cyber security

The Best Online Security Strategies for Businesses

By Emma Sturgis

Running a small business does not make you immune from malicious hacker attacks. To the contrary, almost forty percent of the cyber-attacks prevented by Symantec targeted companies with fewer than five hundred employees. Because of these risks, companies need to implement various security procedures to enhance their cyber security. Here is what your business can do:

Avoid Complacency

Small companies are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks because the larger firms make huge investments on their security. Understand that cyber criminals have many tactics of siphoning money from your bank account, and you need to be aware of every possibility.

Secure your Software

The security of your business begins with implementing and being strict on the basic security policies. One foundational and easy step is to ensure you are running the latest versions of all your software, especially your web browser and operating system. These are always patched in the updates to seal security loopholes.

Authenticate your Accounts

Whenever possible, use a two-step authentication. This procedure prompts your bank or any other account to send a security code to your phone that you must record before you can log into a new computer. This technique is used by email service providers such as Gmail and Yahoo. They help to block hackers that try to log remotely into your account.

Mobilize your Security

All these safety tips apply to your mobile devices as well. Anything connected to your business network must be protected. Ensure all your employees use PIN code protection for all their devices.

Protect your Wi-Fi

Your Wi-Fi is a big security risk. When you and your co-workers access the internet outside the office, create a private hotspot using a VPN (virtual private network) or your phone. A VPN is a secure layer that logs you into a private network before you access an open wireless network. Don’t just rely on free Wi-Fi services.

Create a Cyber Security Culture

Discuss with your employees about what is acceptable and not acceptable to do on the internet. USB devices are a common infection vector, and visiting the wrong websites and opening infected emails can allow viruses and Trojans into your devices. Consider hiring a security consultant with an online master’s degree in criminal justice to train your employees on how to recognize the tactics cyber criminals are using to steal data. Educating yourself and your employees will help you protect your data.

Use the Cloud

The cloud is great for small companies both regarding security and scalability. But, don’t use the cloud to dump all your data and sensitive files. Segregate data stored in the cloud and set up security and permissions for accessing the data in the cloud. Also, be keen on the security of the connection you use to access the cloud.

Hire a Security Expert

Hiring a security consultant will help you discover if there are any security lapses in your infrastructure. Additionally, a security expert with an understanding of criminal justice theory can advise you and your employees on how to keep your data secure from potential cyber criminals. This will help you save lots of money and avoid frustrations due to data loss.

The security of your data is paramount in your business. Thus, you need to protect your access to the internet and secure your devices from malicious hacker attacks. Doing this will help you run your business smoothly and avoid the frustrations caused by data loss.

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and small business. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.