Cybersecurity is a major issue. A product of the Information Age, threats to the security of your online presence and the information that crosses your site are rampant. While many companies have designated teams to monitor such threats, preserving your cybersecurity must be a priority for everyone. In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we offer a few suggestions on how to do so.
Know What You’re Up Against
Cybersecurity threats come in many forms, and it’s important to not to be too wrapped up in making sure your site performs well to neglect your cybersecurity. If your website is hacked or compromised in another way, all or parts of the site may become inaccessible to users. Hackers can also alter what users see when they visit your site. Financial losses, reputation damage, and regulatory fines can all follow any security breaches.
To lessen your company’s vulnerability, stay informed about how hackers operate. Attend cybersecurity trainings and keep an eye on the common and uncommon threats that beset the digital world. We’ve included the basics.
Email: The Biggest Threat
At least 91% of hacks start with an email. People naturally expect email to be a more professional platform for communication, and cybercriminals exploit that. There are two major threats that can be delivered with a perky @domainname: improper encryption and phishing.
Improper encryption can occur when employees don’t fully appreciate the sensitive nature of personal information. Personally or commercially sensitive data sent in an insecure format is an open invitation for those with bad intentions. Implement stringent encryption strategies to prevent this problem; there are many simple ones available for all to use.
Phishing is a deliberate strategy employed with malicious intent. Hackers may pose as customers, collaborators, or management to trick your employees into clicking on malicious links or sending sensitive information. Phishing emails can usually be identified by subtle errors in email addresses, false domain names, and a forced sense of urgency. Know what to look for, and encourage your employees to never click on links from sources they do not know.
Safety Features You Can Implement
Cybersecurity measures improve every single year. While you do not always need the newest or the fanciest to get results, it is important to invest in a few security measures:
VPN: A virtual private network may be the most important factor to prevent most cybersecurity issues. A VPN directs all your online traffic through an encrypted tunnel, protecting it from the eyes of hackers and cybercriminals.
Firewall: A firewall blocks unauthorized traffic and only allows in communications that are deemed safe. Firewalls are especially important if you are worried about malware and denial-of-service attacks.
Strong host platform: A host platform is a website or network-based portal that provides storage space for other sites. Choose a strong host platform to defend against cyber attacks.
Password Protection: Choose strong passwords and provide many stops for unauthorized users to lose unintended access. Consider authentication processes that have multiple requirements for added security, especially if your site takes customers’ credit card and other personal information.
Train the Team to Prevent Problems
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Breaches can happen anywhere, and those who don’t handle security features deliberately every day are susceptible to becoming casual in matters of security. Make training about cybersecurity a common occurrence for all staff.
Train your employees in the dangers of phishing. Emphasize that they not click on links from unfamiliar sources and that they should scan incoming email addresses thoroughly to catch dummy sites. Encourage your staff to be vigilant when sites ask them to verify personal information, whether their own or customers’. They should be equally careful with company information. Train your employees to report all suspicious activity. It is better to be too wary and catch any cybersecurity breaches or attempted breeches early.
Guard the Information You’re Given
Businesses’ websites are a favorite target of information for hackers. Handle customers’ information with care in social media posts and promotions on your website. It can be tempting for social media to be more casual and approachable, but that should never lead to treating customer information with anything less than the security they deserve.
Social media accounts are also one of hackers’ favorite targets because they can cause dramatic damage. Not only does personal information seem ripe for the plucking, but they can do a lot of damage to a company’s reputation with very little effort, hijacking posts with offensive material and using that as blackmail until they are paid to stop.
While cybersecurity can seem like a daunting task, you are not in it alone. Stay current and work as a team to prevent mishap. Afterall, in matters of security, prevention is the best medicine.