Online businesses have reached an all-time high in the last few years. It appears that nowadays, all you need is a good business idea and a well-thought-out strategy to reach millions of potential customers. However, as the size of your online business grows, so does the number of potential cybersecurity threats. Despite this, nearly half of the respondents had no idea how to protect their businesses from various security threats such as phishing, advanced malware, zero-day, and ransomware attacks. Knowing how to protect your online business is critical for safeguarding your money, data, and reputation.
The good news is that there are many simple methods you can use to safeguard your online business. Here are ten things to consider when it comes to the security of your online business.
10 Ways to Safeguard Your Online Business
1. Select a Reliable Hosting Service
There is no such thing as a successful online business that does not have a professional website. However, great design and powerful features will not help you if you choose the wrong hosting company. As a result, ensure that your online platform or website is hosted by a reputable PCI(payment card industry)-compliant web hosting service provider. This is how you can ensure that your site’s payment and checkout processes are safe from hackers who are constantly looking for loopholes to exploit. Although free hosting may appear appealing, we recommend that you do not even consider it for your online business. Aside from limited speed and shared server space, free hosting is also extremely risky in terms of security. Free hosting is not the way to go if you want to protect your sensitive information, user data, or credit card accounts.
If at all possible, select a secure hosting provider that will provide your website with an SSL certificate. It will add HTTPS, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, to your website. This certificate ensures that all communication between your website and your users’ browsers is encrypted.
2. Best Practices for Email Security
Every day, millions of emails are sent. However, according to research, only half of their content is legitimate, with the rest falling into the spam category. This means that many emails sent to you and your employees may pose a security risk. Email is a common way for ransomware to infect your computer system. Cybercriminals, in this case, include malicious attachments in the emails they send. When you open an infected email, you allow ransomware to enter your computer. This increases the likelihood of more serious security breaches. However, if you follow the simple steps below, you can significantly reduce the potential risks.
First,restrict your employees from using their business email addresses to subscribe to untrustworthy mailing lists. Also, make it clear to everyone in your organization that they should be extra cautious regarding links sent via email, social media, or unfamiliar websites. Never open a link or attachment without first scanning it unless you expect it. Finally, clean up your email regularly and use antispam software. Antispam filters out unsolicited emails, links, and distractions for your employees.
3. Secure Passwords
Passwords should be taken extra care of. Strong passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special symbols are more difficult to crack. Change your passwords regularly for added security, and consider using two-factor authentication. Aside from that, never send passwords or sensitive data via email unencrypted.
4. Keep your Software Up-to-Date
Keeping your software up to date is critical to avoiding security risks. Outdated software increases your system’s likelihood of becoming a target for cybercriminals. As a result, you should regularly update your security software and the software programs installed on your computer. Set all of your software programs to install updates to save time automatically. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your computer network and website.
5. Safeguard your computer network
Investing in a professional security package will undoubtedly pay dividends. Select reputable anti-virus and anti-malware software. Choose a package that includes website penetration testing and malware removal if at all possible. This will assist you in locating any malware that has made its way onto your system, which is a good place to start when it comes to keeping your hardware and software security.
6. Make frequent backups
Regular backups are one of the most effective ways to safeguard your website and data. If you have secure backups of your important files, you can easily recover them all in the event of a cyber-attack. It is advised to keep your copies off-site. Even if your servers are hacked, your data will be secure. Rather than storing your files in the cloud, download them and save them to an offline machine, external hard drive, or even CDs.
7. Wi-Fi Network Security
Check that your Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Furthermore, change your Wi-Fi password regularly. This is especially critical if you have a “guest” network for customers and clients because you never know if their devices are infected. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, you should also exercise caution. If you’re away from the office and need to access your email via public Wi-Fi, you can take extra precautions using a VPN (a virtual private network).
8. Install a Firewall
Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic to allow or deny data packets. Install firewalls on your servers and all office devices – laptops, computers, and mobile phones – to protect your internal networks from threats.
9. Mobile Phone Users
Business meetings are frequently held away from the office. Your security system will be aware of its surroundings in an ideal world. Employees’ laptop security settings will be automatically charged to the advanced level of protection as they move inside or outside the office.
10. Educate Your Employees About Cybersecurity
Even the best security software won’t work if your employees don’t understand the fundamentals of potential security threats. For example, they may be unaware that pop-ups, emails, or unexpected links can seriously harm your online business. As a result, they should be educated on securing their devices and selecting a strong password. It’s also critical to teach them how to use anti-virus software to keep their devices clean.
Understanding how to protect your online business from potential security threats is critical to its success. If you don’t want to waste valuable time and money or harm your company’s reputation, you must prioritize security. With just a few simple steps, you can ensure your company’s devices, data, and network safety and security.