In today's world, cybersecurity is vital for many businesses. Almost all businesses operate in the cyber world on a certain level, be it in your own internal system, data storage, emails, client-facing websites, intranet, and many more.
As such, you face cybersecurity risks, including online fraud, theft of information, malware or virus attacks. Some cybercrimes can disrupt or even damage your business. You could run loss financially, have your reputation compromised, and worse, face legal claims.
But firstly -
What are cyber-attacks?
Simply put, cyber-attacks are attacks targeted at computers or computer networks. A cyber attack can disable or alter your network/computer, steal data, change information or use your network as a point for other attacks.
In terms of business, an attack can happen due to certain parties wanting to steal your database or intellectual property, among others.
Let us take a look at the following steps on how you can protect yourself and your business from cyber-attacks.
8 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks
1. Protect your Computer Network
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Protect your computer network with professional anti-virus and anti-malware software. They will significantly help identify any malicious virus or malware within your system and keep your network secure.
Additionally, it would be best to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you are accessing your systems in a public area. A VPN will help mask your details and protect you from cybercriminals.
2. Update Your Softwares
You are more prone to cyber-attacks if your software is out-of-date. An easy way to ensure you keep your software up-to-date is to set all your software programs to install updates automatically.
Updates also apply to your anti-virus and anti-malware software. Updated versions of software, anti-virus and anti-malware will make it harder for your computer to be infiltrated.
3. Set up Firewall
Install firewalls on your servers and devices in order to secure your internal network from malicious threats. The firewalls will monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and block any data packets deemed not secure.
4. Choose a Secure Hosting Service
When setting up your business, you must not compromise on the hosting company. Select a hosting company that is PCI compliant and which will provide your company with an SSL certificate.
An SSL certificate marks your website with Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Its function is to encrypt all communication between your users' browser and your website.
A PCI compliant hosting is a hosting service that helps companies adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) instituted by credit card companies. This will ensure that payments which go through your website are not vulnerable to hackers.
5. Use Strong Passwords
The best passwords are a combination of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, special symbols and more than eight characters. It will be a best practice to ensure all your passwords follow this guideline.
For a more secure combination, you can consider using two-factor authentication. It could be a combination of password with fingerprint ID, face authentication, TAC codes or more.
6. Backup Data Regularly
Backups are simply one of the best ways to protect your business and data. In the worst-case scenario that you lose your data, you can quickly recover them if you have a proper backup.
While you can backup and store data on a cloud or within your system, it is also recommended to keep an offline backup. Keep a secure copy to safeguard yourself in case an attack happens to your entire server.
7. Practise Email Security
Emails are a prevalent way for hackers to target ransomware or malware. Do not open emails from senders you do not trust and never click on links in spam emails.
A malicious link would get your computer infected, thus encrypting your data or locking your operating system. Even if you were to feed into the wants of the ransomware hacker, there would be no way to ensure you will gain your data or control of your system.
You should also never open attachments that ask you to enable macros to view them. An infectious attachment will run the malicious macro when you open the attachment, enabling the malware control of your system.
8. Secure Wi-Fi Network
Securing your Wi-Fi network is essential to avoid potential security threats.
You must ensure that your Wi-Fi network is encrypted. This helps protect you when you share your Wi-Fi network with others, as you will not know if their devices are infected.
Also, follow the guide is point no. 5 when coming up with your passwords. You should also frequently change your password, especially if you allow guests at your business to have access to your Wi-Fi.
With the tips and steps provided above, you can ensure you are protecting your business and networks. This will help you from unwanted situations such as loss of customers, sales, or profit, and even unwanted lawsuits.
At the same time, ensure your employees and team are also aware of the same steps to practice cybersecurity actions.
If you need further advice on protecting your business online, our lawyers will be happy to chat with you and discuss further.
Note: This article does not constitute legal advice to any specific case. The facts and circumstances of each and every case will differ and, therefore, will require specific legal advice. Feel free to contact us for complimentary legal consultation.