In the current day and age, storing and handling large volumes of private data is usually a necessity for the everyday functioning of a business. But when it comes to keeping this information protected, this is something that’s often easier said than done – particularly for small businesses who may be unprepared for potential cyber threats that have grown both in severity and frequency in recent years.
In relation to this, it has been reported in the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report that a staggering 58% of cyber attack victims were organizations with less than 250 employees – solid evidence that attacks have the ability to negatively impact even small businesses throughout the world.
Thankfully, there are several ways in which businesses both large and small can keep themselves protected. One of the most popular ways is to use a VPN – something that will be looked at in more detail later in the article. Until then, continue reading as we delve deeper into some other great ways to protect your business.
Increase Employee Awareness
With cyber threats continuing to affect a great number of businesses around the world, it’s incredibly important for your entire workforce to remain fully aware of all the latest threats at all times. Otherwise, it could be the case that the revenues and sustainability of your business could be impacted negatively at some point in the future.
In an effort to prevent this, company bosses must do everything in their power to increase awareness of cyber threats so that employees at all levels of the business will be far more vigilant and can identify any warning signs before it’s too late. Therefore, it’s safe to say that in-depth employee training can undoubtedly go a long way.
Ensure that your website meets data security standards
Particularly if you run an e-commerce business, it is incredibly important for your website to have the relevant data security practices in place. This includes PCI-DSS (payment card industry data security standards) which must be complied with to Level 1 if you’re looking to achieve the highest security standards possible for your website.
If you take into account the above, you can ensure that sensitive information such as customer payment details will be far less likely to be intercepted by hackers and the maximum security of your website will be ensured at all times.
Another thing to consider is that security vulnerabilities must be addressed as quickly as possible. In doing so, this will ensure that your website is less vulnerable to attacks as time goes by. This can be achieved by choosing a reliable hosting partner which places emphasis on applying all the latest security updates as soon as they become available.
Physical security of company hardware
When it comes to the prevention of data breaches, you need to realise that cyber threats don’t just occur online. You’ll also find that if the necessary precautions aren’t taken, a lack of physical security could also pose a significant threat to your business.
With that in mind, it’s clear that restricting access to IT information, systems, and equipment is most definitely the way forward when it comes to preventing any unauthorized access and the potential theft of critical equipment.
In addition to this, encouraging staff members to take care when using removable media such as CDs, SD cards, and USB drives, or even restricting their usage altogether will also go a long way in ensuring optimal physical security within your business, with cloud storage often the preferred option nowadays due to its convenience and accessibility.
Use a VPN
Otherwise known as a Virtual Private Network, a VPN is an online tool which can considerably enhance the online security and privacy of your business. By encrypting the company’s web connection, staff members will be able to share information, send emails, and go about their day to day tasks in a much safer manner.
Another area in which a VPN excels is any instance where a business utilizes a remote workforce. Companies that do so could potentially face a web security nightmare in that many workers connect to open public WiFi networks – a situation whereby sensitive files are at a much greater risk of being intercepted. Thankfully, a VPN helps to eradicate this issue by masking the true IP address of any device accessing or sharing private information over the web.
Communication is undoubtedly a major aspect of running a business nowadays, but if the necessary precautions aren’t taken, it will only be a matter of time before cybercrime begins to take its toll on your company.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way, as following the tips outlined throughout the article will undoubtedly place you in a far better position when it comes to protecting your business. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, it’s probably time to overhaul your approach to security and privacy before disaster strikes.