daily, if not more frequently.
6) Secure Your Network
Another vulnerability to your business is your local network. Other devices on your network can be used as access points to attack your business systems. Applying good network protections such as using encrypted wi-fi, implementing secure passwords, changing network device login credentials and more can be very helpful.
For many online business owners, that network may be a home network. You may be running a team across multiple home networks. If this is the case, set up a virtual private network for people to connect through. This will help you to have more control over the connection security of your team.
With the above tips, you can protect your online business from many digital threats. Running a business online can be personally and professionally rewarding. However, it can also be dangerous. Fortunately, by hardening your security, you can ward off a lot of would-be hackers.
Publish Date: April 22, 2020 12:21 PM