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How To Protect Your Business From Security Threats
With billions of internet/social media users worldwide, putting up your business online can effectively widen your market reach and potentially increase your sales and profits. And when you run an online business, you have the flexibility to present your products or services online, without the constraints of physical stores. Protecting yourself from security threats is very important.
Although taking your business online does indeed offer some advantages, it also increases your risk of scams and security threats. Some companies tend to think that they’ll never be a victim of a cyberattack, considering that there are over hundreds and thousands of other businesses online. But as more businesses are pursuing their endeavors online, hackers and cybercriminals are keeping up their pace, continuously upgrading their tools to access and steal data.
Remember that a single cyberattack is more than enough to ruin your company and its reputation. Thus, as a business owner, you should do your part to protect your company from security threats. Read on to learn how.
- Set Up All The Protective Software
Before officially launching your business online, you and your staff must have anti-spyware ad anti-virus software on all company devices. Better yet, set up firewalls and data encryption as well. These tools will provide extra protection to your devices so that no hackers will be able to get their hands on private data.
If you don’t have in-house IT personnel in your company, you can outsource reputable IT services and find a cyber security company in Chicago or in your local area where your business is based. Partnering with a cyber security company will ensure your business stays updated with the latest security features.
For instance, a cyber security company will implement an endpoint protection system to block unauthorized access and malware. Endpoints are entry points of end-user devices, such as mobile phones, desktops, and laptops. Endpoint security systems aim to keep these endpoints in the cloud or on a network safe from malicious activities.
- Educate Your Employees
Security threats don’t always happen online. Sometimes, your very own staff can be your biggest security risk. If some of your employees are careless in handling your business data, you’ll still be at risk of security threats, including data breaches, phishing attacks, and password attacks—even with the most reliable cybersecurity software.
So, to enhance your business security, ensure that all your employees are well-educated about the security protocols. For example, use various strong passwords for your business accounts and social media platforms. Then limit access to authorized employees only.
Another security practice is to use only company devices when accessing your business-related social media/online accounts. No employee should use their personal devices when doing or performing work-related tasks to prevent the risk of hackers finding their way to sensitive data through unprotected devices.
But if your employees use their personal devices for work, emphasize which data they’re only allowed to access. The less data they can access, the safer and more secure your business data shall be.
- Backup Your Data
Backing up all your data is an effective way to protect your business from security issues too. This step is crucial, especially if you haven’t set up any security protection on your devices yet. In case you encounter a cyber incident or some computer problems, you can still access your backup data from your cloud storage, external device, or portable device like a USB stick.
If you’re backing up your data with cloud security storage, make it a habit to check and update it regularly. A cloud storage solution will use encryption to store or transfer data and provide multi-factor authentication for access.
Meanwhile, if you back up your data using portable devices, such as the USB, make sure you don’t leave it connected to any laptop or computer when you’re not around. Most importantly, avoid connecting your USB to random computers, as viruses could infect it.
- Prepare A Response Plan
Although no one would want to assume the worst, which is having a cyberattack harming their business, it’s still recommended that you prepare a response plan in advance. A response plan will ensure you and your employees know exactly what to do in case of security incidents, like data leak, loss of sensitive information, or ransomware attack. The more prepared your staff is, the easier it’ll be to contain the damage since everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
- Consider Cybersecurity Insurance
Typically, your general liability insurance won’t cover the damages and losses you’ve incurred from a cyberattack. However, the damages from a cyberattack can be just as devastating as robbery or fire accidents. Hence, consider getting cybersecurity insurance for your business’s protection.
Dealing with a cyberattack could lead to significant financial loss or even bankruptcy. But when you have cyber liability insurance, all the costs your business may incur to recover from the cyberattack will be covered.
- Perform Regular Audits
One of the common cybersecurity mistakes some business owners make is that they automatically assume that drafting comprehensive cyber policies, training employees, and setting up security precautions will be enough to deter hackers. Unfortunately, cybercriminals continue to find ways to invade online systems and hack business data.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you perform regular audits of your cybersecurity methods to check if they’re still capable of protecting your business in the event of any new type of attack. Moreover, you should continue to monitor, revise, or improve your current perimeter protection, such as your multi-factor authentication solutions, virtual private network, and intrusion detection systems.
It’s also helpful to keep yourself in the loop with the latest types of cybersecurity threats, so you’ll know what to change or upgrade with your current cybersecurity methods.
- Protect Your Customers
One of the most critical data you should protect is your customers’ information. Otherwise, if your customers’ data get lost, hacked, or compromised in any way, you could face legal consequences, and your business reputation will be permanently damaged. So, find ways to protect your customers and their data at all times, especially when they do transactions with your company.
For example, you may invest in a secured online platform where they can do transactions with you. If you accept online payments, determine which payment gateway provider is the most secure or reliable to prevent online payment fraud.
- Perform Background Checks On Your Employees
Some may think this step is unnecessary, but remember that security attacks can also happen from the inside. So, even if you think you know all your employees very well, it’s still advisable to perform background checks to determine whether they have any past criminal records or are associated with any cybercriminals.
Conclusion on Security Threats
As security threats increase, businesses must stay proactive in continuously improving and tightening their security measures to protect themselves and their customers from malicious attacks. With these tips, along with the help of a reputable cyber security company, you’ll be able to prepare a strong cyber security plan and devise effective protocols.