Hacking might not be the wide spread epidemic that the media sometimes reports it as, but it’s not all hyperbole either. However according to VectorCloud one of the leading IT Support companies with offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The risk of hacking is very real and a number of big businesses have already fallen victim to it.
When the likes of Sony, Apple, and just this week the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax aren’t able to protect themselves from hacking and data breaches trying to protect your business can seem like an impossible task.
But rest assured it isn’t, millions of businesses have been able to protect themselves from online hacking and yours is no different. Hackers aren’t like they are in the movies or television they usually won’t have high-tech gadgets or gear that will break through any protection.
So, as long as you have some common sense you’ll be able to keep your business and its data safe. If a hacker can’t break through your protection they won’t usually stay and keep trying they’ll move onto something else. So, with the right protection and practices in place, you’ll be able to keep your business secure from online attacks.
Practices and Protection
Hackers have certainly built up and impressive and enigmatic reputation and because of this many business owners have a rather over the top impression of their abilities. Hackers have certainly pulled off some impressive feats but this has usually been down to mistakes businesses have made when it comes to their protection and practices.
So by simply employing our tips below, you’ll be able to increase your businesses protection and help ensure you stay safe from online hackers. You don’t have to use them all and some might not be applicable to your business, but any modern business serious about staying safe should employ as many as they can.
An obverse one that anyone who’s every set-up an email account or even just used a computer should know. Your passwords need to be unique and complex, numbers, special characters, capitals letters and more should all be used to create a strong password.
Breaking a password is one of the most common ways online hackers can attack your business and it’s a problem that can be easily prevented. Even big businesses aren’t immune to being lazy with their passwords so make sure you create something secure and unique.
Your passwords should also be regularly changed and you should try to avoid having them written down anywhere. This might be tricky but it will remove a big risk to your security, if the password is written down there’s always a chance a hacker could see it or steal it.
Keep Your Security Software Updated
Security software is essential for any modern business, after all, we all know what happened to the Trojan’s don’t we? Anti-virus and anti-spy software come in many forms and variants and you should ensure that the package you are using will offer all the security you need.
So, do your research and consult an expert if you have to ensure you have maximum protection. But once you’ve got the software you can’t just call it a day, one problem with online hackers is that they are always adapting. So, just because your security software is working, for now, it doesn’t mean it always will.
You should also make sure that your security software is updated regularly to ensure you have maximum protection at all times. And when your software is outdated you should upgrade quickly to maintain security.
Block At Risk Sites
We all know the feeling it’s a slow period at work, you’ve done all your jobs for the day and there are only 20 minutes left, is it really a big deal if you open up Google and search a few sites? It might not seem like it but there’s a reason the majority of work places will block non-essential websites.
It limits the risk of viruses, spyware or hackers stealing your information. Lots of websites might not be as secure as they look and even by just clicking on one for a few seconds you could end up losing a lot of valuable data.
Now is this a common risk? No, it isn’t but why take the risk in the first place? Remember it’s not just your data you’re risking but the data of your customers so play it safe and block any at risk sites. You might be limiting access to the internet and in turn information but it really is the best option if you want to stay safe from hackers.
Encrypt and Purge Costumers Data
Encrypting any data, but especially your customer’s is just common sense but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t do it. Your business might be small but the customer data it holds is still incredibly valuable, so do the smart thing and ensure it’s protected.
Encrypting your data can be accomplished in a number of ways and you should research the methods to find out what will work best for your business. Now while encrypting your customer’s data may sound like common sense purging it might sound crazy.
Many businesses will keep a customer’s data on file for years now while this might make a certain kind of sense, after all, it will speed up the delivery of service if they ever use your business again it does mean your business is carrying a potential ticking time bomb.
There’s no real need for your business to carry customers data for years, after all, they might never use your services again. So, why take the risk of that data being stolen in an attack? Once the customer’s data is no longer needed have it securely purged instead if you don’t have the data it can’t be stolen.
Your Business Is Valuable
The final piece of advice I have is to get rid of any negative mind set about your business. Many small to medium business owners take a lax approach to their security simply because they see the data their business keeps as worthless.
Hackers will go after any business you don’t have to be a multi-billion pound global empire and even one person’s data is valuable enough. So, take security seriously it doesn’t matter why size your business is you’re still a potential target and should have proper security practices in place.