Cyber-attacks on online businesses are now a common occurrence. This single threat is responsible for data breaches amounting to massive amounts of money annually.
In 2018, more than a billion people around the world had their personal data leaked due to cyber-attacks. Some major businesses attacked were Marriott Starwood Hotels, Exactis, and Quora. Small businesses are not immune, as cyber-attacks shut down thousands of small business websites in 2018. On average, SMEs around the world lose approximately $80,000 to cybercrime annually.
As an online business, cybersecurity should be a top priority for your company. You have to protect your data, information, contacts, and even reputation. There are new threats every day, which means you need to be vigilant to avoid these attacks. Here are some tips that can keep your business safe from cyber-attacks in 2019.
Back-up your Data
Backing up your data is important if you are running an online business. When all company and customer data are backed up, they are easily retrieved when lost or compromised. Try storing your backups in a location safe and secure from attacks or harm. Cloud backup is a good and recommended option too. Seek companies that offer cloud backup of data and subscribe to their services.
Install Software Updates
The most effective thing to do when running an online business is making sure your devices and software programs are up to date. See to it that the programs are supported by the manufacturer. This provides better protection and security for your devices. Set your system to download and install new system updates automatically. Installing new software updates does not only add new features but updates virus definitions. Your devices and software programs are kept safe from new threats.
Keep your staff informed and alert
Your employees have an important part to play in keeping your business safe from cyber-attacks. Train them on possible cyber threats they might encounter and how to avoid them. Create dos and don’ts for them and let them know how it affects the firm. Educate them on how to what to do when they suspect their devices are compromised already. Ensure that you communicate with them always too. This helps you keep an eye on your business and keep it safe.
Secure Web Hosting
To protect sensitive information on your website, a secure web hosting solution is crucial. It monitors the website by installing antivirus and monitoring software. A secure web hosting cleans malware and fixes security issues. There are many webmaster options available globally. BlueHost, Hostinger, and www.discountdomains.co.nz are some popular options with great packages.
Have a clear view of your IT Infrastructure
A clear understanding of your IT infrastructure helps make secure your devices and networks properly.it also saves a lot of money for you. While investing in cybersecurity, ensure the security measures and put in place. Monitor how the security systems work and ensure they are foolproof too. Keep track of employee and user activity too. This helps you easily identify when a third party is trying to gain access to sensitive information.
Create a Mobile Device Policy
The use of personal mobile devices in the office is a threat to the devices and data in the offices. When not properly watched they create security and management challenges. Have your staff protect their devices with passwords and have security apps installed in them. This helps to ward off third-party access through compromised devices. If the phone is making use of public networks too, data encryption can keep sensitive information secure.
Create an Incident Response Strategy
This strategy helps to reduce the impact of attacks. When any of your devices is compromised, you will be alerted immediately. This gives you the chance to isolate the sub-network and contain the threat before it spreads. For bigger threats, you have ample time to back-up your data before further harm. The employee handling the response plan should be always on alert and report attacks immediately.
Use Strong Passwords
Making use of the same pass passwords for all your devices is a bad idea. It makes your server and network vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A hacker can gain access to the password using phishing and proceed to shut you out. Create sub-networks and use different passwords for them. Use passwords that are made of letters and numbers too to increase strength. You may consider randomly-generated OTPs (One Time Passwords) for better security.
Get involved with Top Organizations
Most big take charge of their systems security. The responsibility to ward off cyber-attacks leads them to invest heavily in cybersecurity and related technology. As an SME, an affiliation with these big firms can help you keep your online business secure too. The big firms will extend their protection to you as they cannot afford getting attacked through you.
Provide Firewall Security
A network firewall blocks certain network traffic from gaining access to your website. This is helpful against some forms of denial of service attacks. Protect your website and networks with a strong firewall. Install the necessary software and ensure they are always enabled whenever your systems are online.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks
If you are making use of a Wi-Fi network, note that the chances of getting cyber-attacks are high. But this is reduced significantly if the network is secure, hidden, or encrypted. The Wi-Fi network can be hidden or encrypted by setting up your wireless access point or router accordingly. Passwords also limit access to your network routers.
Ensure that unique passwords are used and changed every three months. Try to implement multi-factor authentication that requires additional information to gain entry. This helps to ensure that only individuals recognized by the system can gain access to it. Enforce the use of two-factor authentication for each employee or user.
Update your default credentials
These credentials are login details and they give the user an administrator-level access to the server. It is important they are always changed after the initial set up. Default credentials are easily guessed or obtained by hackers giving them access to your website. Change default credentials occasionally and ensure your staff change passwords after the first login.
Forbes predicted that over $124B will be spent by businesses on cybersecurity in 2019. This shows that cybersecurity is a major aspect of online businesses that SMEs should not overlook.
As an online business, you are bound to face cyber threats at some point. How you react to them will determine if your business will overcome them. Invest in cybersecurity, keep your devices and network safe, and prevent significant data breaches.
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