Protecting your business from online criminals is crucial and you should aim to secure your company’s online information right from the start. There are numerous online services designed to help you get off the ground, offering helpful tools such as creating a free website domain, branding advice, web design, and others. Even at this early stage, you should be doing everything you can to ensure your company’s online security by choosing trusted services. Starting off by being cautious and vigilant will encourage you to form good habits early on, thereby helping to strengthen your company’s online security in the long-term.
Hacking can be defined as cybercrime that compromises digital devices, such as smartphones, computers, or even entire company networks. The effects of hacking can be devastating, not just for the targeted business itself, but for the employees as well. It can result in huge financial loss for the company, as well as the infiltration of employees’ sensitive information.
If you suspect that your business has been targeted by hackers, you should refer to the appropriate authority to report the crime; for instance, if you’re in the UK, you can seek advice from The National Cyber Security Centre. But how exactly do you protect your business from the threat of hackers in the first place?
Use a reliable ISP
First and foremost, it’s essential that you choose a reputable internet service provider (ISP) that offers top of the range security features. Don’t just go with the provider that gives you the cheapest or fastest service – security should be your biggest concern.
There is certainly no shortage of internet providers, so make sure you do your research to determine which one is best and safest for your business. A good ISP should have robust built-in security features and be from a trusted operator with positive customer testimonies.
Be sensible with passwords
Perhaps the most obvious security measure to take is how you choose and handle your passwords. A strong password is the most fundamental deterrent against unauthorised access to your digital device and personal information. The stronger and more complex your password is, the more protection it should offer against potential hackers. It is therefore crucial that you choose your passwords sensibly. Don’t plump for something that can be easily linked to you, for instance characters from your postcode or phone number. Likewise, don’t pick anything that’s overly simple and easy to crack, such as a sequence like ‘123’. Using a combination of upper and lower case letters, non-consecutive numbers, and symbols that are all totally random is the best option to protect your business from hackers.
Don’t use the same password across different platforms – having a multiple password set-up makes it more difficult for fraudsters to hack into all your devices and accounts. There have been instances of hackers using one compromised password from a data breach to gain access to multiple accounts. It’s also advisable that you change your passwords regularly.
Get anti-virus protection
Good antivirus software should be able to detect and either quarantine or delete malicious programs in order to prevent malware from damaging your systems or devices. Make sure your entire business’ network is protected by the most trusted antivirus and anti-malware software. This should cover all your company devices and include a high-quality firewall on the server. Both of these measures should help to safeguard your devices and systems against malicious attacks.
For company mobile devices, it’s wise to invest in phones that are fitted with strong in-built security features, such as fingerprint or iris scanning, PIN verification, or voice recognition software.
Some organisations supplement their anti-virus software with a protective browser extension that prevents phishing attacks. An anti-phishing toolbar can detect potential malicious threats and block them accordingly. This means that if an employee were to click on a potentially threatening link, then the toolbar add-on will employ measures to help protect against attacks.
Use multi-factor authentication
An effective way to safeguard your company from hackers is to make sure your employees use multi-factor authentication. This means that any new sign-in from a new device – whether that be a personal phone or a company computer – will trigger a requirement for a verification code via a secondary device.
This method is highly effective since hackers are unlikely to have access to more than one of your devices or systems, therefore their malicious intentions are stopped in their tracks.
Easily overlooked, but no less important, is the concept of updating company application systems and software. Whether it’s a cloud-based feature, a content management system, or any other program used by your business, it’s sensible to update your software regularly to prevent security threats.
Software providers are always updating their product’s security systems and protocols, but they won’t work if your applications are out of date; therefore it’s important that you stay in sync with them in order to keep your company data safe from cybercriminals.
Protecting your business from hackers should be high up on your list of priorities. Cyberattacks can be devastating for your company but there are plenty of precautionary measures you can take to ensure that your systems and devices are protected. As long as you take our advice and be vigilant to cybercrime, you should be able to reduce the chances of your business falling prey to hackers.