As a business owner, you already have so much on your plate without having to worry about being hacked as well! Data from Secure Blitz found that becoming the victim of a security breach like this often happens for one of two reasons. Firstly, 71% of hacking happen as a means of stealing money and a further 25% happens as a way of stealing data. Either way, this is not going to be good news for your business.
What’s more, with new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, it is more important now than ever before that you have effective security systems in place. This is especially true given the sophistication with which today’s cybercriminals work. They are increasingly finding new and cunning ways to access systems and get their hands on your data and/or money.
But don’t let this worry you! The good news is there are steps you can take to help protect your business against these hackers. Below, we’ll look at eight of the best ways to do this.
- Antivirus with malware protection
One of the most simple but effective ways to protect your devices is to choose an antivirus software either with malware protection included or as a separate system. This is because hackers may try to infect your devices with harmful viruses or malware which they can then use to extract sensitive data. There are plenty of these softwares out there to choose from, including handy security bundles and packages from providers like McAfee or Norton.
- Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is quickly becoming the must-have cybersecurity tool for businesses. This is because a VPN creates a private, secure network even through a public connection and relies on encryption to give you more privacy and to protect your connection from hackers or Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks.
- Secure email service provider
Think about it, how much information do you share over email. It’s likely that you’ll discuss sensitive information with co-workers, ask for details from clients and often attach files that contain important or personal information about the business or it’s customers. For this reason, choosing a secure email provider is absolutely crucial.
Email has become one of the most popular and important forms of communication in the business world and hackers know this. That is why it can be a common target. Most email service providers like Gmail or Outlook will come with security features, as well as you setting up your own strong password, but as with everything cybersecurity, some are more secure than others.
Before signing up to an email service provider, take a look at their security features. Some will place this at the forefront of everything they do, while others don’t. If you’re concerned about your current provider or you feel you could be doing more to protect your email account, it might be time to switch.
- Password manager
One of the biggest cybersecurity risks many of us take without even really thinking about it is using the same password for all our accounts. And it’s understandable! Who can remember 26 different passwords for all the different platforms they use, especially their important work-related accounts. But if a hacker is able to get ahold of this information, they’ll be able to access multiple (if not all) of your other accounts with just one password.
By investing in a password manager, you can create strong, unique passwords to help you keep your information secure. These password managers generate random passwords and store these within an encrypted vault. You can access this vault with a master passcode, one which only you know. This saves you having to remember multiple passwords, but means you can protect your accounts with strong, unique logins.
Another fairly standard security system you should have on your work computer is a firewall. Most systems come with these as standard, but you can also invest in stronger ones to help boost your security efforts. These firewalls monitor traffic coming in and out of your network from external and local sources. This way they can alert you to and stop hackers from sending in malicious data to infect your device.
- File encryption tools
Although file encryption tools can’t stop you being hacked, they can protect your data should anything happen. By using an encryption tool you can encrypt your files turning them into codes. So should a hacker get into your systems, they will only be able to see the codes and not the original data. This can be extremely beneficial for protecting sensitive information about the business and its customers/clients. Something which is very important in the era of GDPR.
- Cloud storage
Storing all your files locally means that should a hacker get into your systems, they can access all of the information stored within. By backing up your files to an online cloud server, you can keep these safe and secure from prying eyes. Most cloud storage systems will provide backups, archives, file recovery and other data protection measures for additional security. So be careful not to store all your important files and databases on your device and use cloud based systems instead.
- Secure web browsers
Finally, you probably use your web browser A LOT! Yet you may not have considered this as part of your security efforts. A secure web browser is so important because you use this to run searches, visit sites, log in and enter lots of personal information into platforms such as social media or online banking. If your browser isn’t secure, it can be very easy for hackers to use this to intercept and steal your credentials and sensitive information.
There are lots of browsers out there for you to choose from and some are more secure than others. Some of the safest and most recognised web browsers include Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. These will come with built-in security features to keep you safe whilst browsing the internet.