The internet allows us to make our lives simpler. Businesses also find it helpful as it helps them reach their target market easily. The internet also helps businesses market their products and services with ease, monitor the productivity of their employees, and determine the latest industry trends. The World Wide Web gives access to unlimited resources, making it very easy for businesses to improve their existing strategies and implement new ones, as well.
However, the prevalence of the internet is not all good. The accessibility it has provided to its users is also the reason why more and more people are now losing their identities and business’s trade secrets. Online theft could have terrible consequences for businesses. It can mean loss of trust along with hefty fines and other punitive measures by government agencies. Once a hacker gets into your system, they can control what content to publish on your online platforms and steal valuable information from your business. All of these can have significant consequences for your business – to the point where you can lose your most loyal customers.
Online theft is a common problem in different parts of the world. Businesses, regardless of the size and niche of their operations, often experience online theft. Globally, more than 2 in 5 customers have gone through a fraudulent activity at least once. Moreover, there were 41,502 data breaches in Europe between May 2018 and January 2019.
We are so used to the internet and social media that we leave our footprints all over the internet. Very few organisations even utilise the necessary security measures to prevent cybercriminals from hacking into their network. The situation is worse for small and medium businesses. According to research by Fundera, 43% of all cyberattacks are targeted against small businesses. Out of these, at least 60% of companies targeted by cyberattacks go out of business. If you wish to win the game of cat and mouse, you better pay heed to these ideas and learn more from it to protect the online identity of your business.
More security using SSL/ TSL certificates
One of the critical mistakes that businesses make is that they continue on an HTTP platform. They need to encrypt the communication between their web server and the browser of the visitor. Using a multi domain Wildcard SSL certificate ensures safety in the communication with the visitor as the entire communication is encrypted. It helps to confirm that the information exchanged with your customers and prospects over the website is secure. The visitors also get an assurance that they interact with a reputed and trustworthy organisation with whom they can transact.
In case you are an e-commerce website, you need to adhere to the PCI-DSS regulations compulsorily. It requires you to encrypt the information received from your customers and visitors to your site. Moreover, search engines penalise non-HTTPS websites when ranking for a specific keyword. It is suggested that you procure a multi domainWildcard SSL certificate to safeguard your business.
Manage passwords intelligently
You need to imbibe a robust password policy for your employees. Ensure that your organisation adheres to the global best practices for creating a password. Also, it is ideal that the username for entering the back-end is different from the official user id. It helps to prevent brute force attempts by hackers to break into your site. You must also have a policy for the users to change their password after definite intervals.
Larger organisations can procure a password manager who can allow faster access and suggest stronger passwords for you. Some of this software can also enable multi-factor authorisation which provides you with another level of security for your site.
Protect your network using specialised software
As you are trying to protect your systems, you need to install an antivirus software along with a firewall. It will help get rid of any virus attacks. It also helps you to scan your emails to prevent any phishing attack. Modern antiviruses also help to prevent attacks by malware. Antiviruses update their virus database on an ongoing basis, and you can rest assured that your networks will be safe.
You can also procure an intrusion prevention system to bolster your defences. This software ensures lesser downtime due to security incidents. They also subscribe to a reputation based list of websites and block access to any website that has a dubious reputation.
With the number of cases of online theft in the world today, expect that you will have several specialized software to choose from. If you’re going to use this software in your business for the first time, make sure to compare your options carefully. List down some of your top choices and then research on how each of these differs from each other. Determine the pros and cons of each software and assess which among this is the best fit for your business requirements.
Aside from the money involved, remember that the software you choose can significantly affect the safety of your online identity and business’ success. Choosing cheap specialized software might help you save money, but this doesn’t always guarantee the best results – cheap software can mean limited coverage and lesser features.
Do not publish essential documents online
You must not upload your necessary documents and contracts onto the cloud. You never know when any third party breaks into the cloud and has access to your confidential information. It is best that you keep the critical documents ringfenced in a separate server, ideally disconnected from the internal networks and also the internet. It is a lockbox for all your sensitive digital information.
Allow two-factor authentication
If you need to add another layer of security, the two-factor authentical is an ideal method to do this. It helps to confirm that only authorised users can access the network or the website back-end. What will happen is that the user will receive a code on his device that will be required to enter the site.
Prevent use of any external drives
External drives are often used by unscrupulous elements to pull data out of your system. Some others may also have malicious intent and insert malware into the network. It could lead to a massive breakdown of the network and could involve your IT team working long hours to rectify. Also, some of the employees may take away valuable information from the system. It is in your best interest that you prevent usage of any flash drives or hard disk drives.
Enlighten your employees about phishing attacks
You need to inform your employees about the risk of phishing attacks. Even some malicious websites can have pop-ups that are misleading and may install malware at the back-end without the knowledge of that person. You must organise training sessions with your employees about the do’s and don’ts while surfing on the internet. Some organisations have even blocked most websites and employees can access websites for their work purpose only.
The progress of the dark web has been rapid, and there have been quite a few data breaches at major organisations. These high-profile incidents require us to deploy safeguards so that our business identity is safe from being taken over by hackers. You can start with procuring a multi domain Wildcard SSL certificate to protect your website. You must also ensure that your employees must not connect their official laptops to the public Wi-Fi networks. You must not allow your employees to access any outside network as it is a potential threat to your organisation.
Do educate your employees not to click on unsolicited emails as it could be the source of malware. We have discussed some of the safeguards you can take to protect your online identity. These simple steps can go a long way in protecting your business online.