Top 6 Practices for Securing Your Online Business

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Now, most businesses, if not all, have bloomed under the influence of the digital world. Turning your business into an online one is like walking on a road filled with endless possibilities. But somewhere along the way, you might run into stubborn rocks or obstacles known as cyber-security threats.

Those threats have the power to do catastrophic damage to your online business. Let’s say you have a traditional mom-and-pop shop. The only way criminals can turn your life into a nightmare is if they break in and steal all your money and inventory.

Now, let’s say that you also do a lot of selling on your e-commerce store besides the traditional one. Criminals will have more options because they can do damage without stepping foot in the store. All they have to do is hack into your system, steal the credit card info of all your customers, and wreak havoc. What’s worse, you can make a mistake and get scammed!

But it’s not the end of the world. You can save yourself the stress and frustration of that happening. How, you might ask? You just need to implement these top 6 cybersecurity practices and secure your online business.

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Many cybersecurity professionals would agree that this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your data safe. This covers everything from your operating system and web server to your content management system and plugins.

Software companies regularly release updates that patch security vulnerabilities. If left unaddressed, they could be exploited by cybercriminals. If you can automate these updates, you won’t have to worry about missing any security patches and will always be safe from threats.

Moreover, your systems need a firewall to keep your online business secure. Think of a firewall as a club bouncer who checks people’s IDs and only lets them in if they meet the requirements.

It’s important to know that a firewall checks incoming and outgoing traffic to ensure only safe and authorized data enters and leaves your network. With this protection, no hacker can ever get their hands on your company data. Combine that with an antivirus and VPN, and you have a digital fortress.

Train Your Employees

As a business owner, you agree that employees are the pillars of every organization. So, keeping them updated and trained on cyber security risks ensures those pillars never collapse.

But training them is hard. No one likes sitting through boring meetings with PowerPoint presentations. It’s your job to make learning fun, and you can do that by simulating phishing attacks and demonstrating what can happen if you get breached. They’ll learn how to spot phishing attempts, why using secured networks is essential, and how to handle sensitive data appropriately.

As an additional layer of security, teach your employees about creating and updating strong passwords. Encourage your team to use passwords that mix letters, numbers, and special characters. Ensure they use different passwords for different sites and tools. It might be a pain to keep track of all the passwords, but at least you’re not making yourself vulnerable with just one. Also, consider getting a trustworthy password manager for the company to avoid trouble.

Let’s not forget about multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well. MFA makes things even safer by requiring multiple ways to confirm an identity. If hackers breach an account, they would have to use additional information beyond a password to gain entry.

Limit Access to Sensitive Data

You may handpick your employees, but this doesn’t mean they need access to everything in your business. It’s a great idea to pick several employees you trust and grant them access to sensitive data within the company—but only to them and no one else. This reduces the number of unexpected data breaches.

Let’s say your staff needs to use company computers. Make sure each employee has their own user account and password. If your company has several branches, your employees should only discuss their tasks within their branch. Oversharing can lead to vulnerabilities within your organization.

Wi-Fi Network Security

Where would we be without Wi-Fi, right? We can all agree that our reliance on Wi-Fi makes things a lot easier when doing business online. You can be at Starbucks waiting for your latte and handling emails. Or you can be sipping a cocktail on a beach and updating your product list. The possibilities are endless.

However, you need to be cautious when using public Wi-Fi for your online business operations. One wrong move can turn your online business into a target for cyber-security threats.

To avoid that, you need to ensure the network you’re using is protected. That extends to your office as well. The Wi-Fi network needs to be encrypted, secured, and layered with a strong password. And ensure no one outside of your business has access to it.

Use a VPN

A VPN is your ultimate hero in shielding your online business. It creates a secure and private connection over a public network. This means that all of your data sent between your business and the outside world is encrypted. This way, you reduce the risk of cyber threats knocking on your door.

One easy way to get this kind of protection is by adding a VPN Chrome extension to your browsers. This little tool is particularly handy as it encrypts all your browser traffic, ensuring everything you do online is secure. It’s especially useful if your team works remotely or often hops onto public Wi-Fi. With a VPN extension, you can protect your business activities from nosy cyber snoops and potential security threats.

Always Back Up Files

Do you and your employees make it a habit to back up essential files? If not, you can be in for a nightmare scenario. If a cyberattack happens, all your data could be deleted or held for ransom. How will your business run then? Backing up your files might seem like a hassle at first, but it will keep you from drowning in the future.

A smart way to do this is by following the 3-2-1 backup rule. It’s pretty simple:

  1. Keep at least three copies of your data.
  2. Use two different types of storage media to keep these copies.
  3. Ensure one of those copies is stored offsite.

Think of cloud storage services as a handy and secure option for that offsite backup. They help you sleep better at night, knowing that your business can bounce back quickly, no matter what happens.

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