Anyone who owns or operates a business will have some worry that crime will have a detrimental effect on its operations, but this is normally attributed to burglaries, unsavoury employees and vandalism. However, as the online world evolves, so does the role of a criminal.
It should come as no surprise that crime occurs within the online hemisphere especially in the finance industry with so much secure data being at risk.
However, there’s are millions of businesses who just aren’t prepared for the 2st century when it comes to cyber-crime, or don’t have the proper IT support services in place to handle such an attack.
Many assume that hackers are some sort of mastermind, but the truth is that they look for loopholes in security and the information freely available, albeit from an online perspective. As such, not having the right kind of security in place is akin to leaving the doors of your business unlocked overnight.
Similarly, the upsurge of cyber-crime can also dissuade business owners from adopting the Internet and the benefits it has to offer. While this is understandable, it shouldn’t stand in the way of expanding your business, you simply need to be aware of what precautions to take.
Encrypt Your Company Data
Encrypting your data may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s a vital one to ensure prying eyes are locked of your business affairs. Some may not be aware that popular operating systems such as Windows and MacOS come with their own encryption, called BitLocker and FileVault respectively.
The information on the device will be encrypted once a user has logged out of the system. Of course, those who forget to log out of their system could be open to attack. Fortunately, you can tweak your settings to ensure the device logs out automatically should there be no activity over a set period.
This simple measure will ensure that your sensitive information is not giving potential hackers food for thought.
Secure Your Network
While Wi-FI offers many benefits to business owners, it can also present its own set of problems if not implemented in the right way.
Understanding the network being used can mean that you are able to do more when it comes to securing your data. When wireless was introduced, it was of course a new way of connecting to the Internet, so the fact that it had some shortcomings is not surprising. Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP is a security algorithm which while potentially secure, has fell victim to numerous hackers.
Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA is a successor to WEP, and essentially offers a more secure network as a whole. If you have devices that can’t adopt the WPA network, it may be worth upgrading your equipment.
You should also consider turning off your service set identifier (SSID) to create a hidden network, which will ensure that only users in possession of the network name will be able to connect.
Ensure Your Devices are Secured
While having to log into a device each time you use it can seem inconvenient, it’s actually the way forward when it comes to protecting your business. Just as hackers prey on businesses online, they will also look to enter premises where hardware is held. Locking down the information contained within the devices ensures that company information isn’t falling into the wrong hands.
You can also consider implementing a third-party who is experienced in ensuring that digital data is kept secure, as well as installing safeguards to help deter potential thieves. These can include specific data-encrypted devices that would be useless to a criminal, as well as additional feature such as snapshotting thieves via webcams and smartphones.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware is a Must-Have
Viruses and malware are nothing new to the online domain, but this doesn’t mean the threat has decreased. There are many avenues that can introduce unwanted viruses and malware into a business’s network. These can include emails, websites and social networks.
Both viruses and malware have become more evolved and sinister, so while there is little a startup can do about such sinister introductions into the digital world, it can put itself in position where it’s less susceptible to attacks from unknown sources.
This is why it’s important to ensure that we have antivirus and anti-malware software installed on all devices used within the business.
Once the software has been installed, we then need to ensure that updates are installed as and when they’re released. This is because such updates are vital to combat current threats. Failing to update our software can be as detrimental as not having it all.
A Firewall Is Your First Line of Defence
A firewall is the bridge between your business and irrelevant data. Simply having access to the Internet can be a threat in itself, and those without a firewall are leaving their information to risk. Although we can do a lot to ensure we are only carrying out safe browsing, we can’t assume that this will always be the case. It’s also worth remembering that attacks are on the network as a whole, and not one particular advice.
Having a firewall in place help syphon out unwanted attacks, often dealing with the problem before it ever occurs. Of course, to have the best line of defence, we have to have the right software installed. While the basic firewall that comes with many home systems will suit the everyday users, those who are running a start-up may want to invest in a more robust, business solution.
Don’t Promote Your Admin Pages
Hackers have to get their information from somewhere, and in many instances, it can be located within Google, which means that your current web operations need to be amended. While a business has to ensure marketing material has to be promoted, this doesn’t mean the admin pages have to be.
Using the robots-txt file ensure that the bots used by Google disregard ay pages deemed sensitive, making it more difficult for hackers.
You can find out about such measures online. If you’re not too confident in carrying out the work yourself, then why not consider the services of a third party.