Internet is growing faster and so are the hacking attempts. The latest stats on online security breaches are shocking. Here are some facts:
A report by Symantec in 2016 stated that small businesses were the main target of the phishers during previous year. [Source]. Many of you will be shocked to know that 50% of the business are exposed to threats like SPAM, Phishing, data breach etc. [Source], even with Secure firewalls and protocols.
Above mentioned statistics gives a clear message on how important online security is for businesses. Here are some crucial steps you need to follow to secure your business from online attacks.
Ensure Two Factor Authentication.
Most of the data breaches happens when hackers sneak into emails or other employee accounts. Business mails can have very important and sensitive data which anyone(Hacker, competitor, Individual) can use for unethical benefits. Two Factor Authentication ensures dual check over authentication. For verifying the right owner, an OTP is sent to the user on his registered phone. This OTP should be verified in given time during authentication. OTP has expiration limit ranging from 30 Seconds to 3 Minutes, hence contributing to another level of secure authentication. This dual auth makes accessing impossible for hackers with right credentials to get access to private data.
Introduced BYOD? Ensure this.
No Doubt many small businesses have adopted BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) but there are certain risks involved too.
Introduce a clear and strict BYOD policy for your company. A clear BYOD plan/policy will help you in legal actions and employees will also have the clear idea of dos and don’ts.
Clear Strict Password Guidelines
A simple password can be easy target for hackers. Make sure that everyone uses a strong password. It is also seen that sometimes employees have to use different password for different accounts (salary account, Attendance, email, Leave management). As it is obvious that employee can’t remember all these passwords, they end up writing them somewhere. This is where the risks rise. How about introducing Single sign-on to make sure there is only one login for all web properties you have? Know more about it here.
Install a good antivirus
Having an Antivirus installed in your system is must these days. It not only keeps you safe from virus but also keeps an eye on trojans and malwares. My personal favorite is bitdefender and if you are buying it for your business in bulk, use this Bitdefender coupon. Also make sure that employees get regular antivirus updates because an outdated antivirus will be equivalent to useless. Run regular full scans and make it a policy for employees or IT admins of your company.
Stop using cracked or pirated softwares, themes
In order to save money, one of my friend downloaded a pirated design to develop website for his startup. Little did he know that such themes and design have malicious scripts installed. Soon the hackers got backdoor entry and started sending mails on his behalf. Such breaches and hacking incidents are very common these days, and pirated content is the main reason behind such issues. Using Pirated material is also a disrespect to the developers who put lots of effort developing them.
Keep your Wifi safe
This is one of the most important aspect of online security which is neglected too often. You will be surprised to know that there are certain apps and tools to hack Wifi. And once hacked, the hacker can not only use your wifi speed but can also access your data sent and received transmitted from the machine. They can see what websites you are visiting, eavesdrop every link and can even inject scripts ! Scary, right?
Here is how you can secure your wifi
- Make sure that the router credential is secure enough. I have seen many IT admins leaving the credential default as “Admin, Admin” which makes the router vulnerable to hacking.
- Keeping default SSID is also not a good idea. Always change the default SSID name.
- Wifi password should be changed from WPA to WPA2 and above encryption methods.
- If there are limited number of machines to be connected, you can filter mac addresses so that only authorized machines can get the wifi access.
Keeping your business secure is a very crucial step towards success. Hence it is very important to keep yourself secure these days.