The internet has changed the world forever in countless ways over the last decade, but most of all, it has changed the way we do business. The scope and opportunity for both small and large businesses is so much more in this connected world that it has nearly made geographical limitations irrelevant. However, the internet can also be an extremely dangerous place for businesses when they are not properly secured, and sometimes, even when they are. As security should always be the number one concern for any business, here are five tips to protect your business better online.
Enable Basic Protection Against Malware
Malware or malicious software is an application that has been specifically designed to cause problems in a system, or gain unauthorized access to the data in the system. Everything from viruses and trojans to data stealing apps fall under this category. As one of the very first steps towards maintaining a business’s online safety, you will need to take all the basic security measures to protect against malicious software. Some of these basic but essential security measures are as follows:
- Set up the firewall
- Subscribe to an enterprise grade antivirus and antimalware service for real time protection
- Use antispam to reduce spam emails from ever reaching the inboxes of your employees
- Monitor all online activities regularly from the central console
- Restrict internet access for your employees through URL filtering
- Make security and OS updates for every computer working within the system mandatory and automatic
- Choose strong passwords and keep changing them every few days
Learn Ethical Hacking
As mentioned earlier, sometimes, the basic security measures are not enough, since a skilled and targeted hacking attempt can get through them at times. This is where CEH training comes in, because it enables you to protect your business by shutting out those chances. CEH training stands for Certified Ethical Hacker training and just like the name suggests, it’s a course that teaches you to see things like a hacker, so that you can close security gaps in a system before someone from the outside can exploit them. In many ways, the knowledge gained from proper CEH training is pretty much the best way to protect any business and that’s exactly why big names in all fields of work usually have multiple ethical hackers working for them to keep their businesses secured and protected.
Restrict Physical External Access
Sometimes, it is easy to forget about the physical aspect of online security, but it isn’t a mistake that any business can afford to commit. An employee or a guest coming into the office should not be able to access the system from an external computer without authorization. If some of the laptops and pen drives with critical information are stolen and taken outside the office, it will put your company’s online security at jeopardy, unless they are encrypted. As no company wants their critical hardware to be stolen in the first place, boosting the physical security of the office is highly recommended.
Not everyone working for you is technologically sound enough to know what they need to know about the company’s cyber security, because after all, not everyone works in the tech department. On gaining control, hackers can utilize even the most basic employee accounts to hack further up into the company system. It is the employer’s job to educate all their employees with the necessary online safety protocols. Everyone on the company payroll should be aware of basic dangers such as phishing attempts, spam emails and malicious sites.
Secure Your BYOD Policy
Unless you are big enough to provide all your employees with company secured computers and mobile phones, it is likely that you have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in place. BYOD will never be as secure as it would be if the company system was exclusively accessible from company devices only, but if you define and apply your BYOD policy appropriately, it can also be made quite secure. In order to avoid legal repercussions and prevent security breaches at the same time, here are three golden rules of designing any BYOD policy:
- All registered devices should be secured, protected and monitored by a security management application
- All the legal responsibilities and repercussions should be detailed and outlined in the policy
- Everyone must sign and legally accept the policies, with a clear understanding of the clauses and repercussions
There is no better way to protect a company online than to learn how to do it yourself and that is why CEH training is always going to be the best way to protect any online establishment against cyber threats. It is best if you can learn it while your establishment is still small because that will allow you to design and grow your business with the proper security from the ground up. Just in case you do not have the time or the tech background for it, hiring a professional with the necessary ethical hacking knowledge is recommended.