How To Secure Your Business Online

A major data breach can affect your business in 3 negative ways: loss of assets, media backlash and long-term business downtime. Any business which gets hit by a data breach or any form of cybersecurity has to invest precious resources to get back on their feet.

Despite the number of cybersecurity attacks that we hear about every day, most businesses still think of the digital security of their business as an unnecessary expense. They try to ‘get the work done’ somehow by delegating the responsibility to a small IT team. Or, they buy yesterday’s technologies to protect the business from today’s security threats.

As a business owner, you must already know how much effort it takes to create a business from being just an idea to a revenue-generating asset. In today’s digitally-connected world, website and mobile apps form the primary routes through which businesses exchange information with their customers and the world at large. There is a pressing need to secure your business information that is hosted online.

Given the pace at which hackers at progressing, you need to move quickly to stay protected. Here are some proven ways that can help you in your cybersecurity mission.

Create Employee Cybersecurity Awareness

IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index study says more than 60% of data breaches are caused due to employee negligence or error. The biggest security threat to your business data does not come from external sources, it is right within your organization. That said, let us not judge loyal employees as individuals who give away confidential information, passwords, etc. carelessly.

Human errors could happen due to lack of awareness of using an easy-to-crack password, or sharing passwords publicly or even failing to spot a phishing mail from a genuine one. The key to plugging the security leak from within begins with creating employee awareness about cybersecurity.

Set User Privileges For Information Access

A developer need not have access to client accounts. An accountant need not have access to source code. Not all employees require access to every information. Identify the right kind of information that a user would require to carry out their roles and responsibility. Revoke unnecessary user privileges that may be misused leading to a security mishap.

Deactivate resigned employee user accounts

There is a huge data security risk that keeping the user accounts of resigned employees can bring to a business. In the event of a data loss, nobody can be held responsible for the loss. The resigned employee, by law, cannot be held responsible either.

It is mandatory that all resigned employee user accounts are either deleted or are deactivated by the IT administrator to avoid misuse. If the data in such accounts are required for regular use, then an offline backup shared in a shared folder would be the safest bet.

Schedule Periodic Backups

You can only lose what you cannot recover. Data that is periodically backed up helps put your business back on track even if the worst case scenario of a security breach happens. Given the fact that cost of cloud storage and commodity hardware for storage have declined over the years, it should not be expensive either.

Create a schedule to take periodic backups of your business data. The schedule can be set in the lines of daily incremental back-ups, end-of-week back-ups, monthly backups, quarterly back-ups or yearly back-ups. The backup schedule can be tweaked to include servers, CRM data, website data, vendor/customer databases, employee information, chargebacks and so on. Ideally, all critical data that can be stored offline should be removed from online premises and backed up securely in offline mediums.

Rope In An Online Payment Processing Partner

 Does your business collect or process online payments? Well, then you must be knowing the insane amount of effort and technical resources need to establish an online payment system. But, there is a better and safer way of carrying out online payments as well as keeping your business running smoothly.

Partner an online payment process partner who can take over the responsibility. Imagine the relief you can have if PayPal can take care of all payment activities. Of course, you will have to shell out a nominal amount for services. But, compared to the benefits, especially in terms of safe storage of customer information, it is the wisest bet you can make.

Use Encryption

Encryption is a way of scrambling the raw data before it reaches the destined user. The data encryption is carried out using a public and private key. Only users with the systems where the private key is stored would be able to access the information. This form of data encryption is made possible using an SSL certificate.

SSL certificates are prescribed to use in eCommerce, banking or any other website that collects sensitive information from users. If you are running an account based business, like a membership-based time-sharing resort or an online subscription service, encryption can help to secure customer data from being stolen or breached. The same encryption system can also be used to secure intranets where inter-organizational data exchange happens. Like an internal email system, bulletin board, human resource portal and so on.

Conclusion

Any business that thrives on the Internet faces the risk of cybersecurity. Verizon had found in its study that the volume of cybersecurity attacks that hit small and medium businesses is up by 61%. If you are running an online business, you cannot afford to ignore cyber security for long.

Investing in cybersecurity gives a long list of business benefits, including improved customer confidence, better data security and in some cases, even PCI compliance. Think of security as a long-term investment for your business improvement than an expense. Moreover, not all cybersecurity techniques are expensive. Training your employees, taking periodic backups, deactivating unused accounts, etc. do not cost money or resources. But, make sure you do invest in the right kind of security measures like SSL certificates which have become to be recognized as the hallmark of cybersecurity.

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