April 28th, 2020 | Updated on June 25th, 2022
Now a days, business transactions and deals can be done between any persons or countries at any time, just by the click of a button.
Marketing, procurement, making payments and any other activities are some of the many activities that can be carried out online.
In between these activities, lie a whole lot of hackers waiting to gain unauthorised access into the unsuspecting sites with poor security measures and cause severe losses and harm to their victims.
Therefore, cyber security has emerged to be one of the necessary tools of success to any business, be it big or small.
According to Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 43% of victims of cyber-attacks are usually small businesses.
Regardless of whether there is a fund to cater for an IT initiative, there exist other wonderful measures that will help you not fall victim to fraudsters and cyber attackers.
It is prudent that both small and big businesses that are ill prepared to ward off any online threats put in place some measures to mitigate this issue.
This article outlines some of the vital measures and tips that will help you increase your business productivity through waning off the worries and threats that are brought about by hackers.
1. Get Rid Of Dormant Accounts And Those Not In Use
It is so easy for a fraudster to maliciously gain access into your network through use of old credentials (login details) that you no longer or rarely use.
Dormant accounts might arise because of hiring several employees over time. Some of these employees might leave or change systems credentials leading to the existence of numerous accounts.
Hackers target these accounts and will try to retrieve any vital information that will grant them access to the operating accounts.
When this happen, a business might lose vital data, incur losses through online fraud and incur significant repair costs.
No business wants that! Therefore, permanently deleting or properly disposing off your old accounts is important to protecting your information from unauthorised access.
2. Enabling A Two-Factor Authentication Process
Take advantage of this security tool to protect your businesses information. Enabling a two-factor authentication helps you boost the security of your login credentials.
A two-step authentication is where users are required to use another login step, apart from their user name and password, before being allowed to access their account.
For instance, a user might be required to input a secret code that is send to him via email or as a text message.
This technique adds another crust of security to your business website which makes it almost impossible and harder for an attacker to access your account.
We advise that all business accounts and websites to make use of this tip to save on the effects of a successful hack.
3. Educate Your Employees About The Best Security Practices
Never assume that your employees know, you should teach and re teach them about vital security measures that will ensure there’s no breach of security.
Your business employees are some of the vulnerable victims that attackers will target.
Employees should be enlightened on the best password practices, possible phishing attacks and how to prevent them.
They should therefore remain vigilant and ensure their data is off when not in use.
They should also be educated on the benefits of installing updates even when the time it comes out appears to be inconvenient.
That will help to deal with any security breaches and prevent the devastating impacts brought about by a successful cyber breach.
4. Install A Firewall
The very way a real firewall prohibits a furnace from spreading over to other flats on a building, a computer firewall similarly restricts unwanted users and information from coming into a business computer system from other internets and causing ‘injury.’
It is crucial to put in place a firewall to protect your business data from unauthorised and possibly harmful accesses. The firewall should remain operating at all time, even when you are not using the computer.
5. Make Use Of The Best Password Practices
For different sites, use different passwords. A single password increases the risk of quick discovery.
Therefore using different passwords spills over the risk of unwanted users or information accessing your software, it is also important to change them regularly.
Although you can have a timeframe for changing your passwords and once done, you can share them to those who need verbally or sent it to their mails.
All passwords that are related to the main business accounts should be long enough, eight to ten characters is ideal.
They should also be a composition of both uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Password manager tool can also be of great benefit in taking care of your passwords.
6. Ensure Your Software Is Up To Date.
Software updates are mostly rampant and may be annoying sometimes. People quickly dismiss such updates or tend to plan to install the updates at a future date but later on forget.
That should never be the case. The reason the update has been made is to rectify the security loopholes that existed in the previous version.
You therefore do not need to get tired of the many software updates that will most likely pop up when you least expect.
You also have to let your employees know the importance of software updates and that they should not dismiss them but update them as soon as appear.
Installing an update will not cost a dime, just a little of your time. Not installing an update will see to it that loopholes continue to exist.
The loopholes will cause serious security breaches that will cost you significant resources to repair thus impairing your business productivity.
7. Initiate The Access Control Measure
Have a list that only lets your systems controller administrator take charge of which employees should have access to the computer system.
Access control should allow only those within the confinements of the business premises to access certain accounts.
This measure ensures that each employee is solely accountable and will be liable for any cyber breaches that may befall his or her computer.
You should also remember to update the list from time to time according to the prevailing changes in the business.
The access control measure ensures that no unauthorised individual can access the account without permission thus denying the hackers a chance to access the website.
8. Install An SSL Certificate To The Business Website
An SSL certificate encrypts all data and information in transit. The information goes in a coded form with the receiver the only one who has the access key.
This is important because hackers are always on the lookout to access the data in transit distort the data or alter the meaning of the information.
Where an SSL certificate exists, the hacker will not be able to understand the meaning of the information.
SSL certificates are very vital to the security of any business website. There are several SSL certificates on the market.
One of the ideal SSL certificates that you should go for is the GeoTrust SSL certificate. It will help to secure online data transition between the server and the browser.
9. Put In Place Measures To Prevent Phishing Attacks
Phishing and spear phishing attacks are two top and a popular means hackers use to attack their victims.
Phishing attacks are usually general and nonselective. They hit the entire system.
On the other hand, spear phishing is at a lower level to a specific target and it is usually so much convincing.
It is important to ensure that your business organisation will be safe from Phishing and spear Phishing attacks.
You should also train your employees on how best they can stay safe and secure from these attacks.
Teach your employees to avoid spam mails regarding lottery, NGO donation, government authority, etc.
With the drastic increase in the number of cyber threats, most businesses are now at a great risk.
As a business owner or a CEO, you should not sit and wait for the devastating consequences of a successful security breach.
This article has only outlined a few measures that will help you safeguard your business from cyber insecurities.
However there are more things to be done including changing the default passwords for the company’s point of sale systems, insuring your business against cybercrimes, keeping your most critical data offline among others.
In so doing, your business will be sure of its future productivity.