4 Tips for keeping your online business secure
18 Apr 2022
Let’s start on a cheery note. No business is safe from a cyberattack. According to the 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 39% of businesses and 26% of charities reported cyberattacks in the preceding twelve month period. Online businesses that hold sensitive customer data are particularly vulnerable.
What is cyber security and why do you need it?
Cyber security is technology used to protect systems, programs, data, networks and devices from hackers who want to steal information or harm the company.
Without cyber security, businesses are vulnerable to attack. Cyber security gives an online company the protection it needs from harmless looking emails, download buttons and links that unleash malicious viruses and malware into your software. Unfortunately, human intervention and vigilance are not enough to protect your business.
Small online businesses are at risk of cyber attack
If you think about it, while larger online brands may seem attractive to hackers because of all that juicy data and pandemonium they can cause, such companies have teams of vigilant IT experts policing their online protection. They’ll also have the most robust security systems and antivirus and anti-malware software in place to keep the hackers out.
Smaller businesses have to be more hands-on and use whatever resources they can to prevent cyberattacks from happening. But with a proactive approach, smaller businesses can look after themselves against the bullies of the internet!
Here are 4 tips for keeping your online business secure
1. Choose strong passwords and change them regularly
Passwords for systems and individual users should be strong and regularly changed. Don’t incorporate a standard word or name. Instead, use upper and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols. The more random and difficult the password is, the harder it is for a hacker to crack.
We would recommend that all passwords are changed at no less than 90-day intervals and different passwords are used for different platforms.
2. Install and regularly update antivirus and anti-malware software
This applies to all devices, not just office PCs and internal systems. With more people working remotely on different devices, all users should have the appropriate software on every device they use to access a company’s systems.
Once installed it is essential that any antivirus and anti-malware software is regularly updated by enabling automatic updates and responding to update requests.
3. Install SSL encryption on your website
SSL encryption is security technology that provides an encrypted link between a server and a client. This is typically for keeping the connection between a website and a browser secure.
SSL encryption is particularly important for online stores, where customers expect to be protected at checkout. SSL encrypts each page, protecting the customer’s personal information and avoiding a security breach and associated legal implications for the company.
4. Educate staff on cyber security
Staff should be educated on the threat of cyberattacks and how to be vigilant when clicking on links in emails, social media, websites and apps. Once they understand the implications of cyberattacks they are more likely to be careful in online activity and proactive in alerting the company and colleagues to potentially harmful activity.